Cornell extends distance learning to Block 8

Cornell College is taking additional steps to keep its students, staff, and faculty safe as COVID-19 continues to spread in Iowa.

On March 11, college leadership moved to transition courses to distance learning via online instruction for Block 7. Block 8 courses will now also happen digitally.

The college also:

  • Requested all non-essential staff members to work from home 
  • Postponed the on-campus commencement ceremony scheduled for mid-May

The college is working with students on a schedule to pick up their belongings, staggering their arrival throughout the remainder of the academic year to create social distancing throughout that process. The Office of Residence Life is working on special exceptions for students currently on campus who may experience hardships returning home immediately and for international students who cannot return home due to travel restrictions. 

“Our steps to date, as they have evolved, continue to be guided by our absolute highest priority—the safety and security of our students and employees,” said President Jonathan Brand. “No doubt, we also have a lot of important and exciting work to accomplish—something which we’ll have to do to the best of our ability from a distance. I have been so moved by our community’s can-do attitude and the drive to keep forging ahead as we overcome this crisis. I am not surprised.”

Last week, the college also decided to hold virtual visit events for students considering enrollment at Cornell College and suspended all employee travel.

About Cornell College:

Cornell College is a national liberal arts college established in 1853, located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The historic, hilltop campus has a population of more than 1,000 students from all over the world. Our undergraduate students learn on a distinctive block plan schedule, taking One Course At A Time for 18 days before starting the next course. Each academic year consists of 8 blocks. This curriculum allows students to fully immerse themselves in their chosen topic of study, including taking field trips to another country, diving into research, creating an art exhibit, or exploring issues in the local community. For more information visit