When Ivy Tech Community College students in South Bend, Ind., start their new classes in the upcoming fall semester, they’ll have the option to participate in face-to-face, online or hybrid courses.
(TNS) — When Ivy Tech Community College students start classes in the fall, they’ll have the option to participate in face-to-face, online or hybrid courses.
Fall semester classes will begin Aug. 24. The state’s community college will invite students back onto campuses throughout Indiana, including its Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart location, for in-person learning while continuing to offer virtual opportunities. Both 8- and 16-week terms are being offered to students.
In an announcement Tuesday, college officials said the move is being made to provide flexibility and safety for Ivy Tech students, employees and its communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ivy Tech looks forward to students being able to return to campus and take that next step to prepare for a high-wage, high-value career,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said in a news release. “Our teams continually monitor the recommendations provided by the state of Indiana and federal guidelines. Ultimately, our students’ success is the goal, while providing them the safest, most accommodating learning environment.”
According to the release, college officials are taking “all of the necessary steps” to ensure deep cleaning of all buildings takes place prior to students’ arrival for classes and will be ongoing.
Preventive protocols to reduce COVID-19 transmission will also be implemented across campuses. While those specific protocols were not mentioned in the release, officials said further details will be shared with students, faculty and staff leading up to campuses reopening.
“The ‘new normal’ in August will allow students to be in charge of their learning environment,” Ivy Tech Provost Kara Monroe said. “Students will have options, possibly even week-to-week, if they will attend their class online, virtually, or in-person, as their health and safety requirements could fluctuate.”
Ivy Tech’s summer semester courses begin June 8. Courses will be offered virtually with exception of some small labs that may be offered later this summer.
Holy Cross College will follow the lead of the University of Notre Dame and welcome its students back to campus two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before Thanksgiving.
The college’s president, the Rev. David Tyson, announced Monday that college students will begin classes the week of Aug. 10.
“The grit of the Holy Cross College community, the courage of so many during these uncertain times of the pandemic, and the confidence of families and students have made this difficult second half of the 2019-2020 school year a success,” Tyson said in a news release. “We are forging ahead with a plan of action that will keep our family safe, secure, and together once again this fall.”
Like Notre Dame, the college has developed a plan to implement coronavirus testing, contract tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols to minimize risk, according to the release.
Specific details on who and how testing will be conducted as well as what isolation might look like was not provided. Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne said details on those procedures will be announced in coming weeks.
Holy Cross officials said they “must also be prepared for the possibility of an unexpected, severe new outbreak of COVID-19.” If that occurs, students may need to return to distance learning.
On Monday, Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, announced fall semester plans and said faculty have been asked to prepare to offer courses both in-person and through remote instruction.
Saint Mary’s College officials announced plans last week to reopen campus in the fall, just in time for students to resume in-person classes.
In a statement posted Tuesday on the school’s website, officials said “our Academic Continuation Task Force has been considering multiple potential scenarios regarding the fall semester.” One scenario school leaders are considering includes beginning on-campus classes on Aug. 10.
“President Elect Katie Conboy will work with the college’s leadership team and the Academic Continuation Task Force to finalize our plans to ensure that our students can return safely and receive a full and rewarding campus experience,“ Saint Mary’s officials wrote. “Maintaining the safety and well-being of our campus community is always our top priority, and as such, we will adjust all plans based on the current status of the health crisis.”
College spokeswoman Lisa Knox previously said more detailed plans about the fall semester will be announced in mid-June. At that point, officials will have a better idea about whether students can move back into on-campus housing and what instruction will look like.
At Indiana University, the president, Michael McRobbie, outlined five different options for the fall semester. He said the most likely scenario is a hybrid model of in-person and online classes.
IU has formed a variety of committees to help make a final decision on what option is best for the university. McRobbie asked each campus, including Indiana University South Bend, to establish committees “tailored” to the needs of their campuses and programs.
Paige Risser, IUSB spokeswoman, said school officials are in the process of forming committees.
Lissa Diaz, spokeswoman for Bethel University, said school leaders have not yet announced what their plans are. She said weekly emails will be shared with students through the summer, relaying the most up-to-date information about the fall semester.
©2020 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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