ADRIAN — Adrian College’s campus will be open for traditional in-person classes this coming fall, college President Jeffrey Docking announced Thursday. 

Plans are being developed to open campus while working closely with the Lenawee County Health Department to take all necessary precautions to assure the safety of students, faculty and staff, a news release said.

Adrian College’s administration will spend the next three months preparing the campus to comply with state and federal guidelines for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the college does intend to welcome students to campus.

“By the time August arrives, it will be time for students to return to college and adjust to the new world that awaits all of us,” Docking said in the release. “This is our new reality as a college and as a country. We need to venture out to learn as an educational community how to thrive as a group of scholars while staying safe and caring about each other."

Docking said attending college includes the on-campus experience.

“When a student decides to enroll at Adrian they get much more than a great education, Docking said in the release. "They get an incredible, seamless four-year experience punctuated with memorable cultural, athletic and co-curricular experiences. This experience ultimately leads to a lifetime of memories, friends and deeply rewarding professional careers. It is an experience that cannot be replicated in a purely online learning environment. We need to get back to this experience.”

The number of students who have already committed to return to Adrian College’s campus for the fall semester shows a desire to return to normal life as soon as possible, the release said. Retention for the fall semester is running higher than expected, judging by the number of students who have selected classes and a place to live on campus.

“We are very pleased with student enthusiasm to continue their studies at Adrian College,” Docking said.

So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed freshmen enrollment for the fall. Deposits are tracking on pace for an incoming class of 600 students.

“We certainly are making plans to be careful,” Docking said. “There may need to be a few changes on campus with respect to social distancing, masks, hand-sanitizing stations and food service, but we have plenty of time to prepare to be open in August.”

Dr. Emily Kist, director of Adrian College’s Student Health Center, has been coordinating with the college’s administration to create a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for the 2020-21 academic year. Docking has asked that it be shared with the community well in advance of the fall semester, the release said.

Weekly videos and emails are being sent from the college to keep current students and their families up to date on the COVID-19 situation and plans for the fall. Adrian College will continue sending out updates on a regular basis.