Colleges prepare for changes to upcoming semester amid COVID-19

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Local colleges are gearing up to welcome back students after months of preparation to make campus as safe as possible.

Both Austin and Grayson Colleges say a major component is managing how many people are in the classroom at once.

At both colleges, masks are required in all campus buildings.

Vice President of Student Affairs Tim Millerick says while students are excited to get back to school, the unknowns due to COVID-19 are inevitable.

“So all these changes we’re doing are necessary, but it causes some anxiety and some stress,” Millerick said.

Around 150 students have chosen to attend class remotely and live off campus.

And around 1,000 will either attend remotely and live on campus, or attend classes both in-person and online.

“One of the other things we’re managing is who comes to campus, how frequently and under what conditions,” Millerick said.

He says there will be a few outdoor classrooms as well as more outdoor events.

There’s also several outdoor Internet hot spots set up around campus.

Plus, plexiglass will be set up in different areas including the cafeteria, in order to serve food safely.

“We’ve been looking at both the big picture and every little picture we can,” Millerick said.

At Grayson College, courses will be mostly online, but those requiring an in-person component will be hybrid.

“Everyone that comes to campus has to check in, be screened and get a wristband before they can do anything else,” said Grayson College Director of Marketing and Communications Rhea Bermel.

They're also asking students to self-quarantine for two weeks before starting the semester.

“Everything that is in our power to control, we’re going to do that to keep everyone safe, but also to keep everyone learning,” Bermel said.

The first official day of class is August 24 for students at Grayson College and August 25 for Austin College.

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