Fall 2020 Campus Reopen: Adjusting Our Sails

In alignment with our adaptability model, Mitchell College is continuously assessing the changing winds brought on by the current pandemic, and carefully and thoughtfully ‘adjusting our sails’ in response – with the health and safety of our entire Mariner community as our guiding principle.

With that in mind, the College plans to reopen campus for Fall 2020, using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Connecticut and local health authorities. We are also using frameworks geared specifically to colleges and universities, considering options and recommendations for our academic program, health & safety, campus life, athletics, and facilities.

One of the primary changes to support the health and safety of the community involves adjustments to the academic calendar for Fall 2020. We are adopting this plan based on current public health guidance regarding risks associated with coming and going to and from campus, and models suggesting a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases with the onset of influenza season. Due to the ongoing evolving nature of the pandemic, all plans and dates are subject to change.

Register now!

Are you a new or returning Mitchell or Thames student or family member with questions about Fall 2020? Register here for our Live Session Q&A on Thursday, August 13 from 6-7pm (EDT).



Will the campus be open this fall?

Yes, we are planning our return to campus carefully and thoughtfully, using guidance from the CDC, the State of Connecticut and local health authorities.

Academics & Support Services

What is the Fall 2020 schedule?

Schedule For Mitchell College and Thames at Mitchell College

  • September 1 – Session I instruction begins with online instruction for the first two weeks to support the move in schedule and COVID-19 protocols. Residential students will participate in online classes from campus; non-residential students will participate in online classes from home.
  • November 16-20 – Final Exams. Following final exams, students will depart for Thanksgiving break and will remain home to complete Session II of the fall semester remotely.
  • November 21-29 – Thanksgiving Break
  • November 30-December 16 – Session II instruction begins. All Session II classes and support services will be delivered remotely to you at home.
What will academic delivery look like?

The Mitchell education prioritizes deep student engagement with the campus community and the health and safety of our Mariner community is paramount.  

For two weeks, beginning on September 1, all classes will be fully remote. Beginning on September 14, courses will be delivered in a variety of ways for the Fall 2020 semester. These differentiated methods of instruction during Session I will be based on careful attention paid to instructor input and best practices for delivering the specific content. As always, courses are being designed to ensure instructors are accessible and that interaction as a class community is emphasized. The delivery of all Session I courses will strive to be as synchronous as possible in all of the designated learning modalities:

  • In person (P)– class meets in person, in the room assigned for all scheduled meeting times throughout the semester in Session I (with the exception of the first two weeks, which will be delivered remotely). In person classes must meet social distancing guidelines.
  • Remote Learning (RL)– class is entirely online, but requires synchronous instruction for all or part of the semester.
  • Hybrid/Blended (HB)– class meets in person for half of the scheduled meeting times and online for the other half, including both synchronous and asynchronous delivery.

We will let students know course designations (in person, remote learning, hybrid/blended) and class times in early August. Your advisor will be available during the month of August to make any schedule adjustments.

We remain committed to be responsive to the needs of students, the comfort of our instructors and the appropriate pedagogy that is the hallmark of our Abilities based curriculum. All courses will emphasize synchronous instruction (instruction happening in real time). For those classes meeting in person, classroom spaces have been set up to follow social distancing requirements.

Will I be able to access all of Mitchell's support services?

Mitchell College is working hard to ensure a safe return of our students to campus, with faculty and learning specialists providing the same high quality course content and support services across all delivery modalities.

For the health and safety of the campus community, and while observing social distancing and room density guidelines, our support services will be a mix of online and in-person delivery, by appointment only. In-person schedules vary by department: (*Remote and in-person delivery of support services may be altered based on student needs)

  • The Bentsen Learning Center (BLC) will offer full capacity services for students in a combination of remote and in-person opportunities for support.
  • The Office of Accessibility Services will offer virtual services. The office will be open one day per week for in-person appointments, by appointment only.
  • Academic Coaching for Empowerment (ACE) will be delivered remotely.
  • The Tutoring Center and the Writing Zone will operate online. Tutor.com will also be available to students 24/7 and has increased both their offerings as well as staffing.
  • Advising services will continue online, with individual in-person appointments with your Academic Advisor available one day per week, by appointment only.
  • The Office of Integrative Career Development (ICD) will also operate virtually, with in-person appointments available two days per week, by appointment only.
  • The Registrar will provide virtual services online, with in-person appointments two days per week, by appointment only.

Thames at Mitchell College will offer students:

  • Instructor-led support in all courses through virtual and in-person scheduled appointments
  • Required weekly online or in-person meetings with their academic advisor, who will also be available for support and for academic coordination
  • Online and in-person tutoring for all courses
  • Required weekly online or in-person weekly meetings with their Residence Hall Directors for the social seminar class
Will I be able to access Library Services?

Library services will operate a full schedule online, with more limited library building hours. Following health and safety protocols, building occupancy guidelines limit the number of patrons and staff allowed in the building at the same time. Library patrons are encouraged to use the library virtually instead of physically using the building by way of chat, appointments by phone and Zoom, email, enhanced online tutorials and guides, access to expansive digital collections and virtual instructional support. 


I'm wondering about Fall 2020 tuition, room and board.

Mitchell College is working hard to ensure a safe return of our students to campus, with faculty providing the same high quality course content across all delivery modalities (in person, hybrid/blended and remote). Support services associated with advising, accessibility, the Bentsen Learning Center, the Mystic Program, and Thames at Mitchell will also operate regularly, regardless of modality. As you know, during COVID-19, extra precautions must be taken to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, which come with additional costs. In light of these added expenses, we are not able to adjust our tuition.

Additionally, although room and board fees for Fall 2020 will remain as billed, resident students may extend their room and board at no additional cost when enrolling in either a May or June 2021 MiniMester.

Campus Life

What will move-in look like?

Move-In Schedule:

  • Resident Assistants – Monday, August 24
  • Thames at Mitchell & Thames Hybrids – Wednesday, August 26, and Thursday, August 27
  • New Students (Freshmen & Transfers) – Wednesday, August 26, and Thursday, August 27
  • Sophomores – Friday, August 28, and Saturday, August 29
  • Juniors & Seniors – Sunday, August 30, and Monday, August 31

Move-In Procedure:

  • Select your move-in day and time using the following links to SignUp Genius:
  • Each student will be allowed one 90-minute time slot. Important: Please use your Mitchell email address when signing up. Select the correct building and floor, or your time slot will be deleted and you will be asked to sign up again. To verify your building and room number, please check your housing assignment in eRezLife prior to selecting a time slot.
  • Time slots will be available from 8am to 7:30pm (8am to Noon for Resident Assistants), with a midday break for the housekeeping staff to deep clean the residence halls.
  • Each student may bring one helper to help them move in. We ask students to select a helper from the same household, whenever possible, and for the helper to also self-quarantine for two weeks prior to helping with move in.
  • The move-in schedule allows for two students per time slot on each floor, and roommates may choose to select the same time slot to move in together.
  • Think carefully about what to bring and pack lightly. This will assist you with an easier and quicker move in and also allows for more effective cleaning. As a reminder, after Thanksgiving break, Session II will take place remotely, with all students at home.

On Move-In Day:

  • Check in at Henry Hall to receive your welcome packet and room key. If you are a new student, you will receive your student ID.
  • When on campus, all safe-campus protocols must be followed, including:
    • Wearing a face covering (after move in has taken place, you will not be required to wear a face covering in your room
    • Using proper hand hygiene – wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently
    • Using proper cough/sneeze etiquette (e.g., cough and sneeze in your elbow – even when wearing a face covering)
    • Using physical distancing (minimum six feet)
    • Following traffic flow indicators and signage directions for the health and safety of others
  • When moving into your residence hall, please note one stairway is for going upstairs and one stairway is for going downstairs. Please follow this protocol.
  • During move in students and their helper will be allowed to use the elevator together. After move in only one person is allowed in the elevator at a time.
What should I bring to campus?

What to Bring/What not to Bring

Whether you are returning for your final year at Mitchell or beginning your first year, because we are living in COVID-19 times, the “what to bring” list differs slightly this fall. Of special note:

    • Have a grab-and-go bag packed in the event that you will go into isolation. Include clothing, toiletries, and items for school work.
    • Pack lightly for the fall semester and only bring what is needed. When you return home for Thanksgiving break and Session II, the residence halls will be sanitized; living with the “less is more” mindset will allow for the most effective sanitation. As a reminder, Session II classes and support services will be delivered remotely to you at home.
    • Required:
      • Double-layer cloth face coverings (wash often and bring enough to accommodate laundry habits), thermometer, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, other cleaning supplies
      • Plenty of snacks and other items needed (school supplies, First Aid supplies, etc.) to limit shopping trips

Mitchell Students
Download What to Bring/What not to Bring Checklist

Thames Students
Download What to Bring/What not to Bring Residence Hall Checklist
Download Academic Supplies/Technology Checklist

Will resident students quarantine when arriving to campus?

First Two Weeks – Quarantine on Campus

For the first two weeks on campus, resident students will be asked to quarantine. During this time, residents are strongly encouraged to limit their indoor social interactions with only those in their “family unit” while wearing a face covering and adhering to social distancing. A family unit is the people with whom you share a room, suite, on-campus apartment or part of a floor. A variety of both virtual and safe activities and opportunities to socialize, meet new friends and build community will be offered. 
All meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – will be delivered to residence halls daily during the first two weeks on campus. Residents will submit their meal choice to Dining Services via an app. Watch your email in the next few weeks for more information about the meal selection process. 
Residents are encouraged to visit Mitchell Beach, walk in Mitchell Woods, visit with friends from other residence halls outside on campus (wearing face covering and social distancing), and get some ice cream from Michael’s Dairy. We ask you to remain on campus during this two-week quarantine if at all possible. Students will be allowed to order food or items through Instacart, Grubhub, DoorDash or other delivery services during the two-week quarantine period. 
For everyone’s safety, guests of students are not allowed on campus and students are not allowed to go home during the two-week quarantine. 
What are the quarantine requirements for commuter students?
Commuter students must self-quarantine for two weeks prior to their first day on campus and provide a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within five (5) days prior to their first day on campus. A commuter’s first day is considered the first day on campus for in-person classes, after the initial two weeks online.
What does residence life look like this fall?
Living with Others in Your Room, Suite or On-Campus Apartment
Whether you are living in a double, triple, suite or on-campus apartment, the roommates/suitemates with whom you live will be viewed as a “family unit.” Floors in some designated residence halls will also be divided into a group of rooms or “pods,” denoted by color. Pods are considered a “family unit.”
“Family Units” by Residence Hall
  • Mariner Hall: Your suitemates
  • Montauk: by the first floor as one family unit, and by apartment for the second and third floors
  • Simpson, Saunders, Matteson & Waterfront: assigned pod on your floor
Guidelines for Family Units
  • Socialize freely when in your room, pod, suite or on-campus apartment. However, we recommend face coverings and social distance whenever possible.
  • If a member of your “family unit” tests positive for COVID-19, the other(s) in your room, pod, suite or on-campus apartment are required to quarantine in place, while the positive person will be relocated to the designated isolation residence hall.
  • It is important to keep your areas clean and sanitized for the collective health and safety of everyone in your “family unit.”
Communal Bathrooms
Students will be assigned to a designated shower, sink, toilet/urinal to use in Simpson, Saunders, Matteson and all Waterfront residences.
Shared bathrooms
Mariner suites and Montauk Apartment bathrooms will be viewed as “family unit” bathrooms. Students are responsible for keeping bathrooms clean and sanitized. Mitchell will provide students with directions and appropriate cleaning supplies.
Cleaning protocols for both communal and shared bathrooms:
  • Use the disinfectant wipes placed near sinks, shower stalls and toilets.
  • Wipe/spray the basin of the tub/shower and faucet handles following use.
  • Wipe/spray sink basin/faucet handles and soap dispensers following use.
  • Close toilet lids before flushing, if lid is present.
  • Wash hands every time you use the bathroom.
  •  Minimize time in all shared bathrooms.
  • Leave cell phone in room when using bathroom.
  • Use hairdryers in room, NOT in bathroom.
  • Residents are expected to store personal hygiene items in their rooms.
  • All bathrooms in the residence halls will have the following:
  • Paper towel dispensers
  • Hands-free garbage bins 
Students in Montauk Apartments and Fair Haven will be responsible for cleaning their own kitchens and will be provided with the appropriate cleaning materials. The kitchenettes with microwaves in the other residence halls will be stocked with cleaning materials, and students are required to disinfect before and after use.
Stairwell Etiquette:
  • One set of staircases will be designated as UP and the other as DOWN.
  • If another resident is not following this protocol, yield to the person going down, and wait until the person going down has passed and then go up.
  •  If you touch the hand railing, make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
Elevator Etiquette
  • One resident is allowed in the elevator at a time.
  • If a resident sees someone in an elevator, they will be expected to wait until the next one to provide space between themselves and the other resident.
  • While waiting for the elevator, residents are expected to wait six feet apart.
Laundry Recommendations
  • Clean bed sheets, towels and clothes regularly.
  • One resident uses the laundry facilities at a time.
  • Shake dirty laundry in room, not in the laundry area.
  • Use the warmest setting for water and dry completely as both help to kill viruses.
  • Fold clothes once you return to the room.
  • Wash your hands or sanitize them after leaving the laundry room.
  • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag/hamper as well.
  • Consider storing laundry in a disposable bag.  

Visitors and Guests

Students will be prohibited from visiting other residence halls or allowing students from other residence halls in their building. Guests and non-residents are not allowed on campus during the two- week quarantine.

After the two-week quarantine, students can follow the steps below for permission to have visitors on campus:

  • Fill out a visitor request form in RoomPact.
  • Once the request is approved by your Residence Hall Director, guests can visit in common areas only.
  • Social distancing and wearing face coverings is required.
  • Guests will not be allowed in the residence halls or rooms.

Residents living within the same residence hall are permitted to visit one another after the two-week quarantine. During the two-week quarantine students should limit interactions to their “family unit” as much as possible.

Commuter students are not allowed to enter residential buildings, rooms or suites.

What about dining services?
Although the delivery of meals in the dining hall has changed to adapt to the pandemic, the same excellent food choices will be offered. 
Dining Services has made the following accommodations, which will be in place for students after the initial two-week quarantine on campus:
  • The cafeteria traffic flow in Milner Dining Hall will be one lane in and one lane out – signage will be posted.
  • Students will self-swipe their dining card.
  • Seating has been rearranged to both inside and outside the dining area to maintain social distance.
  • Disposable plates, cups and utensils will be used.
  • “Grab and go” meals will be offered.
  • Pre-ordering of meals with timed pick-up will be utilized.
What about visitors and guests?

Visitors and Guests:

  • Students will be prohibited from visiting other residence halls or allowing students from other residence halls in their building.
  • Guests and non-residents are not allowed on campus during the two-week quarantine.
  • After the two-week quarantine, students can follow the steps below for permission to have visitors on campus:
    •  Fill out a visitor request form in RoomPact.
    • Once the request is approved by your Residence Hall Director, guests can visit in common areas only.
      • Social distancing and wearing face coverings is required.
      • Guests will not be allowed in the residence halls or rooms.
  • Commuter students are not allowed to enter residential buildings, rooms or suites.
  • Residents living within the same residence hall are permitted to visit one another after the two- week quarantine. During the two-week quarantine students should limit interactions to their “family unit” as much as possible.
Will the mailroom be open?

As in other areas of the college, the mailroom will have occupancy limits but will operate during regular hours, following state and federal guidance.

What experiences can I look forward to as a new student?

Your new student experience begins prior to your arrival on campus! Register now for Virtual Beach Bash on Friday, August 7. This will be a time for you to meet other new Mariners and current students; get set up with Mitchell Dock, an app for campus events and activities; participate in virtual games and trivia contests; learn more about the First Year Experience, and enjoy the sounds of beach music. Parents will also have the opportunity to ask any lingering questions, and get to know one another. Learn more here.

Virtual Beach Bash is followed by the launch of Anchors Aweigh!, new student orientation, with many components taking place virtually during August, continuing on campus August 26-30. Classes begin on Tuesday, September 1. Watch for more information coming soon about Anchors Aweigh!, and Campus Life activities we are planning for our new students’ first weeks on campus! 

As a returning student, what can I expect this fall?

If you are a returning student, you will be invited to participate this August in some fun, virtual social activities and will also be required to complete virtual trainings to help keep our community safe when back on campus. This will be an opportunity to be informed of COVID-19 changes to campus, get to know the Residence Life Staff from your residence halls, and connect with friends and fellow residents. Watch for more details in early August!

What is the state of Athletics this fall?

Fall semester conference play has been suspended by the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) due to health and safety concerns around COVID-19. Adapting to these changes, Mitchell College Athletics is working hard at planning numerous opportunities to keep our student-athletes engaged, including use of our brand-new artificial turf fields, conditioning workouts, scrimmages, team building and leadership programs. Read more here.

Healthy Community

What are the testing and health monitoring plans?

Both resident and commuter students must self-quarantine for two weeks prior to their first day on campus.

Testing:  In addition to self-quarantine, all students are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. For students coming from a state on the Connecticut travel advisory list, current guidance recommends that the test be taken within 72 hours prior to their first day on campus; for all other students the test should be taken within five (5) days prior to their first day on campus. If test results are unavailable when a student arrives on campus, the student will remain in self-quarantine until they receive the results. Watch for more information about testing, as guidance may change. Please note that commuters’ first day is considered the first day on campus for in-person classes, after the initial two weeks online.

We are all in this together, and faculty and staff will follow the same self-quarantine and testing protocol as students.

Daily Health Monitoring: All students, faculty and staff who will be on campus will be required to self-report their temperature and symptoms daily, using a health tracker application. This information will be used to monitor the collective health of the campus and identify any potential outbreaks of COVID-19. More information about the daily health tracker is coming soon.

What other safety measures will be in place?

The health and safety of all members of our community has been a priority in our responses and decision-making to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of us must be responsible and act in ways that prevent the spread of the virus.

Our plan includes:

  • Requirement that students, faculty, staff, and approved campus vendors and visitors:
    • wear face coverings in all indoor and outdoor public spaces on campus; masks are not required in student rooms. Review face mask/covering policy.
    • adhere to handwashing protocols
    • maintain 6’ social (physical) distance whenever possible
  • Finding alternative solutions for individuals with medical conditions precluding them from wearing a face covering.
  • Quarantine protocol during first 2 weeks on campus. Details outlined under “Campus Life” FAQ.
  • Protocols for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing; details forthcoming.
  • Reducing density in residence halls and other campus buildings and identifying quarantine and isolation spaces.
  • Installation of signage to support wearing of face coverings, hand washing and social distancing practices.
  • Continuation of extensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols consistent with the state guidance on reopening colleges and universities.
Resident students also should…
  • Have a plan ready in the event of illness. A student who tests positive for COVID-19, is required to isolate; a designated residence hall with the ability to utilize telemedicine will be used for isolation for students who are COVID-19 positive. If that is not preferred, the student may go home to isolate if they have access to private transportation and a safe, secure space to isolate. If a student has been exposed to someone COVID-19 positive, that student is required to quarantine in their room for 14 days. All meals will be provided via delivery from dining services to students in isolation or quarantine.
Just so you know – According to the CDC:
  • Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.
  • Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.
What about Health & Wellness?

Mitchell College partners with Northeast Medical Group, part of Yale New Haven Health, to provide health and wellness services to students at Mitchell College and Thames at Mitchell College. The health clinic, located in the Yarnall Center, operates during regular hours Monday through Friday, and is staffed by a registered nurse, a physician’s assistant and a licensed psychologist. A dedicated COVID-19 telemedicine hotline is also available for use after hours.

How does health insurance work?

All full-time students are required to maintain adequate health insurance, either under your own private plan or under the Student Health Insurance Plan sponsored by the College. By September 15, 2020, all full-time new and returning students must visit www.gallagherstudent.com/Mitchell to enroll in a plan or sign a waiver if you choose to maintain medical coverage in a plan other than the College-sponsored plan. If you do not opt out by the deadline, you will automatically be enrolled.

How else can I do my part?

The start of the new academic year presents a “new normal” for our whole campus community. Look for our “Mariner Promise,” a pledge to keep our community safe by following specific guidelines for campus health and safety. Students will join faculty and staff in signing the Mariner Promise, coming soon.

To adapt to this new normal brought on by the uncertainty of COVID-19, we must adjust our mindset and all work together to follow guidelines for behaviors that will help mitigate any potential risks of coming back together on campus. In addition to the Mariner Promise, look for amendments to the student code of conduct.


I have questions. When will more information be shared?

As we continue to ‘adjust our sails’ and develop plans, we will send regular communications and post updates to this web page. Watch for communications in the coming days with details about housing, dining, COVID-19 testing and campus life.

Live web-based conversations about the implementation of Adjusting Our Sails are also being planned – join us to learn more and ask questions about how Mitchell will operate in the fall. Additional information about these conversations is coming soon.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) | cdc.gov

Watch for symptoms…

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as more is learned about COVID-19.

 Information on these pages is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

A few words on fit.


"Fit” is the modern buzzword of the college search process. And frankly, rightly so. As you consider your college experience, we encourage you to look for a place that feels right. It’s also a good idea to make a list of the qualities and characteristics that make a college and you a winning combination.


If you are looking for a college that: 


  • Gets to know and understand each student as a uniquely talented individual

  • Identifies potential and encourages students in very intentional ways

  • Fosters growth in each student, giving them a foundation for life and career success

  • Is small enough to deliver on the promise of a personalized experience

  • Goes beyond “career services” and offers a progressive 4-year career development model, partnering with local businesses and nonprofits for professional experience

  • Promotes an inclusive culture that encourages students to experiment in new clubs and activities

  • Is nationally recognized for its academic support systems, from professional content tutors (not students) to proven comprehensive support for students with learning differences

  • Connects students to service opportunities that impact their world

  • Is in a location that offers access to New England’s natural places and some of America’s greatest cities




…Mitchell College delivers in a powerful way.

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