Augustana College has joined more than 340 colleges and universities in the COVID-19 College Challenge, a White House initiative to get 70% of the adult population vaccinated by July 4.
President Steve Bahls signed the College Challenge on behalf of Augustana.
“The Augustana community has worked tirelessly to maintain the robust in-person experience that we are known for,” said President Bahls. “This national challenge is one we are readily prepared to commit to.”
Augustana has signed the pledge to be a Vaccine Champion College and commits to the three primary actions outline in the challenge: Engage students, faculty and staff; organize the college community; and deliver vaccine access for all
President Bahls launched the Augustana Strong task force in spring 2020 and charged the team with developing a plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. The task force shared a comprehensive plan to address the educational, residential, social and health needs of the Augustana community.
The college also adopted its own #VikingsTakeCare campaign through the 2020-2021 academic year to encourage COVID-19-concious behavior among students, faculty and staff.
Augustana was able to maintain a hybrid model of learning. Both in-person and online courses were taught. About 90% of students lived on campus throughout the school year.
“We know our students are global learners, compassionate and curious community members, and we want to reflect that commitment on campus through the COVID-19 College Challenge,” saidPresident Bahls. “Vaccines are an important next step to life after COVID-19 and are critical in our return to a lively, intelligent, connected community.
“We know our students want to get back to normal, and this is an important step in that process.”
In April, the college hosted a vaccination clinic in partnership with Community Health Care and administered neary 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty, staff and community members.
Preliminary survey results indicate that 87% of the Augustana student population to respond to the survey were fully vaccinated by May 23, 2021. An additional 5.7% were partially vaccinated at the time of the survey.