ATHENS, WV (WOAY) – Concord University recently decided to extend their students’ spring break an extra week, and school officials are using that time to make plans for the coronavirus.
Despite West Virginia being one of only six states to not have a confirmed coronavirus case, nothing is stopping school officials from preparing for it.
Concord’s biggest plan at the moment is to convert many classes into online courses that students can participate in off-campus, although that does come with a difficult transition for educators. President of Concord, Kendra Boggess, says the transition will need to be planned carefully.
“We have a lot of courses online already, but more will likely have to be put online. So we’re trying to prepare our faculty, some of whom have not taught online in the past,” Boggess said.
Another issue the school faces is the ramifications of closing the campus in favor of online courses. Concord has dormitories that many students live in and they will need to be accommodated in some way if the campus closes.
“We have a number of international students – they have nowhere to go. We have a lot of folks that live in the dorms that will want to come back and we have others that want to leave, so we’re going to have to work our way through who comes who goes.”
Despite the challenges, Boggess says the school’s officials are working tirelessly during this extended break to find ways to accommodate all the students, all while keeping everyone safe.
“We’ve got great, great folks here who are determined to find the best way to accommodate the needs of the students. We care about our students, we care about the quality of our programs and we want our folks to graduate.”
If Concord chooses to close their campus, then they will only be the latest in line to do so. Marshall University has extended their spring break until April 13, and West Virginia University has suspended classes indefinitely and moved to a fully online curriculum for all students