Administrators at Berea College have announced that in-person instruction, student labor and other on-campus educational activities will require vaccination for all returning students for the upcoming fall term.
Now that vaccines are widely available in Kentucky and other states from which Berea’s students come, members of Berea’s campus community can be vaccinated this spring or summer. As a result, Berea will require vaccination for students returning to campus for the fall 2021 term. To date, nearly 40 other colleges and universities have adopted similar requirements.
“Throughout this current academic year, we sought to protect the health of our campus community,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “We implemented a successful combination of physical distancing, masking, restricting travel away from campus along with other new policies that resulted in a minimal number of positive COVID-19 cases. For the upcoming academic year, Berea will continue to protect the health of the College community through COVID-19 vaccinations.”
The vaccination policy was developed after surveying students, staff and faculty who provided helpful input in the decision-making process. Specific exemptions for approved medical and religious reasons will be accommodated, but the expectation is that Berea’s campus and classrooms will overwhelmingly be populated by vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all.
Enrolled students who do not wish to be vaccinated for reasons other than the approved medical and religions exemptions can select from a limited list of online courses. However, since they will not be on campus, they cannot participate in Berea’s Labor Program. Any first-year students who choose not to be vaccinated will be offered a deferment, and other students will be able to take or extend a leave of absence if they do not wish to take courses online.