LOGAN – Tuesday, when both Utah State University and the University of Utah announced plans to reopen their campuses for in-person fall classes, they were the state’s first major universities to do so.
President Noelle Cockett says in welcoming students back to campus it will be important to create a learning, working and living space where everyone feels a personal responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In mid-May when the state released Utah Leads Together 3.0, it directed higher education to develop a plan to be ready to resume in-person instruction and other academic activities. USU’s preparations to resume in-person classes and face-to-face experiences for students this fall are underway.
USU Vice President of Academic and Instructional Services Robert Wagner explains what instruction will look like fall semester.
”We will continue to have a number of what we call face-to-face courses,” Wagner says. “These are traditional courses where students come to classes. They sit in our classrooms, but because of the COVID-19 protocols that we will have in place to insure the safety of our faculty and students we won’t have as many students in our classrooms present because we will be employing social distancing.”
Dr. Wagner says in March, when classes were moved online and the world was learning about coronavirus, conditions changed day-by-day.
”That being said, there is still a certain amount of uncertainty this fall with what is going to happen. The good news is,” he continues, “because of the steps that we’re taking with our faculty this summer, we’ll be much more prepared this fall to adapt and change to the changing conditions of COVID-19.”
Students will experience methods of instructional delivery including traditional in-person classrooms, hybrid or blended learning, or online delivery in some cases. Also, USU will implement state guidelines on face coverings, sanitizing, and social distancing.
President Cockett says a key component in welcoming students to campus this fall will be creating a learning, working and living space where everyone feels a personal responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We are counting on our faculty, staff and students to be socially responsible with the protocols we will put in place so everyone benefits from a successful fall semester,” she says. “Our plans for fall semester will only continue if we all move forward with care and concern for our fellow community members.”