Last week, we talked about expectations for fall semester 2020, but it was mostly speculation. Now, we have more insight into how schools will resume classes for the new school year. We’ll just talk in broad terms and not specifically mention school names or speak on their behalf. We know that information changes constantly, so we do not want to be in a position of providing false information, especially in these challenging times.
From what we’ve seen across the board, we’ve broken down how schools will resume this fall into three categories: Open (with restrictions), Online, and Hybrid. We’ll explain what each means. Please refer to your university for further details.
OPEN (WITH RESTRICTIONS):
Campus will be operational and in-person classes will be taught, with specific health guidelines put in place to ensure safety. Here are some examples of what that looks like:
- Classroom size will be reduced and/or social distancing will be implemented inside the classroom.
- Residence Halls will assign one person per room – singles only.
- Dining halls will open and close at specific times, also implementing social distancing.
- Semester length will be shortened.
- Wearing of masks by students, staff and faculty.
Campus will remain shut down, but classes will resume online. Unlike spring semester 2020, where classes had to quickly move online without much of a chance to prepare, professors have spent a considerable amount of time since then restructuring their courses to be appropriate for an online environment. Students can expect a much smoother and more efficient online learning experience this fall.
Colleges in this category will be a mixture of both open campus and online learning environments. On some campuses, courses that need in-person lessons will remain available in the classroom, while the courses that can be taught online, will be remote. Other campuses will be open for the first half of the semester and then close out the second half of the semester by switching to an online learning environment.
These are just a few things we’ve commonly seen across the board. Of course, each campus will have their own policies and procedures, so please review them in detail and contact your school for more information. The takeaway here is the paramount importance of the health and safety of each person on campus. While these plans are robust, things could absolutely change, so be prepared to ebb and flow. Will things go back to normal? Honestly, we don’t know what normal is anymore, especially with how things constantly change like the wind. The best anyone can do is let time do its thing and practice the recommended health safety measures today.