Onsite Class Guidelines 2021-2022

Please check back frequently as plans develop for the restart of Roberts Wesleyan College campus and Northeastern Seminary in the 2021-2022 school year.



Update for Northeastern Students  |  August 16, 2021

As you get ready for the fall semester, we wanted to share some news about life on campus in the fall and what you need to know as you return to campus. While we have been able to make some changes to our guidelines on campus, we are still monitoring the Covid-19 rates in our community. It continues to be essential that those who are able be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Returning to Campus

Based on the recommendations of our local health department, because of a current rise in Covid-19 cases in our county, we are requiring ALL returning students to provide one of the following before returning to campus:

  • proof of completed Covid-19 vaccination series OR
  • proof of a negative PCR test administered no more than five days prior to arrival on campus OR
  • prove of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 90 days

All vaccination or test information must be submitted to the Campus Health Center by emailing roberts_testing@roberts.edu.

If you will complete your COVID-19 vaccination before returning to campus, but are still awaiting your second dose of a two dose regimen, you may email the Campus Health Center to indicate your plans to provide vaccination evidence upon arrival to campus.

Other Covid-19 Protocols on Campus

Other campus guidelines will be based on the CDC’s designation of transmission rates in Monroe County, the recommendations of state and local health officials, and the vaccination status of individuals. Below are the Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary Guidelines as of August 9, 2021.

Masks: Masks are currently required in all campus buildings for all individuals. We will continue to review the recommendations of Monroe County. If the transmission rate in the county returns to a low level, mask guidelines may change for vaccinated individuals.

Testing: In addition to return testing, students who live on campus and are not vaccinated against Covid-19 will need to be tested weekly in our surveillance testing program. Traditional Undergraduate students and all students living in campus housing who do not submit proof of vaccination will automatically be added to our testing pool.

Quarantine: Quarantine is still required for students who test positive for Covid-19 and for unvaccinated individuals who come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive. Unvaccinated students who have a confirmed Covid-19 exposure will be required to quarantine for 10 days after exposure. Residential students are required to quarantine off campus. Expenses associated with quarantine are the responsibility of the student. In accordance with CDC guidance, vaccinated students who are in close contact with an individual who has tested positive will be required to wear a mask for 14 days but will not be required to quarantine.

Other information about the fall semester is available at https://www.roberts.edu/covid-19/ or contact covid19team@roberts.edu with questions.

COVID-19 and The CARES Act

Restart Updates

Update from President Porterfield | December 22, 2020



Communication and Update From President Porterfield | November 9, 2020

Faculty, Staff and Students of Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary,


Thank you for your diligence this semester in keeping our campus healthy. While we have had a limited number of COVID-19 cases, due to a raised alert level in Monroe County, the College has made the proactive decision to raise our campus alert level to YELLOW. The Roberts COVID-10 dashboard has been changed to reflect this new Alert Level


A YELLOW alert indicates that an increased rate of spread on campus or within Monroe county indicates additional mitigation strategies are required. The campus remains open, with the addition of the following guidelines. These changes take effect immediately.


As always:

  1. Fill out the daily screening form each day
  2. Wear a mask at all times when not alone at your workstation
  3. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer 


In addition, at the Yellow Alert level on campus:

  1. Gatherings on campus are limited to fewer than 10 people. This does not include academic classes. All student or office groups should plan for virtual meetings until further notice.
  2. Common campus spaces (aside from classrooms) are limited to 25% capacity.
  3. Residence halls are open only to residents of that building.
  4. Table capacity in Garlock is limited to 4 people.
  5. Faculty and staff are not permitted in Garlock. Students are encouraged to use take-out options.
  6. Athletic teams will roll back to phase 2 - small group play and must wear masks for all practices (indoor and outdoor).
  7. The campus is closed to all visitors, even those previously approved. 


We understand the concern and frustration these changes raise for our community, especially after working extremely hard over the past weeks to keep our cases low. At this time this is a precautionary measure to allow us to continue to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment through November 20. If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact Kristen Brown, Chair of the Restart Team at restart@roberts.edu and we will work to get you a response as soon as possible.


With prayer and optimism,


Dr. Deana L. Porterfield


Restart Update | August 4, 2020

As a critical step in the Restart Guidelines for all students, you will be required to complete a health screening before each visit to campus. The screening tool can be accessed from any device that has internet access.

Before every class or visit to campus complete this form: https://www.roberts.edu/covidfeedback 

Please contact IT Services, helpdesk@roberts.edu or 585.594.6898, if you need assistance accessing the link.

Restart Update | July 30, 2020

On Monday, August 24, 2020, Northeastern Seminary students will be able to access student service centers on campus, such as:

  • The B. Thomas Golisano Library, computer labs, and learning center are open. Students may come to campus to check out books or use the computers. Please make online appointments with the learning center for writing assistance.
  • Rinker Community Service Center and Student Financial Services offices are open. Students are to make an appointment to meet with student financial services to limit wait times.
  • The book store is open. Please place orders online for delivery or campus pick-up.
  • Anderson Hall and IT Services are open for online or on-campus IT support.
  • At this time, the Roberts Wesleyan College on-campus gym is not open.

Northeastern Seminary (Roberts Hall) will be open to onsite students, only during scheduled class times. All meetings with faculty and staff outside of class time are encouraged to be held virtually or by appointment.

All buildings require an ID card to access.

When on campus all students are asked to follow the physical distancing recommendations and Restart Guidelines.

Message from the Vice-President | June 23, 2020

Dear Northeastern Students,

You received an email from President Porterfield sharing the news about our reopening plans and the beginning of onsite courses on August 24! We are excited to have many of you back on campus for the Fall semester.

For certain, how we interact as we learn, live, worship and work together will need to be a little different, but our core functioning as a Christian community of higher education remains unchanged. On our website, you will find information about our current planning and alignment with the New York State Guidelines.

Most notably in the Fall, classes will meet on an alternative schedule. Rather than meeting on campus every week for 75 minutes, each class will meet four times during the semester for longer blocks of time. Students will attend only one class each night. The night your class was scheduled (Tuesday or Thursday) has not changed. You can find the new onsite meeting schedule below. We appreciate your flexibility as we navigate these changes.

You will find answers to other questions you might be asking about the Fall semester on our website. The safety, health and well-being of our campus community will always be paramount in our decision-making, and we are prepared to modify our plans should the conditions change. We will continue to monitor all updates from New York State as we move forward to restart operations. Please check your seminary email regularly and check back here for the latest updates and information.

If you have questions that are not answered on the Restart site, please use the form on below to submit your question and we will work on getting an answer to you.

We look forward to seeing all of you either on campus or online this fall.

Doug Cullum

Message from the President | June 22, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,

As the Finger Lakes Region projects move forward with phase four planned for June 26, I am delighted to share that Roberts Wesleyan College will be starting a modified Fall semester on campus beginning August 24! We will be offering in-person and online options in many programs for our traditional, adult, graduate and seminary students this Fall. To help enable this restart, traditional undergraduate students will be able to choose between a fully online semester or an in-person semester, through a survey due July 1.

For certain, how we interact as we learn, live, worship and work together will need to be a little different, but our core functioning as a Christian community of higher education remains unchanged. The following information includes our current planning and alignment with the New York State Guidelines.

The safety, health and well-being of our campus community will always be paramount in our decision-making, and we are prepared to modify our plans should the conditions change. We will continue to monitor all updates from New York State as we move forward to restart operations this fall as outlined below. Please check your Roberts email regularly and check our Roberts Restart webpage for the latest updates and information.

Students enrolled in non-traditional undergraduate courses, adult and graduate degree programs and Northeastern Seminary can expect to hear from their Program Directors directly in the coming weeks about details of their program. All cohort courses running between November 21, 2020 through January 11, 2021 will be held online only.

Please check your Roberts (or Northeastern) email and the Roberts Restart website regularly.

The following information is applicable to students enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs.

Adjusted Traditional Academic Calendar:

The significant changes in our academic and operational calendar are based on advice from Monroe County, New York State and CDC experts, who believe we could be facing a second wave of COVID-19 sometime late fall or early winter. The outline for Fall 2020 for our Traditional Undergraduate and BELL student body is as follows:

Traditional undergraduate students will choose between a fully online semester or an in-person semester. We ask that all traditional undergraduate students fill out this form by July 1. If the College does not receive a response from you, we will assume that you are planning to join us in-person.
Traditional undergraduate Fall 2020 Orientation will be August 21-23
The first day of Fall Semester classes will be Monday August 24 as scheduled.
Classes will continue through Friday, November 20 with no fall break.
After Thanksgiving, classes will continue in an online format only until the end of the semester (students will not be permitted to stay beyond November 21 unless approved by the College due to specific program requirements).
Final exams will be issued online in early December as scheduled with the semester concluding on December 11.
We will begin the Spring Semester 2021 as scheduled on January 11 on campus.

As you return to campus, the experience will look different. The College has worked according to state and local public health guidelines and has been in communication with peer institutions with Rochester area colleges and in other regions of the country. We are not alone in experiencing the monumental changes of our work and school lives. It is not what any of us wanted or expected. However, leaning on the faithfulness of God, we can embrace the opportunity to lead others in our response to change and our willingness to extend grace to others around us on the journey.

This announcement is just the start of our communications about your return or your start at Roberts Wesleyan College. In the near future, look for additional information for student move-in dates, guidance for faculty and staff returning to the workplace and additional details about new campus operations.

The Roberts Restart website will be updated throughout the summer as more details are available. Additional information will be communicated directly to you through your Roberts email account, from the Roberts Restart Team.

I know there is a lot on your minds, and we will do everything possible to provide answers to the many questions you may have between now and August 24. During this time, we must all prepare for some inconveniences and align with new community standards and behaviors that will help ensure a safe campus. Thank you for your commitment to Roberts Restart 2020 including these important responsibilities.

We are looking forward to seeing you on campus and continuing to serve all of our students and campus community with education for character.

With Prayer and Optimism,

Dr. Deana L. Porterfield



Here is what people are asking:

Will the campus be open even if all Seminary courses are offered only online?

Yes. The campus including the library, computer labs, and Seminary building will be open to students. Students coming to campus will be required to adhere to campus guidelines around maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a face mask. 

If I normally take online courses, will there be any changes?

All online courses will run as scheduled. 

Will my classes include synchronous video meetings during the semester?

Yes! Most online courses at the Seminary include Zoom discussion times with other students and your professor. Assigned times for Zoom meetings are included in the course syllabus. Faculty teaching in Rochester may include some Zoom check-ins in the off-weeks between in-person class sessions.

What if my denomination requires me to meet in-person for my courses?

We continue to work with denominational partners to keep them up to date concerning our spring schedule. All denominations that require onsite classes (including United Methodist students) have provided a concession allowing students to take online or virtual classes at this time.

What are the plans for onsite classes starting in Fall 2021? 

No plans have yet been made for changes to the fall semester. We will update on any changes before registration for the fall semester begins in March. Any final decision will be made closer to the start of the semester.

What about Doctor of Ministry residency in June?

No plans have yet been made to change Doctor of Ministry residency. If changes are required, we will let students know no later than May 1.