SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Colleges across KELOLAND are finding ways to bring their students back to campus safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Augustana University is prepared to welcome students back next month.
A task force developed the “Viking Flex Plan” which will include both on face-to-face and virtual components for students. The university has now announced it will be offering a majority of its fall 2020 classes in-person or in a hybrid format.
“90% of the classes at Augustana in the fall with an emphasis on in-person learning, many of them will involve a really intentional virtual component as well as we try to space students out, a very small number of classes will be offered online to give students some choice and flexibility,” Director of International Programs and enrollment, Ben Iverson said.
Iverson says chairs will be spaced out in classrooms to help with physical distancing and plexiglass will be installed in some areas of the classroom.
But that’s not all.
“Masks will be required in all classrooms, we are really requiring them in all indoor spaces and in cases where physical distancing where that 6-foot requirement isn’t able to be met,” Iverson said.
More time is also being added between classes to allow for surfaces to be sanitized.
“Then the new class can come in and it’s safe, and then do it again after the next class, and then thorough cleanings at the end of the day,” Professor of Government, Social Science Division Chair, Joel Johnson said. “We have more airflow in buildings so the air changes more often in a classroom, and I think if we have weather like today we will have a lot of professors bring classes outside.”
Providing safe ways to make sure students are successful on campus.
“It’s going to be a different semester in the fall, but it’s going to be one that I think will impress students and I think faculty will get a lot out of it as well,” Johnson said.
Iverson says the dorms will have a slightly reduced capacity. Students will also have the option for a single room. He says they will also having cleaning and sanitizing protocols in those areas.