STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University President James Hurley announced today that Texans can expect a traditional college experience for fall 2021, assuming current COVID-19 trends hold.
“As students and families plan for the fall 2021 semester, it’s important they know now that Tarleton is looking forward to more normal operations — like those prior to the pandemic,” he said. “We’re committed to the traditional college experience that our students love and expect. It’s time we bring it back.”
Fall plans are based on current CDC forecasts, robust research advancements and increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The safety of our Tarleton family remains top priority,” Dr. Hurley said. “We will continue to follow all federal, state and local public health guidelines, and be ready to pivot. But for now we’re preparing for more of the things that make this place so special.”
Tarleton moved classes online right after spring break 2020 to mitigate the spread. Campus housing and dining services were available for students who remained in Stephenville.
On May 1 the university announced its gates would fully reopen for fall 2020, with classes offered in two delivery modes, online and HyFlex (a synchronous blend of face-to-face and online).
In preparation, every nook of every Tarleton location was sanitized, and plans were made for deep cleaning throughout the semester and beyond. Seating in classrooms and lab spaces was reconfigured to meet CDC physical distancing guidelines.
Hand sanitizing stations were located around campus, and signs throughout the university reminded Texans to observe safety protocols. Everyone — students, faculty, staff, visitors — donned face coverings.
Athletic competitions moved to spring 2021, with a full Homecoming planned March 15-20, culminating with a game between the NCAA Division I Texans and the Midwestern State Mustangs.
“We really didn’t miss a beat,” Dr. Hurley said of Tarleton’s fall 2020 return. “Our approach was logistically challenging, labor intensive and expensive but the right thing to do. And it proved successful.
“Successful enough to remain fully open for spring 2021, shatter enrollment records for three semesters running, and make way for a more traditional fall 2021.”
Tarleton’s enrollment is up 6.46 percent over spring 2020. Fall enrollment increased 6.42 percent from fall 2019, and summer saw a 10.19 percent growth over the previous year.
Application for fall 2021 is open, with the first day of classes Aug. 19. For more information on how to become a Tarleton Texan, visit www.tarleton.edu/becomeatexan/index.html.