(NBC News) – Colleges and universities are making tough decisions about what fall semesters will look like.
Will they continue classes remotely, or bring students back to campus? And if they do opt for in-person learning, how will they protect the community from coronavirus outbreaks?
Tulane University is offering their preview of the school’s new normal amid the pandemic.
“It’s our students who are going to be the creative, innovative people who are going to figure out how they and society has to change to deal with it. And we think they’re coming back on ground is critical to that effort,” Tulane President Michael Fitts says.
Plans are for an in-person accelerated semester that starts early and ends before Thanksgiving.
It includes COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff, an isolation dorm for positive cases, newly built classrooms to allow for social distancing and stepped-up cleanings.
“How do we everything we can to protect the safety and health of our community,” Fitts says. “That was the prime directive.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking more than a thousand colleges and universities and finds about 60-percent are planning for an in-person fall semester.
More than 20 percent are opting for hybrids, and less than ten percent for online.
California state long beach usually offers 10,000 in-person class sections a semester.
This fall it’ll be 300. The rest will be virtual.
“If we were to have all of us back, we might have hundreds of asymptomatic students who will be going out into the community, so we may become the vector that infects the city of Long Beach,” says CSU Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley.
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