PORTSMOUTH, OH — Shawnee State University President Jeff Bauer announced plans to return to campus in a phased approach over the summer leading to the Aug. 24 start of fall semester.
“We look forward to welcoming all of our new and returning students back to campus this fall,” Bauer said. “As our state, nation and the world continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, we are taking steps to ensure that our return to campus is done safely.”
Bauer said that University officials are working over the summer to make necessary adjustments to classrooms, develop safety protocols and establish guidelines for faculty, staff and students.
“The safety of those in our campus community is our top priority,” he said. “We are working with local and state health experts to ensure appropriate physical distancing, health monitoring and personal protection.”
Shawnee State has begun the first phase of preparations, Bauer said. From now through June 28, many employees in non-public offices are returning to campus to prepare for fall semester. Students in a handful of health and science courses are also returning to the classroom during June for laboratory experiences.
“The labs are going well,” Bauer said. “Students in our health sciences are used to wearing face masks and personal protective equipment. Our faculty are doing an extraordinary job of assessing and modifying classrooms to further improve safety and we’re learning from their feedback as we move forward.”
From June 29 through Aug. 23, most public services on campus will re-open at SSU to provide academic and student services. Based on operational needs, some offices will continue to provide support remotely.
The fall semester will begin Aug. 24 with a combination of “in-person” classes and remote instruction for larger populated classrooms, based on safety requirements. Housing will be open to students, as well.
“We’re coming back to the classroom,” Bauer said. “Face-to-face instruction will resume and students should expect a mix of in-person and online classes. While the delivery may vary, we will continue to provide our students and community the full range of services they have grown to rely upon from Shawnee State University.”
Shawnee State anticipates welcoming more than 3,300 new and returning students.
“Each class is special,” Bauer said. “I look at the accomplishments of the 500 graduates who just earned their Shawnee State degrees last month and how they’re using those degrees to make a difference in our world. I look forward to the impact that our new and returning students will make – and the future they can expect with a college degree.”
According to a recently released Federal Reserve report, adults with at least a bachelor’s degree are significantly more likely to be doing “at least okay financially” (88 percent) than those with a high school diploma or less (63 percent).
“A college degree is a good investment. With our unique mission of making college more accessible through low tuition and open enrollment, we believe a Shawnee State degree is an even better one,” Bauer said.