UMD, UWS, LSC Students Gear Up for Academic Year Full of Changes as School Starts

All schools are taking precautions such as increased signage for social distancing, hand sanitizing stations throughout campus, and extra staff to sanitize spaces and classrooms routinely. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Online v.s. in-person class settings, class sizes, and even semester start dates are all being changed at Northland colleges and universities this year, as students gear up for an academic year like no other.

The August 31st starting date at UMD hangs in uncertainty as the Board of Regents is set to vote Monday on whether or not to push things back

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel suggested move-in dates at UMD and two other schools be postponed for at least two weeks to provide additional time to evaluate new federal testing guidance. Undergraduate classes would proceed as planned, but strictly online for at least two weeks.

University officials stress that nothing is set in stone yet, until the board votes Monday morning.

Meanwhile when classes at the University of Wisconsin-Superior start September 2nd, 46% of the courses originally offered face-to-face on campus will be online at the same price as they would have been in person. The remaining 54% of courses will be offered on-campus, with limited class sizes.

According to the UWS website, these courses will switch exclusively to online after Thanksgiving break through the rest of fall semester — or sooner if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases, and students will be notified immediately.

And the first Northland college to open their doors, Lake Superior College begins classes Monday.

School officials said they’ve seen a last minute boost in numbers, as enrollment this past week alone increased 6%.

Many classrooms have had their capacity cut by about half, seating modified to only have one chair per each five-foot table which normally contains two chairs. Cleaning supplies and disposable masks will be available in each room.

Meetings or gatherings of greater than 25 should be done virtually and in-person meetings should be limited.

All the aforementioned schools are taking precautions such as increased signage for social distancing, hand sanitizing stations throughout campus, and extra staff to sanitize spaces and classrooms routinely.

Should an increase in COVID-19 happen on either school, they said they will let students know immediately and close the campus reverting instruction online.

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