Soon, the long-awaited day will arrive. You will finally begin your freshman year of college. Of course, with everything going on in the world today, your campus experience might look a bit different that you originally anticipated.
Some universities in California (and elsewhere) have already decided to hold most or all of their classes online this fall. Others are still working out their plans to hold classes and manage campus life in light of the coronavirus pandemic. For those of you who are still waiting to hear your chosen school’s plans, here are some of the main ideas many university officials are considering.
More online classes. Even those schools that aren’t moving classes completely online are considering expanding that option. It is highly likely you will be taking more classes online than college students have in the past, even if you do attend some classes in a traditional setting.
Different classroom environments. Some schools are toying with the idea of moving classes into larger auditoriums, where social distancing can be maintained. Others are considering asking students to trade off, by attending class online half of the time and in person half of the time. You might be assigned a schedule or your instructor might allow you to choose the option that works best for you.
Extended hours. Because large classes might be broken up into smaller sections, you might enjoy greater flexibility in your schedule. The downside is that you might need to attend some classes at unusual hours, perhaps at night.
Dining hall modifications. Some schools are planning to offer student meals to-go only, limiting contact by closing down large dining rooms.
A new situation in dorms. Some universities will do away with double-occupancy dorm rooms, with students assigned to single rooms only. Dorms might be arranged “family style”, with limited contact between floors, so that infections can be traced and the appropriate quarantine measures can be recommended.
Tracking and tracing. Finally, in the event that a coronavirus outbreak does occur on your campus, you can expect to be contacted if health experts feel you might be infected. Tracking and tracing will account for an infected student’s whereabouts, and every attempt will be made to contain the outbreak.