CSU offering hybrid return to school


By Scott Halasz - shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com



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WILBERFORCE — Central State University will offer in-person and online class options this fall.

The school previously announced it planned to have students on campus while taking prescribed precautions regarding COVID-19.

“As we navigate through the COVID-19 global pandemic, popular questions being asked to higher education leaders are; will school resume in person sessions this fall? Will classes be online or in person? The short answer for Central State University is ‘Yes,’ we will have classes this fall, and we have decided to offer classes in-person as well as online,” President Dr. Jack Thomas said in a letter posted on the CSU website. “In coming to our decision, it is important to be clear about what drove us to our decision, what our plans are, how we came to determine the plan and how we intend to execute and manage that plan. Lastly, and even more significantly, we must be prepared for the dynamic environment that we find ourselves in as it may require that we have a detailed contingency plan should there be a drastic change with the COVID-19 pandemic cases.”

For students who prefer a residential college experience, CSU is offering classes using a hybrid-cohort model that combines live, in-classroom learning and remote learning through synchronous video, Thomas said. To maintain social distancing and assure safety, in hybrid courses, students will alternate attending in-person and through video conference according to their assigned cohort. For students who prefer to study fully online, CSU is offering classes in two formats. Some online courses will use the university’s online learning system to deliver all instruction asynchronously, while others will meet remotely using live, synchronous video conferencing.

In-person classes run through Nov. 24 and will be remote after the Thanksgiving break. Classes will be reduced to 50 percent of their normal size.

“With the option to study either in residence or fully online, CSU provides students with choices and the flexibility to begin or continue their education in a format that fits their needs,” Thomas said. “We believe that CSU’s preparedness provides a safe place for our students. We also realize the importance of providing a remote solution so that all students can join and continue their education journey.”

Thomas also pointed to where CSU students come from as justification for having in-person classes.

“Forty-five percent of our students come from Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Chicago and Detroit,” Thomas said. “When you review the COVID-19 cases in those locations in comparison to Wilberforce, the risk is significantly less than in those major metropolitan areas. Our rural location works in our favor and positions CSU to be a safer location away from the more aggressive COVID-19 presence in their home cities. Our rigorous plan, frequent testing and cleaning processes will support a haven for all our on-campus students.”

CSU also has a contingency plan in the event of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“The hybrid model is designed to make an immediate and flawless shift should COVID-19 get out of hand and universities will have to go back solely online,” Thomas said.

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https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/08/web1_Jack-Thomas-l.jpgThomas

By Scott Halasz

shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.