RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Tech University says they are set to start the fall semester with in-person learning. Classes will begin on August 18.
"We are excited to welcome our returning and incoming students to campuses in Russellville and Ozark for the beginning of a new academic year," said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. "Leaders at all levels of the university faculty, staff, and students have worked diligently over the summer months to prepare academic, co-curricular, and social experiences that will facilitate the pursuit of knowledge, personal growth, and career preparation while simultaneously re-connecting our university community."
The last day to late register, add courses, or make changes for fall 2021 is August 24.
Arkansas Tech will be operating under their ATU COVID-19 Management plan. The plan is designed to align with current local, state, and national legislation, including guidance and best practices from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), and the American College Health Association (ACHA). The plan applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors at ATU.
"Our new COVID-19 Management Plan accounts for the medical and scientific advances that have taken place over the past 18 months and allows Arkansas Tech to be more adaptable to evolving circumstances," said Bowen. "I encourage members of the university community to read the document closely for any factors that affect them and their daily routines. Please know that this is a living document. As changes to the ATU COVID-19 Management Plan are made, we will make proper notifications."
Regardless of vaccination status, ATU is recommending everyone to wear masks on campus and maintain social distance. Students, staff or faculty, who have COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been tested must report the information to the ATU Health and Wellness Center. Students can report this via phone call at (479) 968-0329, or by completing a form online at www.atu.edu/hwc.
Students and employees are being encouraged to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
“Medical and scientific experts who have reviewed data and outcomes continue to report that becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best protection from serious illness, hospitalization, and death associated with the virus,” said Bowen. “It is our responsibility to provide a safe learning and working environment and our preference to do so in a face-to-face environment throughout the fall 2021 semester and beyond. I believe that is also what our students want. Our best path to achieving that goal is to continue increasing the number of ATU students, faculty, and staff who have been vaccinated.”
The Arkansas Department of Health will be providing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for ATU faculty, staff, and students who are interested. It will be available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on August 16 on the north lawn of Doc Bryan Student Services Center and at the same time on August 17 on the west lawn of Chambers Cafeteria.
An additional COVID-19 vaccination event provided by the ADH with the Pfizer vaccine will be held on August 18. It will be from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on the west lawn of Chambers Cafeteria. ADH will be returning at the appropriate time to provide the second dose.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.atu.edu/pandemicrecovery.
Additional information of the ATU COVID-19 Management Plan can be found by visiting, www.atu.edu/pandemicrecovery/managementplan.php.