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Safe and strong, WWU.

Walla Walla University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment. As part of this commitment, we are working to deploy safety strategies guided by the following principles:

  • Academic strength and integrity. Teaching is at the heart of what we do, and whether face-to-face, online, or in hybrid formats, our faculty are committed to building engaging learning experiences that support the success of students.
  • Attention from faculty and staff. We remain committed to being accessible and available for personal and helpful connections with you.
  • Community. Engagement with one another is essential to quality education, and we will continue to nurture the kind of community Walla Walla University is known for.
  • Responsibility. Safety is not just a mandate. We recognize it as an opportunity to highlight our care for one another and for those in our local communities.
  • Hope. Together we can create an experience that will be meaningful and that will strengthen you now and for the future.
Fall plans
June 18, 2020

Fall plans

WWU announces adjusted start and end dates for fall quarter


Fall quarter schedule

The following dates have been established for a revised fall quarter academic schedule:

What are the dates for the modified fall quarter schedule?

  • July 13—Students may sign up for a move-in date at wallawalla.edu/residence-halls
  • Sept. 4—Students on the College Place campus will be invited to move into residence halls by appointment
  • Sept. 8—JumpStart begins
  • Sept. 14—Classes begin on the College Place campus
  • Sept. 21—Master of social work classes begin on College Place, Billings, and Missoula campuses
  • Sept. 28—Classes begin on the Portland campus
  • Nov. 22–24—Fall quarter final exams for College Place, Billings, and Missoula campuses
  • Nov. 24—Fall quarter ends for College Place, Billings, and Missoula campuses
  • Dec. 7–9—Fall quarter final exams for Portland campus
  • Jan. 4—Winter quarter begins

College Place campus

  • Classes on the WWU campus in College Place will begin on Monday, Sept. 14, two weeks earlier than normal. Final exams for the quarter will take place Sunday, Nov. 22, through Tuesday, Nov. 24. The quarter will conclude on Nov. 24, two days before Thanksgiving day.
  • Students in the WWU doctor of social work program, who do much of their work online, will follow this schedule as well.
  • Students on the WWU College Place campus will be invited to move into residence halls in phases starting Friday, Sept. 4.
  • JumpStart, the new student orientation on the College Place campus, will begin Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Portland campus

Classes on the WWU Portland campus will begin Monday, Sept. 28, and will continue through Tuesday, Nov. 24. Portland campus students will finish the remainder of the quarter online, concluding with online final exams Dec. 7 to 9.


Master of social work programs

Classes for master of social work programs on the WWU campuses in College Place and Billings and Missoula, Montana, will begin Monday, Sept. 21, one week earlier than normal, and will conclude Nov. 24. Students in the WWU doctor of social work program, who do much of their work online will follow the schedule outlined above for undergraduates on the main College Place campus.


Winter quarter start date

For all campuses, WWU expects winter quarter to begin as currently scheduled on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.


What do I do if I have plans that will prevent me from being back on campus on the new start date?

In order to give students the full advantage for successful completion of fall quarter 2020, it is our hope that they can return to campus:

  • No later than Sept. 7, 2020, for first-time freshmen.
  • No later than Sept. 13, 2020, for all other undergraduate students on the College Place campus.

If you are unable to be in attendance by the date listed above and are planning to attend fall quarter, please complete the Fall 2020 Late Start Petition form so we can explore options for your return to campus. Each request will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Employee re-entry plan

While WWU is monitoring and carefully adhering to Washington state’s phased approach to reopening, for the safety of our campus family the university may choose not to operate as fully as any state reopening phase might allow.

Once Walla Walla County has entered the state’s third phase of reopening, WWU employees will be invited to return to our campuses in phases. University administrators have developed this approach based on departments’ needs, total building occupancy, workspace readiness, and ability for WWU to provide support services and safety equipment to employees in those spaces.

Meanwhile, all employees should work from home if at all possible until they are asked to return to campus. An employee may receive permission from their vice president to return to campus intermittently on a case-by-case basis until they are asked to return to their regular on-campus duties.

Employees granted campus access will be responsible to know and follow all public health protocols set by university, state and county officials (including social distancing and mask requirements, handwashing guidelines, etc.).

WWU employees who believe they will not be able to return to regular on-campus duties due to COVID-19 and the accompanying risks or challenges must submit an Accommodation Request Form. Work-from-home arrangements are not authorized outside of this process; employees must apply for an accommodation and supervisors will be consulted by the Human Resources Department when making a determination.

Student entry plan

WWU announced an adjusted schedule for fall quarter to provide students the best opportunity to complete their academic quarter as safely as possible.

Students will be invited to return to campus in phases, by appointment, starting with the first-time freshmen. Move-in appointments can be made online starting July 13.

Students will be responsible to know and follow all public health protocols set by university, state and county officials (including social distancing and mask requirements, handwashing guidelines, etc.). Student Life will provide each student with information about WWU’s COVID Code of Conduct as well as any sanctioning protocols for conduct that is not allowed.

We recognize that the adjusted fall quarter schedule may be difficult for some students. If you are unable to be in attendance when fall quarter begins, but you are planning to attend fall quarter, complete the Walla Walla University Fall 2020 Late Start Petition Form as soon as possible. 

Campus spaces

The safety of our campus family is a priority, and adjustments have been made to classroom and public spaces to accommodate social distancing. 

  • Classes held in person will be limited in size so that students can maintain 6 feet of physical distance during instruction.
  • Face coverings will be required on campus. In most cases, this means cloth face coverings inside all public buildings and outdoors where physical distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible to maintain. The university will supply students, faculty and staff with a limited number of washable face masks.
  • Traffic patterns for entering and exiting buildings are currently being evaluated and plexiglass shields and other extra safety barriers are likely to be installed to add an extra line of protection in key areas.
  • Food services in our campus dining hall will include special serving arrangements, including a mobile app that will allow for students to order in advance and pick up their meals in a convenient location where safe traffic flow protocols can be maintained.

Screening, reporting and contact tracing

All members of our campus community are responsible for daily self-screening and personal health evaluation prior to coming onto WWU campuses, looking for:

  • 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

See the Coronavirus Self-Checker provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for guidance.

Hygiene, protection and respiratory etiquette

Maintaining vigilant personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette is one way to care for one another and for those in our local communities.

Hands should be washed frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water — especially at the beginning and at the end of your time on our campuses, prior to mealtime, and after using the restroom. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout campus and can be used when hand washing is not possible.

As required by Washington state, anyone on our campus properties must wear a face covering in indoor public spaces (classrooms, hallways, breakrooms, recreational facilities, restrooms, lobbies, concert halls or other shared spaces) when not eating or drinking and outdoors where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions to the face mask requirement are made for:

  • Children younger than 2 years of age
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or is communicating with someone who relies on language cues such as facial markers and expression and mouth movements as part of communication
  • Individuals who has a medical condition or disability that makes wearing a mask inappropriate
  • Individuals who are isolated in their own work or living area with nobody in the close vicinity

Learn more about wearing and caring for cloth face covers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and explore myths and facts about cloth face coverings from the Washington State Department of Health.

Cover your mouth the inside of your elbow, or with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water is not available use hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Learn more about coughing and sneezing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sanitize high-touch personal items frequently, including your phone, computer, tablet, keys, water bottles, etc. Learn more about cleaning and disinfecting your living space and personal items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Accommodations for vulnerable people

Some people should take extra precautions or are at increased risk for severe illness, including:

WWU employees who believe they will not be able to return to regular on-campus duties due to COVID-19 and the accompanying risks or challenges must submit an Accommodation Request Form. Work-from-home arrangements are not authorized outside of this process; employees must apply for an accommodation and supervisors will be consulted by the Human Resources Department when making a determination.

Social distancing

Students and WWU employees are expected to limit the number of close-contact exposures, and avoid congregating with many people at a time. 

  • Avoid gatherings in small or confined areas.
  • Hold meetings virtually, when possible.
  • Don’t share personal items or use others’ personal items (including phones, computers, tablets, keys, water bottles, etc.).
  • Large social gathering will not be allowed.

We realize that added safety procedures and protocols may be less convenient, but physically distanced instruction, work habits and activities, carried out in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines, will help protect the health of our campus community.

Learn more about social distancing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Testing and COVID care

If you are sick, in self-isolation or in quarantine, a WWU Care Team can help identify your needs and provide resources such as food, supplies, medical consultation, spiritual connection and mental health resources. Request WWU Care Team help.

Cleaning protocols

Sanitize high-touch personal items frequently, including your phone, computer, tablet, keys, water bottles, etc. Learn more about cleaning and disinfecting your living space and personal items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CARES Grant for emergency funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and on March 27, 2020, was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump to provide fast and direct economic assistance for Americans. Walla Walla University received more than $718,000 in federal CARES Grant funds to award to students affected financially by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

WWU students with highest level of need have already been awarded a first round of funding. Applications are now open to other students who may be eligible for a federal CARES Grant due to financial need. 

To be considered for this funding students must explain how they have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and outline how they will use the funds. Funds can be used for food, housing, class materials, technology, health care or child-care expenses. Payment of a school bill is not considered an allowed expense.

Only students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) and have filed a FAFSA will be considered for the CARES Grant. Students who are not eligible to complete a FAFSA will be considered for a limited amount of emergency funds donated to WWU. Applications will now be reviewed for students who previously applied and were denied.

Funds are awarded to eligible students in the order applications are received. Priority is given to students with the most need. Distribution of grants will end when the funds are depleted.

Learn more or apply for the grant at wallawalla.edu/CARES. If you have questions about how to apply or need assistance, please send an email to financial.aid@wallawalla.edu.

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