Ensign College to transition to remote classes after Thanksgiving

Ensign College announced Thursday, Aug. 20, it will suspend after Thanksgiving all in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester and transition to 100% remote classes through the end of the semester.

The college, which will officially transition its name from the former LDS Business College beginning Sept. 1, stated in a press release that the decision comes from “an abundance of caution” to help limit the possible spread of COVID-19 on campus through the month of December.

Students traveling home for the Thanksgiving break are encouraged to finish the semester from home.

Brigham Young University made a similar decision when they announced plans in June to return to in-person classes for its fall 2020 semester. BYU-Hawaii’s fall semester courses, meanwhile, will all be conducted online.  

The Ensign College announced earlier this year on June 11 its plans to offer a hybrid format, with both on-campus and online courses for the fall semester, which begins on Sept. 14.

LDS Business College students walk out of the school in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. The college announced on Tuesday that it will become Ensign College on Sept. 1.
LDS Business College students walk out of the school in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. The college announced on Tuesday that it will become Ensign College on Sept. 1. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In the June 11 announcement, Ensign College President Bruce C. Kusch said, “We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus this fall. As we begin our first semester as Ensign College, gathering on campus will be a blessing. We recognize that not everyone may feel comfortable returning to face-to-face classes, so the College has worked diligently to provide a variety of instructional options all focused on keeping our students and employees safe.”

The college is offering remote courses or hybrid courses where students alternate days on campus with remote attendance to help minimize congestion on campus. Smaller class sizes should help enable appropriate social distancing in classrooms. 

Face masks and hand sanitizer are also being made available to students, faculty and staff.

Because of travel and visa restrictions, international students are being encouraged to enroll in remote sections of their desired courses. 

The Aug. 20 announcement noted that changing information, data and regulations from local and federal agencies are being closely monitored as school officials make plans for the winter 2021 semester.