BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College has announced plans to resume on-campus instruction for the fall semester while prioritizing the safety of its students, faculty, and staff in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college also will freeze tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year to help its students have continued access to a Bethany education.

“Throughout this transition, we will continue to monitor all state and federal guidelines and implement recommendations to the best of our ability with the primary goal of keeping our community safe,” President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg said. “We were founded as a residential campus, and I am committed to providing an on-campus experience grounded in the best practices for interaction.”

Bethany will offer single bedrooms to students who request that option by July 15. Interested students should contact Executive Director of Student Affairs Sam Goodge at [obfuscate_btn][/obfuscate_btn] with their requests.

“Bethany’s natural environment actually lends itself beautifully to the effective maintenance of social distancing,” Rodenberg said. “Our idyllic, less-populated location in West Virginia, combined with our small classrooms and 10:1 student-faculty ratio, makes our setting and setup perfect for learning and overall student well-being.”

Students who have received their financial aid packages but are experiencing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19 should contact the college at [obfuscate_btn][/obfuscate_btn].

The college’s facilities – academic buildings, residence halls, athletic venues, dining areas, administrative offices, and restrooms – will undergo a deep clean before the fall term, Rodenberg said. Freshman move-in is scheduled for Aug. 20, and classes are set to begin Aug. 24.

Freshmen orientation will be moved to an online format, with plans calling for group leaders to reach out to students in late June or early July. Using digital platforms, such as Zoom, orientation leaders will meet with their groups regularly to answer questions and address concerns.

As many students are re-evaluating their college plans in this time of uncertainty, Bethany is still accepting applications. Contact Director of Enrollment Laura Doty at [obfuscate_btn][/obfuscate_btn] for more information.

Bethany’s Emergency and Preparedness Response Team, which includes representatives from across campus departments, is designed to ensure that all safety precautions are considered.

In response to federal and state social distancing guidelines, the college extended its spring break by a week and transitioned to remote instruction on March 23.

On March 30, Bethany announced that remote instruction would continue throughout the semester, which ended May 6. An online degree-conferral ceremony was held May 9 for the class of 2020.

On May 18, the college began its May term online, offering students more than a dozen summer courses.

Since late March, many employees have worked remotely; plans call for them to return to campus in early July.

“This time of being socially distant has reaffirmed for all of us why we place such a high value on community at Bethany College,” Rodenberg said. “When we are together, we thrive, but as these past few weeks have shown, community doesn’t end where the campus edges begin.”


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.