1. The Region’s Colleges Are Moving Closer to That Goal

    The Region’s Colleges Are Moving Closer to That Goal

    It’s hard to gauge what ‘normal’ looks like during the era of COVID-19, when normalcy is a moving target. For area colleges and universities, though, getting back to normal means one thing: bringing as many students back to dorms and classrooms as possible. Make no mistake, campus life this fall will still be different from the pre-pandemic college experience, but just opening those classroom and residence-hall doors is a big step — the result of many lessons learned during the most unusual academic year in memory.

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    1. This fall, we'll go back to some normalcy, with classes back in person full-time, students in the residence halls, and athletes on the fields.
    2. We're not fully remote; we had that ElmsFlex option, because some students learn better in person, and some did better virtually, and they had the ability to move between the two freely.
    3. They adhered to that social distancing, we put up tons of signage, we brought in extra cleaning staff, we had plexiglass throughout … all those things contributed to the plan for the past year.
    4. Safety on our campus is paramount; one of the biggest considerations in our return to campus is how to utilize our space safely.
    5. We want to make sure our faculty and staff feel safe when they return to campus.
    6. So, beginning in the fall, we're moving to a virtual format throughout the state, where we're able to deliver licensing programs in a virtual format for all the programs we offer.
    7. They're not supposed to do it, but there are far worse things they could be doing and far worse ways they could be violating our protocols.
    8. Along with the rest of the community-college sector, we saw a decline over the past year, but that was an anomaly.
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