by Kathryn Evans
As someone who currently works in higher education, I write this article still with questions remaining about what in-person education during COVID-19 looks like. The answer at many schools, it seems, is “not like what it has looked like before” or the “new normal.” At the institution where I work, they announced a plan to begin the semester a few days earlier, have classes on Labor Day, not have a Fall Break (like they normally would), and finish the semester before Thanksgiving.
Like my institution, the Dubuque colleges have an advantage over larger institutions, as they cite small class sizes and lower student to faculty ratios; this allows all of the schools to more easily adopt CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommendations and to adapt classrooms to allow for maximum social distancing and sanitizing. Further, the student population size also allowed schools like Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) to reach out to all students via their “Care Calls” that they usually do at the beginning of a semester and implemented this past spring after transitioning to online learning. It also appears none of the Dubuque colleges have had layoffs yet, as have many schools across the country, especially in schools with decreasing enrollment.
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