Colleges prepare for back to school

Jessica Miles
Updated: July 29, 2020 06:57 PM
Created: July 29, 2020 05:12 PM

Just 3 weeks ago, soon to be college freshman Ella Stevens signed up for classes at the University of Minnesota.

"I had my orientation on July 7th and signed up for classes and when I signed up most of my classes were in-person but now most of them are online, all but one," Stevens said.


U of M numbers indicate there are 2,655 classes that are assigned a room for in-person or blended learning. That's roughly 30% of courses.
About 70%, or 6,254, are listed as online or remote.

"I'm still excited but it's kind of hard because I won't be able to go out and meet new people in my classes," Stevens said.

The university says roughly 60% of students on the Twin Cities campus will have at least one in-person or blended class.

U of M: At least 70% of classes set to be held online or remotely

At Concordia University in St. Paul, enrollment is hitting records as the college prepares for face-to-face instruction in September.

"We have very small classes, which is one of the things that sets us apart, and also really helps us adapt in this particular situation with COVID-19," said Jason Rahn, Concordia St. Paul Associate V.P. of Student Life and Dean of Students.

Concordia has been providing online courses for 25 years so when COVID-19 hit last spring, its roughly 1,500 undergraduates only missed one day of instruction transitioning from in-person to virtual learning.

"I think that our students are very excited to come back to campus," Rahn said.

Schools prepare plans for fall as answers for upcoming academic year are expected this week

KSTP and SurveyUSA polled a thousand adults from July 24 to July 27 and asked about college classes, specifically, should colleges and universities open this fall, and if so, how?

A total of 39% of respondents said higher education should open with a hybrid learning model.

Asked if Gov. Tim Walz is doing enough to create a safe learning environment for students to go back to school in the fall, 41% stated he needs to do more.

Despite the unknowns, Stevens is hopeful.

"It's kind of hard but you can't really change it, so I'm just trying to look at it the most positive way I can," she said.

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