Local colleges plan for normal fall semester

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 20:03:45-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As summer winds down, college students are gearing up for a normal fall semester. After spending more than a year virtual learning, most colleges and universities are planning for in-person classes and less social distancing.

"I'm honestly so excited, Back on campus for one, actually in person and not being on a computer screen, and getting the whole community in a space where we could come together," said Jaylah Scphen, UCCS student.

"We've progressed a lot. I think UCCS did a great job in promoting vaccinations and getting the community in a space to come together," said Bryan Hill, UCCS student.

While UCCS will have mostly in-person classes, there will still be remote options.

"It is easier for us to start off open than contract versus start small and try to grow our classes," said Chris Valentine, UCCS spokesperson.

Both UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College plan to have face coverings optional for vaccinated students, but the unvaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing them. At UCCS, vaccinations will be required for the school year.

"How at UCCS we are doing that is an attestation form. So students just simply go online on the attestation form and check yes I've been vaccinated, no I haven't, or I'm exempt," said Valentine.

"We do have masking optional. Especially for people who are unvaccinated, we highly recommend that they do get vaccinated and do wear masks," said Warren Epstein, Pikes Peak Community College spokesperson. "We aren't requiring vaccination cards or vaccinations. We are trusting our students to be adults and to make the right decision here. That does influence their safety and the safety of others."

Warren says there will also be a new virtual learning option for students.

"We're going to have more classes than ever that are hybrid. It's called Hy-Flex, and this is one of the takeaways of COVID. A lot of people like the flexibility of I have to take care of my kid today and I've done my homework, but I don't want to go into class today," said Warren.

It's not just about the flexibility for some students, but the resources that come from being in the building.

"It was pretty hard for me during the pandemic because I was on the street doing my math and everything," said Delton Battles.

UCCS students return August 23th and Pikes Peak Community Students August 30th.