The global pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, and college is no exception. In order to protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19, some things have had to change. But your student can still have a safe on-campus college experience. Colleges across the country have adapted to make it easier for students to socially distance and stay healthy while on campus.
The Centers for Disease Control has created a list of recommendations for colleges and universities to follow as they welcome students to campus. These recommendations include:
Enforcing the wearing of masks and face coverings while in shared spaces on campus.
Adjusting class sizes to accommodate social distancing in classrooms.
Frequent cleaning of classrooms and community areas.
Providing more outdoor and well-ventilated dining areas.
Hybrid or staggered learning models to minimize large in-person groups.
Hybrid and virtual learning models vary from college to college. Some have moved more classes to being entirely virtual, either with classes held on Zoom during the scheduled class time, or with asynchronous learning so there is no scheduled meeting time. Other options include having some students attend class in person while some attend via Zoom, so the classroom is not as full but everyone gets to attend the live lecture at the same time.
Increased hand sanitizing stations, masks provided to students, and limited occupancy in shared spaces such as residence halls, libraries, fitness centers and dining halls are all ways that colleges and universities are adapting to prioritize student health during this pandemic. Many colleges also require a daily health check — a virtual questionnaire for students to check in, report on any COVID-19 symptoms or if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. It may also require students to take their temperature each day. This measure helps the university keep track of the health of the student community, and all answers are kept anonymous.
If you and your student would like to see what practices a specific school is following, you can find the information easily on the school’s website. Most colleges have a banner or link on their website’s homepage that will take you to a page with COVID-19 response information. Additionally, you can contact the school’s health services office to get more info.