Fall 2020

Fall 2020

Students walking across campus in autumn.
students on campus in fall

Top Title
NNU Fall Return Plan

Bottom Title
Here for Good

Last Updated June 5, 4:25pm MDT

Regardless of what comes our way, NNU is committed to being here for good—providing the excellent education and incredible community for which we are known.

Our 2020-21 Planning Team is meeting regularly and actively working on plans to safely return to campus for face-to-face classes and residential living this fall. These plans are aligned with guidelines and recommendations by leading health experts, the CDC and state and local officials and include both broad, general principles that will become our new norms as we amplify health and safety precautions for our campus community as well as protocols that will provide targeted intervention, treatment and isolation of individuals should it become necessary.

We are the first to acknowledge that some things may look a little different and that we may need to modify the ways we choose to do things. All of us will be called upon to be flexible and adaptable as we respond to an ever-changing situation. However, we are confident that together we will find new, creative and innovative ways to ensure that the essence of who NNU is continues to flourish—regardless of what limitations, disruptions or challenges COVID-19 may create—and that NNU will be, as it always has been, Here for Good.

As plans are made, you can be assured:

  • The health and safety of our community will remain our top priority
  • The exceptional value of an NNU education will continue
  • The incredible community experience that helps define NNU will occur
  • NNU is Here for Good

Health & Safety

As has always been the case, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and neighboring community continues to be our priority in the plans we are making. We are closely monitoring guidelines and recommendations by leading health experts, the CDC and state and local officials and integrating them into our plans.

Educational Value

NNU faculty are gifted educators who are extremely experienced in creating a learning rich experience. This summer they are re-envisioning their courses to allow for physical distancing and other safety precautions and to be ready for a variety of possible scenarios that will allow for a seamless quality education for every student.

Vibrant Community

Community is the heart of an NNU experience. We are working diligently to make plans that will encompass spiritual, social, residential and co-curricular activities that will encourage our community to flourish safely within the guidelines provided by health experts.

Academic Calendar

In order to best preserve the excellent on-campus education and robust community we are known for—while simultaneously prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff—NNU’s 20-21 Planning Team has made some important modifications to our traditional undergraduate academic calendar. The updated Fall 2020 undergraduate academic calendar has all of the details of the revisions, but highlights include:

  • Overall Fall Semester Dates: Aug. 31-Dec. 10 The semester will begin one day earlier and conclude one week earlier than scheduled on the original calendar. By compressing the fall schedule, we were able to ensure comparable class time is maintained.
  • Phased Move-in: Aug. 27-30 Residential students will move in over a several day period to allow for appropriate physical distancing. New students will likely move in beginning Thursday, Aug. 27; Returning students will likely begin moving in Friday, Aug. 28. Details about specific move-in times will be communicated soon.
  • First Day of Classes: Aug. 31, 2020 This is one day earlier than on the original calendar.
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 26-29 In order to reduce the health risk associated with travel, students will be encouraged to stay on campus to celebrate Thanksgiving with their NNU family. Those students who choose to travel outside of Idaho for the break will complete the final two weeks of fall semester remotely. They will continue to be well-supported by faculty so they can finish their semester well.
  • Finals Week: Dec. 7-10 This is a week earlier than on the original calendar.

*The 20-21 Planning Team is currently reviewing the Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar to determine if any modifications need to be made.


NSO, Move-in, and Residential Life FAQs

What will NSO look like this year? 

It won’t look exactly like it has in the past, but it will maintain all of the key elements that will help new students get to know campus and introduce them to the amazing community they are joining. Adjustments are currently underway to ensure that events can continue in a safe and healthy way. Those planning NSO are creating a new schedule with phased and scheduled move in, transitioning some events (IT sessions and academic sessions) online so they can be completed prior to arrival, and moving some events outside and/or modifying them to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Additionally, all those who participate will be asked to practice physical distancing and wear face coverings in common areas. 

What will NSO look like for families? 

We know that this is an important milestone for your families, too. As is the case with all of the decisions our planning team is making, the health and safety of our NNU community is our utmost priority. Family activities will likely be limited and parents can plan to depart after a brunch and modified scarf ceremony on Friday, August 28th. This will allow new students time to begin to fully engage and adapt to life as a Nighthawk before classes start on Monday, August 31! 

What “health” protocols will there be for NSO? 

There will be a health screening for ALL new and returning students prior to receiving approval to move into the residence halls and apartments.

Will Freshman Retreat take place this year?

Absolutely. We know that Freshman Retreat is a significant part of building community within our freshman class.  We’ll leave on Saturday morning, August 29, head to Cascade Idaho to our traditional freshman retreat site and return to campus on Sunday afternoon/evening so we can begin classes the next day. The Planning team is currently working to determine what health protocols will be put in place to ensure the safety and health of those who will be involved. More details will be available soon.

How will we know when we can move in? 

New students will move in on Thursday Aug. 27th in two scheduled shifts: the first from 9 am-noon and the second from 1 pm - 4 pm. Students will receive communication from Student Life as to which shift they are scheduled. If the assigned time doesn’t work, call or email Student Life. Returning students will begin moving in on Aug. 28th following the mandatory health screening.

What will be expected for those who are helping with move-in? 

In order to maintain the health and safety of our community, it is expected that all those who are participating in move-in wear a face covering in common areas, practice good hygiene, follow the marked directions for stairwells and traffic patterns, and check in with Admissions before coming to the residence hall.

What will expectations be in the dorms? 

To encourage good health practices, students will be asked to arrange bedding so that you can sleep head to toe opposite your roommate, eliminate bunks where possible, follow stairwells marked for traffic patterns, and wash hands frequently and engage in good personal hygiene. Additionally, there will be enhanced cleaning of common areas and bathrooms

How will dining at the Dex be handled? 

We are removing tables and chairs to establish good traffic patterns and physical distancing, eliminating self-serve options, providing additional seating in Walden Hall (adjacent to the Dex) when needed and adding additional cleaning protocols. We will continue working with Sodexo (our food service provider)to follow food service industry best practices. 

COVID-19 Updates

This page provides the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and the impact it is having on the NNU community. Maintaining health and ensuring the safety of our community is of utmost priority.

You are welcome to contact covid19@nnu.edu with any questions you may have. This email inbox is being monitored and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

  • 6/5/20, 4:25pm - The academic calendar has been adjusted for fall 2020.
  • 5/18/20, 8:25am - Commencement has been rescheduled for Labor Day weekend. Exact time and details will be released at a later date.
  • 5/11/20, 4:20pm - The COVID-19 Task Force has developed the Employee Return to Work Plan and shared it with all NNU employees. The plan consists of four stages that are informed by Governor Little's four stage plan for Idaho. Stage One runs from May 1 to May 15 with subsequent stages phased in every two week depending on the containment of the virus.
  • 5/1/20, 4:15pm - President Joel Pearsall announced that plans are underway for students to return to campus for fall semester. A fall planning task force has been appointed to create an innovative plan that focuses on the health and safety of our campus community while simultaneously providing the transformative education and unmatched community that NNU is known for. It is anticipated that more details of the plan will be available mid-May. Read President Pearsall’s full statement.