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Ohio University announces students will start fall semester remotely

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 11:58 AM EDT
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ATHENS, Ohio (WSAZ) - Ohio University has announced updated plans for their approach for the upcoming fall semester.

OU President M. Duane Nellis announced the changes Friday due to the growing concern about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the nation.

The fall semester will begin as scheduled on Aug. 24, but will have a phased approach to keep students, faculty, staff and the community safe.

On the Athens campus, they will be doing a multi-phased return. In Phase 1, a limited number of graduate and undergraduate students in a carefully selected set of academic programs will be allowed to go back to the Athens campus. They’ll have requirements including social distancing with face coverings for all students, faculty and staff. These programs require in-person experiences throughout the semester to meet required accreditation or to access campus facilities or equipment. These students will be notified as soon as possible, but no later than Aug. 7.

Students in programs not requiring to be in-person instruction to meet accreditation or required to access essential on-campus facilities or equipment will begin their fall classes remotely on Aug. 24 and continue remotely until at least through Sept. 27.

“It hurts a lot going from in person to online,” said Ohio University senior Thomas Heston. “A lot of professors are a lot more hands on, and they give better notes than they would just putting it on to a power point and like ‘here’s your notes.’ They give a lot more detailed notes when you’re in class and you go and you write down your own stuff, and they’ll say ‘this is going to be on the exam.’”

“In keeping with recommended guidance and recognition of this evolving situation, we are implementing plans that are supported by our public health, state, and medical partners to reduce the density of our students, faculty and staff,” President Nellis said. “While we remain committed to the highest-quality academic experience for our students, the ultimate goal is to minimize risks to our Bobcats during a time in which COVID-19 cases are on the rise.”

University officials say they will monitor conditions and seek advice from public health officials to inform a second phase, which is set to begin on Sept. 28.

To read more about OU’s plans, click here.

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