UWS Extends Spring Break, Moves Classes Online for Coronavirus; WITC Weighing Options

UWS moves to online classes until April.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- College campuses in Superior are making adjustments and preparations for the Coronavirus.

University of Wisconsin Superior is extending its Spring Break and moving all classes online until April, and WITC is considering alternate delivery modes for classes.

“I like staying busy. So part of me, I don’t mind it,” UWS Student Body President Zack Abt said. “It’ll be nice to kinda relax.”

The University advises students to be away from classes between now to mid-April. However the common areas and the cafe will stay open.

For some students, the extension complicates their plans.

“I’m taking my two friends home with me, one’s from Brazil and one’s from Japan,” said Freshman Emma Payne. “It’ll be hard to have them home with me for a whole month.”

And moving all classes online is harder than it seems for some. “The big concern is how those classes will transition and whether or not people will feel comfortable being able to pass the class once it’s online,” Abt said.

“I do have two classes that are in a lab and I also am taking communications this semester which wil be hard for all my speeches I have to do,” said Payne.

Meanwhile at nearby Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, most of the programs like welding involve hands-on work.

“We’ll have to be innovative to try to figure out what we’re going to do,” WITC Marketing and Communications Director Jena Vogtman said. “Some of the alternate options beyond online could partially consist of doing simulations.”

Should classes need to be moved online, these simulations could give students the hands-on, in-the-field work without having to come to campus.

“One of the alternatives for nursing is to be able to have students work with what we call a sim man, and the instructor can then have that sim man respond and do different things,” said Vogtman.

However, due to WITC’s local student body, they have not officially extended Spring Break, or moved classes online yet. “Most of our students come from within a 50 mile radius which is the nature of technical colleges and community colleges generally.”

But they are still taking measures urging students to practice better hygiene, posting more hand sanitizer stations and more signs about washing hands. You can also follow their Coronavirus page online for updates.

Back at UWS the Student Government Association said international students are worried about how graduation will work out.

“There’s a lot of people who are just concerned they won’t be able to graduate on time and then on top of that, since we’re fortunate enough to have such a high concentration of international students, their families might not be able to come over,” Abt said.

Despite all the changes, both campuses remind their students and staff that no case has been discovered in Douglas County yet, so both campuses are safe.

“What we’re going to do, to the best of our ability, is to see how we can come up with plans to help kind of ease people’s minds.” said Abt.

Following the one week extension, classes will be online until April 13th, and officials will notify students if they will continue online for the rest of the semester by April 8th.

Check out our story on Minnesota colleges and universities to find out how they’re adjusting due to the Coronavirus.

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