Cornerstone University faculty and staff are dedicated to the academic success and well-being of each student during the coronavirus pandemic. Our community embraces an expansive sense of possibility, rooted in biblical hope, that responds to change and adversity with intelligence and creativity. Our faculty and staff bring dynamic attention and resourcefulness to every encounter, and this will be no different.
While federal, state and county guidelines may change, the values of Cornerstone remain the same: We strive to bring each and every student a rigorous, Christ-centered education.
Currently, 72% of Cornerstone employees are vaccinated. This information reflects responses from 88% of employees who participated in a voluntary survey.
Course Delivery and Agile Teaching
Cornerstone is excited to be offering face-to-face instruction for the 2021-22 academic year. The university will also continue to offer many adult degree programs and courses in a fully online context. Faculty are prepared to adapt when needed to meet the learning needs of this unique season.
Health Preparations in the Classroom
Classrooms and public spaces are continuing to be cleaned with CDC-recommended disinfectants. We have a protocol in place for what students, faculty and staff should do in the event that they test positive.
“We have a great plan in place to ensure our students are safe, engaged in high-quality learning experiences, and perhaps most importantly, plugged directly into a Christ-centered relational community each day,” said Dr. Jeremy Osborn, professor of communications at Cornerstone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will classes be structured for the 2021-22 academic year?
Our plan at present is to offer face-to-face residential classes. The university will follow guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to ensure safety for all students, faculty and staff.
If classes are on ground, will there be a maximum cap on the class size?
The university will follow the State of Michigan and Kent County guidelines to determine class sizes.
Housing and Dining
CU Food Service wants to assure our students and guests that we are working to adapt our practices and procedures to deal with the added challenges of COVID-19. As part of our response, we continue to rely on the direction of the Kent County Health Department, industry leaders and CDC guidelines. We seek to improve upon best practices, methods and standards in our continued commitment to lowering the health risks and providing a welcoming campus environment for our students and guests.
The following protocols are based on the current guidelines and recommendations from the Kent County Health Department. Protocols will be updated as state requirements change.
- All walk-in sales are touchless. Students can scan in their ID card or payment can be made by credit card in the dining hall or the Grab-n-Go Café.
- Everyone is encouraged to sanitize their hands before entering the dining hall. Sanitization stations are available at the entrance and throughout campus.
- Use of all personal cups and water bottles is temporarily suspended. Only dining hall dishware may be used in the Dining Commons.
Dining Hall Protocols
Our Dining Commons will be open and we are excited about serving you! Hand sanitizer is available as you enter the Dining Commons.
Cleaning and Sanitation Protocols
- Food Service has implemented heightened cleaning practices using CDC-recommended disinfectant.
- High-contact surfaces are sanitized regularly per CDC guidelines.
As we continue to adjust and adapt, Food Service remains committed to the safety, health and well-being of our community. Our focus is to continue monitoring and tracking directives and guidelines from the Kent County Health Department, remaining flexible and able to effectively and rapidly adjust our plans.
Quarantine space is being set aside on campus for residential students who are presumed positive for COVID-19. We are working with our Community Life and Health Services teams to ensure that this space helps support and serve each student well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will students, faculty and staff have to take part in daily health checks?
At this time, we are not planning to have daily health checks (screening forms) but ask any staff, faculty or student that isn’t feeling well to refrain from being in public areas on campus.
Will community spaces be available?
The Corum, Faber, Miller Library, Bolthouse and other common areas will all be open spaces this academic year.
If a student, staff or faculty member is symptomatic, they are advised to contact their primary care provider immediately for advice on testing and next steps.
Following the guidelines of the Kent County Health Department, an individual who tests positive should isolate for five days, and everyone in their immediate household should do the same. (Immediate household is defined as a living environment using a shared bathroom(s).)
If you have a known exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive, you should quarantine immediately and consult with your medical provider for advice on testing. If you develop symptoms after a known exposure, testing is advised.
Visitors and Guests
If a campus visitor or guest is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.), we ask that they refrain from entering campus facilities.
Traditional Undergraduate Student Life
Our Health Services team is prepared to offer safe and trustworthy care, while also providing crucial partnership with our faculty and community life staff to help you navigate COVID-related questions and concerns. And as the anxiety and stress of COVID continues to weigh on each of us in unique ways, our counseling team at The Well is equipped to provide caring and confidential counseling support with both in-person and virtual capabilities.
Athletics is continuing to work closely with our national organization (NAIA) and regional conference (WHAC) to map out ongoing plans for our student-athletes to train, practice and compete.
Cornerstone is not requiring staff, faculty or students to be vaccinated.
New Student Frequently Asked Questions
What precautions have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to prevent an outbreak or case of COVID-19 from happening on campus? How will Cornerstone ensure the campus is clean and sanitized regularly?
Cornerstone will practice all of the safety recommendations from our local health officials to guard against the spread of the virus.
We will be proactively disinfecting all common spaces and restrooms on a daily basis with hospital-grade disinfectant. We will also encourage all of our students, faculty and staff to practice best health disciplines such as:
- Washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick. If you have symptoms, avoid contact with others and immediately notify our health professionals on campus.
Will there be hand sanitizing stations around campus and in the residential facilities?
Hand sanitizing stations will be located at the main entrance of every building on campus.
Will there be on-campus student activities?
We believe that student activities are a core necessity of a community where our students can flourish, and we are planning a full menu of student activities.
Do I need to submit additional health forms this year in light of COVID-19?
No additional forms are needed at this time. We will be asking students to notify Health Services if any COVID-19 symptoms are present.
Adult and Graduate Students
Health and Safety
Safety measures are set in place to support the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff both in the classroom and around facilities. Cornerstone University staff continue to work closely with medical professionals, state government and other higher education institutions in developing best practices to preserve the health and safety of the community.
With a commitment to lifelong learning, programs at PGS are continuing to launch. We’re currently enrolling students for upcoming cohorts. Students interested in continuing the conversation about their educational journey can connect with their enrollment counselor through a virtual meeting, phone call or an on-campus appointment.
Innovative Approach to Learning
Improvements in technology and acquiring other resources have opened the door to explore alternative methods of instruction such as live streaming. This bi-modal approach, meaning two forms of delivery, invites students to be in the classroom (CUOn-Site) or engage synchronously (CULive) from a remote location. Faculty are continuing to engage in training best practices for live video courses that serve both students in the classroom and those participating virtually. These resources include high-definition cameras and audio devices along with state-of-the-art web conferencing software.
Through these methods of instruction, as well as our 100% online (CUAnytime) option, our students are provided opportunities to advance in their education, no matter their circumstances. With a dedication to dynamic, innovative solutions, students are equipped to move forward in their educational goals.
The Facilities and Physical Plant Department at Cornerstone University places the overall health and safety of the campus community as a top priority.
In response to these new challenges, we have and continue to rely heavily upon the wisdom of industry leaders and partners. This is critical as we seek to strategically implement best practices, methods and standards in our continued commitment toward hospitality and maintaining a safe and welcoming campus environment for our students, faculty and staff.
Below are practices and procedures that Facilities and Physical Plant has implemented in response to COVID-19.
- All Facilities employees are trained for and are implementing and following state and CDC-recommended PPE usage and social distancing practices.
- Housekeeping personnel are trained and utilizing CDC-recommended cleaning agents, equipment, techniques and protocols (e.g., electrostatic sprayers, targeted cleaning of “touchpoints,” increased and strategic cleaning cycles, etc.).
- Strategic third-party contractor utilization for quick-response “deep clean” and “disinfecting” when applicable.
- Systematic deep clean and lockdown of unoccupied campus spaces as part of summer turnover.
- All dorm building corridors cleaned and disinfected by Modernistic.
General Maintenance and Construction
- APPA, ASHRAE and industry leader-recommended HVAC and Air-System measures, protocols and adjustments in place (e.g., increased outside air intake in high-occupancy areas, higher efficiency filtration where applicable, etc.).
- Implementation of ASHRAE/ANSI and CDC-recommended measures for re-commissioning dormant buildings in preparation for occupancy (e.g., re-commissioning of water systems, mechanical system checks, etc.).
- Mandated written policies and procedures outlining regulation and compliance with CDC-recommended best practices from all external contractors.
- Classrooms in academic spaces are cleaned twice daily, including disinfectant wipe down of surfaces and touchpoints.
- All public (non-private) restrooms and community restrooms in dorms are deep-cleaned twice daily.
- Focused routine cleaning of high touch point areas throughout each day (e.g., elevator buttons, door hardware, etc.).
As we continue to navigate this new and challenging time, the Facilities and Physical Plant Department will continue our commitment to the safety, health and well-being of our campus community. Adaptability and a proactive approach is paramount; and as new information becomes available pertaining to SARS-CoV-2, our focus moving forward is to remain up to date on the most current research, policies and relevant best practices in order to respond, adjust and plan accordingly. In addition, we will continue to lean heavily upon industry professionals such as ASHRAE, ANSI, APPA and OSHA to ensure we are implementing the best possible protocols and procedures into our operations as we continue to serve our campus community.
Symptoms, Prevention and Screening
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough, shortness of breath and have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or live in or recently traveled from an area with the ongoing spread of coronavirus. Call before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Spectrum Health’s COVID-19 Free Screening Hot Line is 616.391.2380, or the Kent County Health Department Communicable Disease Line at 616.632.7228.
Cornerstone is proactively disinfecting all common spaces and restrooms on a daily basis with hospital-grade disinfectant. The best prevention for viruses is to:
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you have symptoms, avoid contact with others.