Coronavirus Information

The health and safety of the Cornerstone University community are important to us. In the coming days, CU will communicate information about the steps we're taking for the upcoming months and in preparation for the fall semester.

Cornerstone will be tenacious in our resolve to help our students achieve their academic goals. 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.

Letter from President Stowell

Academics

Highlighting the plan for Return to Operations (RTO) is an academic structure of "agile teaching," in which faculty provide multiple modes of engagement and a variety of teaching and learning tools that allow quick changes and adaptability. The concept assumes face-to-face, in-classroom learning but also allows students to benefit from a personalized learning experience, particularly if those situations are impacted by COVID-19. Highlights of Cornerstone's academic delivery include:

  • Scheduling of on-campus classes to enable and optimize social distancing if necessary.
  • Flexibility of course structure to, if desired by the student, allow for remote synchronized (real-time to the in-classroom experience) learning.
  • A "contingency plan" for each class and how it would adapt the course materials and assessments if forced to move online.
  • Added investment in classroom technology to enhance both on-campus and online learning.
  • Comprehensive student resources for academic support, technology training, career counseling and mental health wellness.

Cornerstone's Professional & Graduate Studies division is actively enrolling students for June, July and August cohorts. On-campus instruction will resume when the governor's orders regarding COVID-19 permit a return to campus and in-person classes, potentially in July or August. If you are a prospective student interested in a degree program request information or email pgs@cornerstone.edu, and we'll contact you to review program offerings; you can also schedule an appointment or contact an enrollment counselor.

Safety

The fall Return to Operations (RTO) calls for disciplined practices in physical distancing, campus sanitization, illness triage, virus testing and many other measures to counter the spread of COVID-19 should the situation require. The university has an inventory of masks to comply with Kent County and the State of Michigan executive orders. Campus personnel are trained in utilizing CDC recommended cleaning agents, equipment, techniques and protocols (e.g., electrostatic sprayers, targeted cleaning of high touchpoints, etc.). The university has hired a third-party contractor to provide a quick response and "deep clean" of any area when needed.

In addition, a detailed protocol for students, faculty and staff who have symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive for the infection will be in place. While the Cornerstone experience will continue to be rich in the fostering of community, if necessary, it will do so with physical distancing and smaller groups. Additionally, the university will implement:

  • Self-screening, tracking and tracing mechanisms for those who are symptomatic of COVID-19.
  • Procedures for self-isolation, quarantine and support for those who have tested positive for the virus.
  • Measures for those individuals who are immuno-vulnerable.

Full details regarding measures to mitigate the spread of illness will be released in June. Meanwhile, Cornerstone staff continues to work closely with local health officials, various higher education organizations and collegiate athletic associations to collaborate on the best practices for the RTO.

Commencement

To honor the class of 2020, Cornerstone made available an On-Demand Virtual Commencement on May 8. The special webpages features every graduate's name, graduate status, cohort identification, program and photo. Additionally, you'll find annual awards, messages from faculty, comments from graduates, remarks from Dr. Stowell and more.

Meanwhile, we would have loved nothing more than to send caps and gowns to all grads. However, the vendor through whom we purchase the apparel just completed the production of the order. As soon as we are able to get caps and gowns in hand, we'll be in touch with grads!

Later this year, we'll host a special event in Christ Chapel to celebrate our 2020 grads. The highlight of the event will certainly be each graduate walking across the stage to the announcement of their name. You will receive invitations to the event. As you can imagine, the timing of this event is still in question due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation.

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.

University Reports and Additional Resources