WSU Tri-Cities will welcome students back to campus this fall with new guidelines in place
RICHLAND, Wash. — As July approaches, colleges and universities in Washington are coming up with plans for the fall semester. On Wednesday, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation providing specific health guidance for four-year public and private institutions, as well as two-year community and technical colleges, apprenticeships and private career schools.
Locally, WSU Tri-Cities has already released preliminary guidelines for welcoming students back to campus safely.
“We’re doing everything we can to make it an excellent experience,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes. “We’re very excited about the possibilities for this fall.”
Haynes wrote a letter to students detailing a list of new safety guidelines that they plan to implement, though she said that things have been changing daily, sometimes hourly. The guidelines are based off of a letter written by WSU President Kirk Schulz earlier this month.
Along with social distancing and regular sanitizing, hand sanitizing stations will be installed around the WSU Tri-Cities campus and everyone on campus will be required to wear a mask. Exceptions to wearing face coverings will include when an individual is working alone in an office or if the individual has a medical condition.
Fall 2020 classes will be offered under the HyFlex model. This means many classes will have a combination of in-person and virtual lectures. Class sizes over 50 will be completely virtual.
Attendance will also be logged in case contact tracing needs to be conducted.
Student life events will be hosted in-person when appropriate and safe to do so, as well as virtually. The Student Affairs team is currently working on a plan and schedule of events for fall.
WSU Tri-Cities leadership is also looking into options for students who don’t feel like they can come to campus at all.
“We’re even looking putting people in the lab with GoPro cameras so that your partner can do the experiment and you’re watching right there with them,” she said. “Whatever it might take to accommodate students who may not be able to come to campus.”
They’re also putting Zoom cameras in every single classroom on campus for students to watch lectures remotely if they prefer.
WSU Tri-Cities is also considering changing the 2020-2021 academic calendar to minimize breaks and to reduce travel. If that happens, details will be announced prior to the start of the fall semester.
WSU also held a COVID-19 town hall Wednesday evening to discuss potential changes to the fall semester academic calendar, an update on intercollegiate athletics and more. Click here for more information as well as a link to watch past town halls.
For the latest updates on fall plans for WSU Tri-Cities, click here.