ATHENS, WV (WOAY) – As the spring semester begins colleges everywhere are doing what they can to keep students safe and their campuses open.
When the fall semester started, students had been out of class for months already learning remotely since the end of last year’s spring break, and colleges had to do plenty of prep for the eventual return to campus.
Concord University’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Edward Huffstetler says their fall semester preparations went so well, that they had to make hardly any changes when preparing for the spring.
“We were very happy with how things went in the fall. We had very few positive cases at Concord. So we think what we’re doing in the classroom is very effective,” Huffstetler said.
All students at Concord are learning in either hybrid classes, which are partially online, or learning fully remotely. On the campus, they’ve removed common area furniture and spaced desks six feet apart, and plexiglass barriers are kept in front of teacher stations.
“People here have really stepped up and done a good job. Our staff, faculty, everyone has really risen to the occasion and are doing everything they can. And it’s really paying off in terms of our students.”
As the spring semester continues, Concord is hoping that more progress is made on the distribution of vaccines and the pandemic ideally subsides. But in the meantime, they say they’ll continue to do what they can to teach in a safe manner.
“We’re very much hoping that things can be back to normal next fall. That vaccinations in the state will continue and then these mitigation procedures won’t be needed. But that remains to be seen, we’re all holding our breath.”
Concord University tested all students for COVID-19 before they began classes and will perform random periodic tests throughout the semester.