TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s not your typical move-in weekend for Washburn University, but President Jerry Farley said they’ve been busy making adjustments to make the return to classrooms safer.
“The only thing that’s really the same is the quality of our faculty members and what they are teaching,” President Farley said.
Students will start the new semester on Monday, Aug. 17 with one of five learning options.
Some will be entirely in-person, which is actually the most popular choice right now, according to President Farley.
“You get the opportunity have questions and answers and you can see people’s faces,” Farley said.
But class sizes had to be cut down 50 percent to allow for social distancing, so they added four other options for students.
Another other option is to:
- Learn entirely online at student’s own pace
- Or, a hybrid of the two with some classes on campus and some online.
Finally, students can choose a:
- Remote virtual option that is online but with zoom videos only.
- Or remote hybrid option, which means online zoom videos, with students completing assignments on their own time.
While none of this is a conventional way to start the college experience, they’re still making sure it’s fun and somewhat normal with a few adjustments.
“I’m on the cheer squad so that’ll be a little different. Of course with stunting we’ll have to wear masks,” freshman Savannah Stout said.
During Thursday’s move-in weekend events, the university had its welcome week barbecue on the lawn.
Students were outside, wearing masks and encouraged to keep a safe distance from each other.
They’ll still have some fun this year on Washburn’s campus but in a way that’s safer and more appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Farley said the university thought enrollment would be down about 15 percent because of the pandemic, but so far its only down about 4 percent from last fall.