We will continue to add additional FAQs to this page as they are developed.

What is Carleton’s overall plan for Fall Term?

About 1,600 students returned to Northfield in September. We are operating under our regular academic calendar, with classes running from September 14 to November 23. Health monitoring and personal accountability are expected and are being enforced through a new Carleton Community Covenant

The fall curriculum is a mix of in-person, fully online, hybrid and mixed-mode courses. No student was required to return to campus in order to continue their Carleton education this fall, and no faculty member was required to teach in person. 

Are Carleton staff working on campus this fall?

With a continued focus on health and safety, staff are returning to campus in phases. Decisions about who returns to campus, when, and how often were made by divisional vice presidents in collaboration with supervisors and Human Resources, based on the critical functions of positions and the necessity to access on-campus resources.

Were students required to quarantine upon arrival to Minnesota?

We are following all federal and state rules regarding quarantine. At the time of our students’ return, Minnesota did not have any travel restrictions for those coming from other states.

All students, faculty, and staff are being tested for COVID-19 upon their initial return to campus. All students will receive a second test seven days after their first test. This second test is intended to detect those who may have been exposed during travel to campus (which would be too soon for the first test to detect), and those who may have received a false negative in the first round.

What are the expectations for student interactions off campus?

All students who have been approved to come to campus for in-person classes are required to sign a covenant that sets clear expectations for behavior both on and off campus. This includes students who have been approved to live off campus as part of the college’s Northfield Option. A student’s behavior as a Northfield resident is bound by both the existing Carleton Community Standards and the laws and ordinances of the City of Northfield. As usual, the college will enforce its standards.

Are visitors allowed on campus this fall?

Visitors are discouraged from coming to the Carleton College campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Detailed information is available in our Fall 2020 Visitor Guidance document. Most events with outside speakers will be held remotely and accessible to the public, including our weekly Friday convocations.

While we cannot completely close off access to outdoor campus spaces, we ask that visitors do not stop on campus. Walking through campus is OK, as long as you keep a safe distance from others and have a mask with you. Our mask policy requires individuals to wear masks outside when it is difficult to maintain a six-foot distance from others. 

What are the rules for students about leaving campus?

Students are permitted to leave campus to travel into Northfield or to off-campus medical appointments. Like all Northfield citizens, they are expected to adhere to the state’s Stay Safe Order and safety guidelines that any Northfield business or establishment requires. Other unnecessary off-campus travel is restricted.

Any student who needs to complete an overnight visit off campus must notify the Dean of Students Office of their travel prior to departure and, upon return, self-monitor and take an on-campus COVID-19 test at their own expense ($150).

Will Carleton inform the public about any cases of COVID-19 on campus?

As is the case for any Northfield resident, a positive case of COVID-19 on Carleton’s campus will be reported to the Minnesota Department of Health and tallied through the state’s reporting dashboard. We are also reporting campus data weekly on Wednesdays through our COVID-19 Dashboard.

We will continue to prioritize the privacy of our students, faculty and staff, while providing meaningful information to our greater community. 

What factors would cause Carleton to adjust its plans for fall?

The College’s senior leadership team is continuously monitoring the public health metrics of the campus in the context of county, state, and national data. We have identified thresholds and action levels to help describe potential transmission scenarios and how the College would plan to operate at various stages. These risk levels take into account the important work our campus community is doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through our behaviors defined in our campus covenant.

As we’ve learned since the beginning of the pandemic, the science regarding COVID-19 is continually evolving, and subsequently, we may change or amend specific threshold measures as public health guidance and recommendations are updated, new testing technologies emerge, and we implement learnings from others in higher education. Any changes will only be considered where they result in safer outcomes for the Carleton community.