La Plata, MD- The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces it will return to normal campus operations on Aug. 23, 2021, after 17 months of restricted or remote operations in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This operational shift includes an increase in the number of in-person class instruction options and the reopening of conference, meeting, and event spaces and common areas.
“We cannot wait to see our students face-to-face and back on our campuses,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “We have prepared well and are being deliberate in resuming our campus operations in the safest manner possible.”
When the fall semester begins Aug. 25, faculty, staff, and students will not be required to wear masks or face coverings; however, those who wish to wear a mask on CSM’s campuses are encouraged to do so. Anyone coming on campus who is not fully vaccinated is strongly encouraged to always wear a mask or face covering for everyone’s safety.
In addition, COVID vaccinations will only be required for students in CSM’s nursing and health programs and those students have been notified that they will need to provide proof of their vaccination along with their other health screening, immunization, background check, and drug screening program requirements.
All students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccination before the fall 2021 semester begins Aug. 25. To help facilitate vaccinations, the college will host vaccination clinics prior to, and throughout, the fall semester.
“As we resume normal operations, the college will capitalize on innovative practices developed over the last year to achieve learning outcomes and deliver effective services online or remotely while also offering face-to-face options,” explained CSM Vice President of Operations and Planning Bill Comey.
Comey added that on-campus classes are scheduled to run at reduced room capacities this fall to provide for physical distancing. CSM is also set to offer approximately half of its fall credit classes in an online or hybrid format. Meanwhile, the conference, meeting, and event spaces will return to full capacity and the college will continue to provide enhanced cleaning throughout the campuses and extra hand sanitation stations will remain in place.
CSM athletes will be suiting up for a regular, competitive fall season, according to CSM Executive Director of Student Life and Athletics Michelle Ruble. “CSM’s preseason training for our fall athletic program begins August 2 and off-season training begins for all other athletic programs the first week of classes,” she added.
Registration for a limited program of fitness-related personal enrichment courses taught by CSM opened for fall registration on Wednesday, July 13, 2021. CSM remains in close contact with St. Mary’s County Government Parks and Recreation regarding a memorandum of understanding for the operation of the Aquatics and Fitness facility on CSM’s Leonardtown campus. As soon as the MOU is finalized – which is expected soon – an announcement will be made. Meanwhile, fitness-related personal enrichment programs at the La Plata Campus will not be held at the campus’ Physical Education Building as it undergoes considerable HVAC and plumbing upgrades.
Stay up-to-date with the status of CSM’s campus operations by visiting CSM Ready at https://www.csmd.edu/ready/.