October 27, 2020 - Columbus State University forecasts students' academic, student experience for spring semester
Although uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom over the state and nation, Columbus State University is looking toward spring semester opportunities to increase its engagement with students through greater in-person academic and student life experiences.
On Oct. 26, university officials updated students on spring semester plans, informed largely by the University System of Georgia's charge to its 26 institutions in early October to commit to expanding in- person instruction and other student interactions this spring.
These changes will be accompanied by a continued emphasis on following applicable public health guidelines recommended by state and federal agencies. Currently, university leaders anticipate the continued reliance on face covering and physical distancing practices. Recent changes to our academic calendar - the delayed start of the spring semester and the elimination of spring break - further reinforce the vigilance that will be required during the spring semester as this pandemic lingers.
"I join President Markwood in thanking our students, parents and employees for their patience as we navigate the unknowns of this pandemic together," said Dr. Deborah Bordelon, CSU's provost and executive vice president. "We are not out of the woods yet, which means we all must be prepared to adapt to the changing public health landscape. However, we remain encouraged by how CSU has been spared a greater brunt during the fall semester compared to the disruptions the pandemic has caused at other universities."
Academically, the university will move toward increased in-person instruction through hybrid, extended classroom and traditional instructional modalities. Hybrid courses - those that combine in-person instruction and web-based online learning - will maintain as close to a 50-50 ratio of online and in- person instruction as possible. Extended classroom instruction - where the class is split into smaller groups that rotate between in-class and virtual learning - will provide every student with at least one in-person interaction per week.
In conjunction with their studies, students will benefit from student support services - such as advising, tutoring, and counseling - that transition from their virtual fall semester delivery to more in-person interactions in the spring.
Outside the classroom, CSU's Office of Student Life and Development will be onboarding in-person activities and events, and expanded access to on-campus recreational services - all with applicable public health guidelines in mind. These include multiple Cougar Kickoff events, including the Picnic, service opportunities, outdoor movies, cultural events, leadership workshops, intramural sports, club sports, and other recreational events and competitions - just to name a few.
The Office of Admissions continues to offer prospective students and their families a variety of opportunities to connect with the university virtually and in-person. These range from in-person single- family and small-group tours for prospective students, as well as specialized tour experiences for prospective transfer and graduate students, and adult and military learners. Virtually, prospective students can continue to benefit from virtual tour experiences and "Discovery Day" preview events, during which they can meet with future professors, connect with CSU students, learn about our creative and innovative hands-on programs, and discover how we create leaders by serving our community.
For current and future information about CSU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.columbusstate.edu/covid-response.