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What Local Colleges Plan to Do in the Fall

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman What Local Colleges Plan to Do in the FallPhoto by Susan Post
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Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.

In early June, several colleges and universities planned to return to in-person classes this fall. Of course, those schools spoke too soon.

In the two months since, COVID-19 cases have continued to rise in Franklin County, with the highest newly-reported case rates of the pandemic in mid-July. The state’s Public Health Advisory System was unveiled and immediately had the county on a level 3 advisory, which indicates a “very high exposure and spread,” advising residents to “limit activities as much as possible.” The county has stood at a level 3 advisory ever since.

Combined Columbus and Franklin County jurisdiction data from the Ohio Disease Reporting System as of 8/11/2020 at 10 a.m.

It’s under this context that many local schools have reassessed their plans. See a rundown of where local colleges and universities stand below:

The Ohio State University — The Ohio State University plans to return on-campus operations, albeit with new protocols. As of last week, in-person classes will be limited to 50 students, health and safety measures will be implemented for instructors, free “return-to-campus” kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff and a COVID-19 surveillance testing program will be required for undergraduate students.

Buildings across OSU’s campus will also be reopening this week, including Wexner Center for the Arts galleries. Meanwhile, The Big Ten Conference announced that the fall sports season for Ohio State and other Big Ten schools would be postponed.

The university is providing regular, detailed updates on its Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site.

Columbus College of Art & Design — In early August, Columbus College of Art & Design President Dr. Melanie Corn announced the college’s plan to change primarily to remote learning for the fall, with exceptions for some courses that will be hybrid (taking place online with some instruction in-person).

CCAD has also created a new $1,000 pandemic grant for full-time undergraduate and graduate students to assist with financial hardships created by the pandemic. See more information here.

Ohio Wesleyan University — Ohio Wesleyan University will offer classes that are fully in-person as well as fully online — about 20% for the latter — but most will be hybrid. OWU also will plan to continue with online-only instruction after its Thanksgiving Break.

View the university’s Safe Campus Guide here.

Ohio University — Ohio University announced students in most programs will begin their fall classes remotely on Aug. 24 and continue remotely at least through Sept. 27. A select number of undergraduate and graduate students in a set number of programs have been permitted to return to campus where coursework requires in-person instruction or on-campus equipment and facilities. A second phase will begin Sept. 28, with details to be determined. Find more information here.

Otterbein University — Otterbein University will take a phased approach to reopening, which means some classes that cannot easily be reproduced online will meet in person or in a blended format. All other classes will begin the semester online. Starting Monday, Sept. 14, all courses will return to their originally intended format, where a number of classes that began online will return to in-person or blended formats. View more details here.

Capital University — Capital University also has a phased reopening plan that began bringing students back to campus in mid-July. As of June 30, courses will be offered in a variety of formats, including in-person and remote. More updates can be found here.

Columbus State Community College — Columbus State Community College has announced that classes will be mostly remote for fall semester, with exceptions for classes that are not able to be replicated online.

Columbus State is also providing emergency relief grants for students who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing “additional financial expenses as a result of campus disruptions related to the COVID-19 national health emergency.” Find more information and continuous updates here.

Ohio Dominican University — So far, Ohio Dominican University will continue with in-person classes, though in May university leadership announced a plan to extend its Thanksgiving Break and continue instruction online after, in order not to “bring the virus back to campus after interacting with family members while on break.”

Find continuous updates here.

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