The University of Connecticut has laid out its preliminary plan for the fall semester as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic that largely wiped out a year of in-person learning for students and staff.
In the fall, things will look more familiar on campus, as UConn looks to bring back the majority of students for on-campus learning, though there will be some minor alterations regarding student life and academics.
According to UConn President Thomas Katsouleas, in the fall 2021 semester, undergraduate courses are expected to be upwards of 93 percent in-person learning. On-campus housing is also tentatively scheduled to reach up to 90 percent capacity, depending on the COVID-19 circumstances in the state when the semester begins.
“The residential community will continue to plan for holding some bed space for quarantine and isolation should COVID-19 remain present at UConn,” Katsouleas noted.
With registration ongoing for classes in the summer and fall, Katsouleas said that UConn is seeking to provide “a more fully in-person academic experience next year than was possible this year.
“We will be flexible moving forward to support evolving academic needs in our schools and colleges,” he said. “Moreover, we will be closely monitoring guidance on social distancing, vaccination rates, and other public health indicators over the next few months that could affect these levels of in-person experiences.”
Katsouleas is encouraging students to schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available to all adults 16 and over in Connecticut as of Monday, April 5.
The University is also learning from the COVID-19 outbreak by putting in new policies to improve flexibility and achievement for students and teachers operating remotely.
“The University is in the process of examining new policies and approaches that may allow for greater flexibility for managers and employees when it comes to remote working in the future – beginning this fall – while ensuring that fair, equitable and consistent criteria can be implemented across the University, balanced with University needs.”
According to Katsouleas, UConn is also putting together two committees - the Future of Learning Committee and the Future of Work Committee - to plan ahead for both the short and long implications of the pandemic.
“Over the coming weeks and months, these groups will meet to discuss and recommend any number of changes and new approaches the University may adopt as we work to address problems and evolve for the better based on our experience during the pandemic,” he wrote in an email.
UConn is set to present its formal re-entry plan for the fall 2021 semester on Monday, May 24, which will include additional details and are subject to be updated through the summer.
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