Missouri State University-West Plains officials announced the school will take a phased approach to opening for the fall semester.

“We are working on a plan to slowly bring faculty and staff back to campus to prepare for opening this fall,” Chancellor Shirley Lawler said. “We will follow all city, county, state and federal COVID-19 directives, but we anticipate parts of the campus will reopen to the public on June 1 with social distancing guidelines in place.”

Updates on open facilities and offices will be posted to the university’s Campus Operations website,, she added.

Missouri State-West Plains’ summer session classes, which begin June 8, will be offered entirely online. It is during this time that faculty and staff will be brought to campus on varying timelines, Lawler said.

On-campus STudent Advising and Registration (STAR) Orientation sessions, which normally take place throughout the summer beginning in May, will be offered in July and August. Social distancing standards will be observed during these day-long sessions, Lawler said.

Other orientation options will be available for students who are unable to come to the on-campus STAR sessions. Contact the Advising and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS) at 417-255-7222 or email for more information.

Fall semester classes, which begin Aug. 17, will be offered either in an online, blended or modified seated format, Lawler said.

“There will be an increase in online offerings, and we will be making adjustments to our blended and seated classes to allow for social distancing,” Lawler said. “We also will offer a combination of online and seated learning environments in many courses.”

Distancing guidelines are being established for housing, dining, university events and gathering places on campus, and additional cleaning protocols for campus facilities are being put in place, as well, she added.

“The well-being of our students, employees and the community is our priority as we work to develop our reopening plan,” Lawler stressed. “As the campus comes back to life in the fall, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and implement policies that reflect the national, state and local restrictions in place at the time.

“We are looking forward to a return to campus for the fall, but we also will be ready to move to alternative delivery methods again if circumstances warrant it,” she added.

For more information about the campus and its COVID-19 response, visit

For more information about registering for summer and/or fall classes,

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