How will MSU classes look in the fall? Clif Smart provides a glimpse
Missouri State will have seated classes this fall, but there may not be as many — and there may be fewer seats in each classroom.
There will be more online and blended courses, and seated classes offered at different times of the day and week to reduce traffic on campus.
Residence halls will reopen but with fewer beds filled. The university may keep one hall empty for students who need to self-quarantine.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划MSU President Clif Smart posted a lengthy blog this week outlining what he described as a "sensible, gradual plan" for reopening the campus this summer and resuming in-person classes this fall.
"It's important for our state and our community that we be open, but we have to do it in a responsible manner," he told the News-Leader.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划The university will return in stages while tracking the global coronavirus pandemic, which caused higher education institutions across Missouri and the U.S. to close campuses for weeks this spring.
In contrast to institutions that have vowed to reopen in August no matter what, MSU has adopted a more cautious approach. "We are contingency planning in every step in case we have to go a different direction."
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Smart said the educational and economic push to operate the university, a $380 million enterprise annually, must be balanced with the need to safeguard employees, students and the community.
MSU amid COVID-19:Missouri State moves spring 2020 commencement to fall homecoming weekend
幸运飞艇跟人工计划He warned that classes and parts of the campus will "look a little different" this fall than one year ago.
Last fall, Missouri State offered 17 percent of its classes online. This fall, Smart said the number will be closer to 30 percent and many will be upper-level and graduate courses. Freshman courses will remain primarily seated classes.
"We are going to have more blended courses where classes meet once a week instead of three times and there is more work done outside of class," he said. "But most of our classes will still be seated."
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Smart said a majority of classes traditionally have been scheduled between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. but will be staggered more this fall.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划"Let's have more 8 a.m. classes, let's have more late afternoon classes, let's have more evening classes so we don't have all 20,000 students on campus at exactly the same time," he said.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Another advantage of spacing out class times? Cleaning crews will have time to wipe down desks, doors and chairs between each one.
The university will offer a condensed version of its introductory course for all first-year students, GEP 101, in the first eight weeks. It is typically 16 weeks.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划"We want to get that class in, for sure, while the weather is good before we have both flu and (a possible) second wave of the virus," he said.
Smart said there has been a "tremendously positive response" to adapting courses and schedules from faculty, even though many are concerned about minimizing exposure to COVID-19.
"We are all concerned," he said. "We don't want to put people in a danger zone, but they have been great about responding to this."
At least 150 faculty have signed up for a boot camp this summer on "best practices" for designing and delivering online courses.
"We are going to ask every faculty member to have a contingency plan going into the fall. What if the last four weeks of the semester has to transition to alternative delivery? We are not going to have two weeks (to do) that, you've got to be ready to do that over a four-day weekend," he said.
The university is expected to adopt social distancing practices in classrooms, residence halls and dining and gathering spaces on campus.
Smart said some campus events will be canceled and others will be adjusted to reduce size.
A new housing strategy is also in the works.
Story continues below
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Smart said residence halls will be open but not all beds will be filled to provide additional space for students. The university is expected to keep one hall open, in reserve, in case students need to self-quarantine.
In addition to stepping up cleaning protocols, the university is studying the possibility of installing Plexiglas between faculty and students in certain classrooms.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划"We haven't decided what the mask policy is going to be for the fall. I think it's too early to make that decision," he said. "We need to see what the step-down looks like."
Adjusting summer plans at MSU
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Smart, who plans to work from home through June, said summer classes will be online only.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划The university's Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration — called SOAR — is among the activities planned for this summer. The schedule for those sessions, which will look different, begins July 6.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划The existing travel restrictions are expected to remain in place through at least the end of June.
A portion of campus offices may implement work-from-home arrangements on a more permanent basis, depending on the needs of employees.
Virtual town hall
Missouri State will have a virtual town hall meeting at 10:30 a.m. May 20 to focus on the university's plans to reopen and the spending plan for next year.
Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and consider supporting vital local journalism by subscribing. Learn more by visiting w2qx66.cn/subscribe.