We will continue to add additional FAQs to this page as they are developed.
What is Carleton’s overall plan for Winter Term?
About 1,500 students returned to Northfield in January. We are operating under our regular academic calendar, with classes running from January 4 through March 15. The first two weeks of classes were be held online, with students remaining at home for the first week and returning to campus for the second. Health monitoring and personal accountability are expected and continue to be enforced through the Carleton Community Covenant.
The winter curriculum is again a mix of in-person, fully online, hybrid and mixed-mode courses. No student is required to return to campus in order to continue their Carleton education this winter, and no faculty member is required to teach in person.
Are Carleton staff working on campus this winter?
Some staff work full-time on campus, others work under a hybrid arrangement of some on-campus and some remote work, and others are working remotely 100% of the time. 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.
What is Carleton doing to ensure students’ return to Northfield is as safe as possible each term?
All students are tested twice for COVID-19 upon returning to campus at the beginning of a term. They receive their first test on the day of arrival and their second test 5-7 days later. Classes are held remotely for the first week of the term, and students’ interactions and activities are limited until they receive the results of both tests.
Prior to returning to campus, we have asked that students quarantine and, when possible, get tested for COVID-19 as the CDC recommends before traveling back to Northfield.
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.
We want students to remain on campus as much as possible because most of the positive cases encountered this fall and winter were contracted through off-campus exposure. Students may continue to leave campus for essential activities such as medical appointments, grocery shopping, and work responsibilities.
Are visitors allowed on campus this winter?
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?
We want students to remain on campus as much as possible because most of the positive cases encountered this fall and winter were contracted through off-campus exposure. Students may continue to leave campus for essential activities such as medical appointments, grocery shopping, and work responsibilities. 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 the academic year?
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.