As The Master’s University prepares for in-person instruction this fall, we are thrilled that our new and returning students will join us on campus. While we are thankful for the technology that allowed us to finish last semester successfully, we are eager to have students bring life and energy to our campus. Our faculty are preparing to teach classes in-person as well as mixed-modality so that, no matter the circumstances, we can serve our student body well. Our student life staff, along with our construction crews, are hard at work with the ongoing campus improvements. Our campus health professionals are implementing health protocols designed to keep our campus clean and safe. Our coaches are preparing game schedules and are excited about the return of competition and Mustang pride both on and off the field. So much is happening, and so much will happen when the Fall 2020 semester begins this August. And from what I am hearing from our enrollment team, our students are as eager as we are to be back on campus.
As we prepare to resume face-to-face instruction this August, our first commitment is to the safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff. Our COVID-19 task force is monitoring developments and crafting campus policies that align with local, state, and federal guidelines. Their expertise is helping TMU’s executive team make sure the campus is ready to welcome back all students with appropriate safety guidelines. Of course, as believers, we know our plans are nothing apart from the good and gracious hand of God. We trust Him to wisely guide us as we look forward, with a lot of optimism, to our students’ return this fall.
As part of our safety precautions and protocols for this Fall semester, we are today announcing a change in the academic calendar for the Fall 2020 semester. The semester will begin, as scheduled, on August 27. Returning student check-in will be August 26, 9am-5pm. Residential on-campus instruction will continue until Tuesday, November 24. After Thanksgiving break, there will be no in-person classes, and the remaining two weeks of the semester will be devoted entirely to research and final projects during the first week and final exams during the second week, December 7-11.
We are asking residential students to check out of their dorm rooms for the extended winter break no later than Wednesday, November 25. This schedule adjustment will help TMU minimize risk for our campus community by allowing our students to leave campus before the Thanksgiving break and complete their semester remotely. It also ensures that our students will have the rich, comprehensive in-person experience. At TMU, we believe strongly in the value of our residential program, and we are excited, hopeful, and prayerful as we look to the fall semester for a wonderful reunion with our students.
We believe this one-time schedule change best serves our students and their families during this unique time. As you can imagine, these adjustments to our face-to-face instruction are costly. We have decided not to pass those costs along to our students. However, in order to maintain our own fiscal stability, we will need to charge the full room and board as we would in any normal semester. Please direct questions related to the academic calendar or the adjustments to our Emergency Hotline (661) 362-2502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because we know that many of our prospective students and their families have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have instituted new financial aid support for both new and continuing students with details here: masters.edu/relief. Our most exciting new scholarship now available is the “2020 John P. Stead Steadfast Scholarship,” a full-tuition scholarship named after one of our most faithful administrators, Dr. John Stead and his wife Ellen, in honor of their 50 years of service at TMU. Details of this scholarship can be found at masters.edu/steadfast. We will be celebrating Dr. Stead together with family, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
We are working hard, but we are also praying hard because any genuine advancement is made on our knees. Please pray for us as we prepare. Please pray for our returning students as they prepare. And, please pray for our new students as they prepare. Together, let’s commit to a joy-filled celebration when God answers our prayers this August.
Dr. Sam Horn President of TMUS