Cynthia Sullivan
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Preparing for Fall Semester of 2020

The world continues to be torn by the threat of the pandemic. It needs to protest against obscured lives and an unstable environment. Global colleges and universities find out whether, how, and when they can restart the campus after unexpected shutdowns in March. The International Institute of Education (IIE) report, based on analysis undertaken by 599 higher education organizations in the US, Washington, D.C, and Puerto Rico, states the broad and extreme effect of the COVID-19 pandemic through the nation’s university campuses. Countrywide colleges and universities are fighting for reopening in late fall.

Will campuses open, or would it be online?

It’s a daunting question for many who face challenges by falling incomes and concerns regarding corona virus infection in densely packaged campuses. Several schools are already facing difficult choices over the next fall semester, whether to bring students back to campus. Campuses may need a procedure sooner or later to be accessed if anyone considers themselves a carrier or becomes sick with Covid-19. Some universities have said they will become entirely virtual, and many other universities plan to start a mixed model of online and personal classes. Some Institutions are planning to ask students to attend campus classes in shifts. As universities announce plans to bring students back, there is a pattern: shorter semesters to prevent infections in late fall. A portion of classes is available online to minimize student numbers in classrooms, reduce risk, and promote a safe campus atmosphere. 99.5% of institutions suspended classes on campus and moved training to virtual arenas. The return to campus plan includes the use of suitable face covers, physical distance, hand hygiene, limited indoor density, traffic control in and through buildings, COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking, and contact detection. While the circumstances of this virus are always unknown, you can expect the physical separation from this semester in workplaces, classrooms, public areas, and on-campus security protocols involving facilities for cleaning, individual testing, and personal protection (face masks).


Based on the survey of students at the end of the Spring semester found that in addition to health and safety, financial issues and academic excellence are among the significant concerns in this fall.

  • The pandemic challenges can be handled by switching to remote working and teaching via virtual or alternative learning platforms.
  • In-Person classes: However, in all campus areas, including classrooms, physical distance measures will be required.
  • A blended model featuring a combination of face-to-face instruction and online preparation will be available for several courses.
  • Students who have health concerns may request accommodations to complete their course work online.

Return to Campus Plan

Universities have to implement efficient protocols to test and assess their students when students return to campus.

Daily Cleaning of Classrooms:

Classrooms are to be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectants at least once a day and prepared for use by students and professors.

Semester Adjustment:

The school plans to have students on campus in the autumn and plans to teach in person. However, the school will also try to reduce the class density and shorten the six months before Thanksgiving break. This accelerated semester is aiming at reducing transportation to encourage safety and welfare.

Courses delivered by virtual/alternative platforms:

Instructors and students should get quickly adjusted and come up with ways to make their education engaging, efficient, and rewarding. It includes workshops at the Online Course Development Institute, expanded video studios, and technology supportive classroom.

Follow Guidelines

Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines suggest critical safety measures to maintain the campus community’s health and safety.

  1. Students, staff, and visitors should practice social distancing and wear masks/coverings in classes, labs, workplaces, eating and shopping, public areas, and while walking and traveling on campus.
  2. Before going to classes or campuses, students must monitor their health by taking temperature checks.
  3. Students should remain home and contact their physicians immediately if they have high temperatures or are feeling sick, avoiding corona virus spread.


Health and Safety Measures

The campuses aim to ensure the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff and start to determine how to manage the fall semester. Universities can minimize the risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus by strictly following safety measures and providing affordable and tomorrow-safe world-class learning.

  1. Every day before coming to campus, students must be monitored for symptoms.
  2. Cloth face masks to be worn on schools, classrooms, meeting rooms, shared workspaces, by faculty and students.
  3. Washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.
  4. Using hand-sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60 percent alcohol regularly, especially after touching doorknobs, tables, and other objects.
  5. Limit group meetings and always remain at least 6 feet from others.
  6. Some classrooms are changed to accommodate recommendations for social distance.
  7. Students are allowed back on campus for all classes, following a stay at home for 14 days. People who can’t quarantine at home before arrival will do so in their campus dorm room.
  8. During transit, students should maintain physical distance, wear face covers, practice frequent washing, and follow all the appropriate health guidelines.

What About International Students?

  1. Students who cannot return to either campus can avail of versatile choices to help progress their diplomas.
  2. Immigration limitations and visa requirements will render international students challenging to come in the fall. Still, several colleges are planning to work closely with their students to support academic advancement through online programs.
  3. To accomplish their objectives, they can benefit through video or teleconferences, online chatting, or online lectures.
  4. New restrictions are being imposed on international students.


Wrapping up

We know it is challenging to consider navigating times like these and continue putting forth such tremendous efforts to prepare for the fall. It is going to feel like no other fall semester. The way we do all has changed due to COVID-19. Some universities and colleges are physically open, but they are following some different kinds of restrictions. Flexible training options, including online and remote, mitigation plans, sanitation measures, screening, and necessary student quarantine and isolation plans, should be put into practice in universities. 

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Sai Yallapragada

Cynthia is an educationalist and currently works as a lecturer at one of the reputed universities on the west coast. Cynthia has a bachelor’s and currently pursuing an online master’s in education. Cynthia has over 10 years of experience in the field of higher education.

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