Clark State: First day goes ‘very smoothly’ amid coronavirus pandemic

Clark State Community College returned to campus Monday for the first day of fall semester classes.

The first day has gone “very smoothly” and faculty and staff are excited to welcome students back to campus, said a Clark State spokesperson.

Although the college may look and feel different this year, President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin said their commitment to students “remains as strong as ever.”

“The first day of classes is widely anticipated and exciting for employees and students alike, and while we will be conducting many classes in virtual environment, we recognize the important work we do in helping students continue their educational momentum,” she said. “Clark State is prepared and has been strategic in its deployment of CARES Act resources to assist students and employees with the technology and modifications needed to learn and teach.”

Over 4,250 fall semester students had the choice of in-person, online and/or hybrid courses for the fall. This includes 2,450 students who are online only, 307 students who are in-person only, and 1,510 students who are a mixture of online, hybrid and in-person.

“Fall semester enrollment will continue to fluctuate as students continue to enroll for this term as well as later fall terms that start on Sept. 21 and Oct. 19,” the spokesperson said.

Students that return to campus are asked to follow a “Return to Campus Daily Checklist” that follows guidelines regarding the “Responsible Restart of Ohio.”

“Clark State is focused on the health and wellness of all students, employees and visitors, and we have put protocols in place to create a safe environment that is conducive to learning, whether virtual or in-person,” Blondin said.

Some of what the college did to reopen include deep cleaning and sanitizing, purchased new equipment to make sanitization more efficient, increased communication, and established social distancing and redesigns of classrooms.

Those on campus are asked to wear masks, frequently hand wash, use hand sanitizer that is outside of the classrooms, and social distance when possible.

Students are responding “very well” to the safety protocols in place.

“The students are supportive and understand the protocols are for their safety as well as the safety of other students, faculty and staff,” the spokesperson said.

Other area colleges that started Monday include Wright State University, which was expected to start with fewer than 30% of classes to be held physically on campus and 70% to be held online or remotely, and the University of Dayton, who moved all classes during the first week of the term to remote, online learning.

Wittenberg students started classes on Monday, Aug. 17.

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