Students at local colleges will be back on campus in fall

Published 5:00 pm Monday, July 27, 2020

SALISBURY — Catawba College, Livingstone College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College all plan to bring at least some students back to campus this fall.

Both Catawba and Livingstone moved all classes online last semester amid COVID-19 shutdowns though RCCC kept certain required classes like law enforcement and fire training on campus.

Most classes at the community college will continue to be offered online only at the beginning of the fall semester, though some programs have classes that require in-person instruction. That includes machining, welding, occupational therapy, nursing, automotive and cosmetology programs. Some classes that were blended in the past have been moved completely online.

All three schools will require social distancing, face coverings and health screenings on campus, including temperature checks. RCCC advises students to arrive 15 minutes before classes begin for the screening process. All three institutions will take on additional disinfecting measures as well, including frequent disinfection of high-touch areas, sanitizing stations and enhanced cleaning of buildings.

Livingstone and RCCC specifically reference “the Three Ws” — wearing a mask, hand washing and waiting to maintain social distancing.

Livingstone’s reopening committee is recommending the semester begin Sept. 8 to give the campus time to prepare its new protocols. The college will use an instructional model that will mix different types of classes. There will be traditional face-to-face, live streamed, online and hybrid classes.

The hybrid classes will meet in-person for three weeks at the beginning of the semester before moving to an online format. The plan published by the college says all freshmen and sophomore students will take face-to-face classes. The college’s general education courses will be offered face-to-face.

Catawba will begin classes in August as planned, but plans to end in-person classes before Thanksgiving, citing concerns from health professionals who believe there could be a second wave of COVID-19 beginning in late fall.

Catawba Dean of Students Jared Tice said the school’s plan has not changed as of Monday.

The first day of classes at Catawba will begin Aug. 18. In-person classes will end Nov. 24. All final exams will be held remotely.

Catawba outlined expectations for students and staff in a pledge as well.

“Being part of the Catawba community means each of us must take extraordinary steps to stay healthy and protect each other,” the pledge reads.

The pledge outlines following procedures such hand washing, monitoring symptoms, wearing face masks, staying home if you feel sick, social distancing, keeping common spaces clean, following signs and getting vaccinated for influenza this fall.

Catawba’s plan specifically prohibits students from visiting other residence halls or hosting visitors in residence halls at all.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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