Fall semester: How do Kansas universities look to proceed?

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s a question many have. How are universities looking to continue come this fall? Many are still unsure but Wichita State University has released its plan.

In-person classes will run until Thanksgiving break, and then, classes will switch to remote learning.

“This makes the most sense. It’s the least disruptive for the university and also for the students,” said WSU Provost Dr. Rick Muma.

They also plan to cancel fall break to avoid any traveling from students and staff. The goal is to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

As for other universities, Muma said Kansas State University and the University of Kansas might follow the same plan.

“I know KU and K-State haven’t announced that I know. They are talking about it because you know I meet with my counterparts once a month at the council board of Kansas meetings and so I know they’re looking at some sorts of things,” said Muma

One thing that every school has said is that they plan to adapt as the days go by.

“Eventually, we’ll get back to some normalcy, but for a while, it’s going to be a bit different,” said Muma.

Here’s a list of each Kansas University and what they are planning for their semester: 

EMPORIA STATE UNIVERSITY: The goal is to go back to in-person classes. When students return to campus, there will be additional safety measures like wearing masks, continued social distancing, sanitizing, cleaning, and sanitizing some more. Some face-to-face classes will resume for the second summer session. The plan is to be on campus for the Fall offering face-to-face classes. They will comply with federal, state, and local guidance. It is subject to change if other scenarios come forward. More information can be found on Emporia State University’s Website.

FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY: The plan is to reopen the campus for face-to-face classes this fall. With many classes already web-based, the transition will only change some classes. The university’s Critical Incident Planning Group and Executive Leadership Team are developing a comprehensive plan for delivering on-campus classes this fall. Various safety measures, including things like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and adhering to enhanced sanitizing and cleaning processes will be implemented. No date has been finalized for staff to return to campus. More information can be found on Fort Hays State University’s Website.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY: Kansas State University has limited the face-to-face events to July 31. The university is forming a special workgroup to begin the development of a phased-in plan for the resumption of in-person activities, including classes, research, and events. The university recommends anyone coming to campus to wear face masks and follow safety precautions. More information on Kansas State University’s reopening plan can be found on their website.

PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY: Pittsburg State University plans to have face-to-face classes, open residence halls, and a resumption of student life, with safety precautions this fall. Three working groups have been formed to determine a path forward for the University. They are looking at the curricular design, classrooms, labs, resources, activities, revenue, and tuition. More information can be found on Pittsburg State University’s website.

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS: The steps for reopening KU’s campuses will be consistent with the phases from the State. Each facility will undergo evaluation for social distancing measures, minimize large groups by creating one-way travel patterns, limit furniture in common areas, make hand sanitizer stations readily available, and place high profile signage throughout the buildings. Masks will be required in certain environments. KU could possibly implement the same guidelines as WSU, but officials haven’t released an exact plan. More information can be found at the University of Kansas website.

WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY: The length of the Fall semester will stay the same. Classes start August 17th and end December 10th. Two-day Fall Break will be canceled to avoid the risk of an increased campus exposure. Those two days will be used to accelerate Thanksgiving Break. Thanksgiving break will begin on Monday, November 23rd. In-Person Classes will end Friday, November 20th, and students will then begin remote learning until December 10th. Students can remain at their on-campus housing, but the campus will be closed. More information can be found on Wichita State University’s Website.

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