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SWLA colleges plan for fall semester reopening

Updated: May. 29, 2020 at 9:30 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The end of the spring 2020 semester looked a lot different this year for college students as 100 percent of classes transitioned to online platforms.

The question now is whether or not students will have in-person classes come the fall semester.

“The plans for McNeese for the fall are to be fully back to a face-to-face classroom instruction environment," McNeese State University Director of Public Relations Candace Townsend said.

Townsend said the university has a task force that is working on plans for reopening and will adjust those plans to abide by safety protocols.

“We’ll be able to pivot, whether that might be to some sort of a hybrid class option but we’re also in touch with our local health department officials," she said. "We’re following guidance from both our local health officials as well as the state and the CDC.”

The university said all of their classes can function as online courses if necessary.

Officials with SOWELA said they also plan for their students to have face-to-face courses in August as it better suits all of their classes.

“Our fall plans are to open up a schedule like a traditional schedule but we will be probably limited by the capacity of the building, the capacity of the classrooms," SOWELA Chancellor Neil Aspinwall said. "But there are some of our classes that just do not lend themselves to an online environment.”

Chancellor Aspin said they plan to enforce social distancing by spreading students out to other classrooms. Similar to McNeese’s plan.

“We would space those students out in different labs with different instructors so they’re not by one another," he said. "Same way with some of our chemistry labs and some of our other classrooms we would begin to utilize other classrooms and not put probably ten students or less in a classroom.”

Both colleges plans depend on the state’s phases of reopening. Fall semester for McNeese and SOWELA are scheduled to being August 17.

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