CARBONDALE, IL. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University announced in-person classes will resume for the 2020 Fall semester.
The spring semester was mostly held online with virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
University leaders said health safety measures will be in place for students returning to campus.
“Face mask will be required, we will have enhanced cleaning protocols, well have sanitizer, we’ll have room limits, capacity limits on our rooms.” said Rae Goldsmith, SIU Chief Communications Officer.
Classrooms will also be set up with social distancing seating. For rooms or lecture halls with fixed seating, some seats will be designated to ensure social distancing. Rooms with movable seating will be arranged for social distancing.
Goldsmith explained students had an impact on the decision in resuming face-to-face learning and returning to the classroom.
“The first thing we did of course is look at what the health guidelines are for the state and the region, and then we also surveyed our students.” said Goldsmith.
Not all students are ready to return to the classroom.
SIU student Kathryn Watson expressed she is a bit worried about resuming classes on campus. She would rather start the semester online.
“If coming back to in person classes is what’s best for the majority of students then you know we’ll just deal with it,” said Watson.
Classes with a large number of students will not be an option on campus.
“Classes that are 50 or more students will be taught online. We’re letting faculty do a mix of face to face and remote learning, and we still will be offering online classes as well,” said Goldsmith.
Hybrid courses will also be offered. These courses could include several formats, such as a face-to-face lab and online lecture or staggered in-person attendance with online access to lectures. Faculty are planning multiple approaches.
The university has also created a plan for students and faculty that might be high risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
“We have a plan for students who say well you know I have asthma, I’m high risk for COVID-19 how can you help me, we’ve got a place they can go and work with them.” explained Goldsmith.
If parents or students have any questions related to in person classes or COVID-19 they can contact SIU via email.
The first day for the fall semester is Monday, Aug. 17.
Final examinations are scheduled to end Friday, Dec. 11.
Most of the Fall semester will take place as planed, except after Thanksgiving break. The remaining two weeks of the semester will be completed remotely. Exceptions may be made for programs in which face-to-face instruction is essential.
SIU said the change to have the last two weeks of instruction online is to minimize the risks associated with the return of students and others from Thanksgiving travel.
For more details on protocols, changes and safety measures being taken for the fall semester at SIU, click here.