COBLESKILL — Students will return to campus at SUNY Cobleskill next month as some classes return to in-person instruction and the semester begins a week early on Aug. 17.
But the majority of courses will still likely be conducted remotely. While the plan posted to the college website said about 75 percent of courses have been identified for remote instruction with the remaining 25 percent set for face-to-face instruction, college officials thursday said a majority of programs will offer at least one in-person course.
The college’s plan, which was released Thursday morning, did not include a breakdown of which courses would be taught with what format. But other colleges have said they plan to start moving the most hands-on courses to in-person instruction first, like science labs, music lessons and culinary programs. SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio in a message alluded to the college’s own tradition of hands-on programs, particularly in the agriculture and animal science fields.
“SUNY Cobleskill is a hands-on learning college, and we strive to create a plan that honors this tradition,” Terenzio said in a video message accompanying the online plan.
The college plans to deliver in-person instruction courses “that require specialized equipment, facilities and resources.”
Resident students will begin moving onto campus Aug. 10, with classes starting Aug. 17, one week earlier than previously scheduled. In-person instruction will wrap up Nov. 20, and students will finish out the semester remotely after Thanksgiving break.
Before students arrive on campus they will be required to complete a personal health assessment and anyone who indicates a possible COVID-19 infection will have to get a test and be free of symptoms prior to their arrival on campus. Once students have returned to campus, the college plans to refer symptomatic individuals to get tested. Students will be monitored through regular symptom assessments.
The plan allows the flexibility for vulnerable faculty to teach classes remotely and for vulnerable students to access coursework remotely. The college will be requiring social distancing and face coverings and encouraging virtual meetings when possible.
Public and private colleges across the Capital Region have rolled out their own reopening plans over the past two weeks, with all schools envisioning a return to campus and restart of in-person instruction for at least some students.
Colleges are planning for a mix of both in-person and remote instruction and individual flexibility for students and staff with health concerns. Colleges are planning to adhere to social distancing, requiring face coverings and monitoring symptoms. Private colleges and the University at Albany plan to test students returning to campus and to monitor student health throughout the course of the semester, but community colleges, which serve mostly a commuter population, are not planning direct testing.
The plans all also contain the requisite caveats that the public health situation continues to evolve and that plans for late-August and early-September are still subject to change.