Park’s Fall ’21 plan

With a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City metro and vaccinations being widely distributed, Park University is “planning to return to a more normal Fall 2021,” according to an email from Interim President Shane Smeed sent to students on March 5.

That means students can expect more in-person classes being offered than were in the 2020-21 academic year. Subsequently, there will be more people allowed on campus, as well as more student events and activities. However, masks will still be required, and social distancing will be enforced as well.

“We will follow guidelines set by Platte County and set by the CDC. Right now, that’s six feet distancing, but there’s been talk about changing what that is,” said Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Jayme Uden, Ed.D.

According to Uden, faculty who normally teach face-to-face classes have been told to plan for a completely in-person format. Should a rise in cases or other issue require Park to return to a blended or online format, Uden is confident staff will be able to make the switch fairly easily.

Residence hall capacities will also be returning to a new normal in the fall. Typically, the residence halls are home to just under 400 students.

“We were right under 200 this year because it was half-occupancy. Next year we think we’ll be closer to 300-350,” Uden said.

There will be an opportunity for some students living on campus to stay in a single room while sharing a living space, much like what was done this year. Uden said returning students can expect an email regarding that option in the near future.