Lyon College is the first academic institution in Arkansas to announce that it won’t have in-person classes this fall. College President W. Joseph King said Friday (July 24) students will conduct classes online and only international students will be allowed to live on campus along with other students who demonstrate a special need to live on campus.
“With a heavy heart, I am reaching out to inform you that on Thursday, the Board of Trustees determined remote instruction for the fall would be in the best interest of the college,” King said. “While we understand the emotional and financial repercussions of this decision, we must put our students and community members’ safety first. Students are the heart of our mission, and we must protect them and our commitment to them.”
Students will remain home this semester to participate in remote instruction. The college will not have athletic competition until after Dec. 31, 2020. However, administrators and the athletic department are looking into spring 2021 athletic opportunities for fall and winter athletes.
King said the college’s IT department has adopted additional services to offer effective remote learning options, and he expressed his confidence in the Lyon faculty’s ability to continue providing holistic education.
Provost Melissa Taverner added that faculty attended a series of workshops in June and July to prepare for the possibility of remote and hybrid courses.
“From a basic overview of how to think about online education from a pedagogical standpoint, to targeted workshops on the use of discussion boards, how to use small breakout groups in an online class, and fostering meaningful discussions and interactions, the faculty have worked with a team of instructional technologists to prepare both for hybrid and fully online instruction,” she said.
The college will continue to remotely offer student services, including counseling, health and wellness, and academic support, among others. Students were advised that Dean of Students Patrick Mulick would contact them with further information.
Students will not be charged for fall room and board unless they apply and are eligible to stay on campus. In addition, the college is issuing a grant to all students’ accounts to acknowledge their resilience. The Perseverance Grant will reduce each student’s remaining balance for fall tuition by 15% and the college will continue the grant into the spring semester with a 7.5% reduction to students’ remaining spring balance.