UC and Xavier create new educational guidelines in response to COVID-19
Written By: ANDREW ZERMAN
As the fall semester begins, college students around Cincinnati are exploring the different ways that their schools are continuing during the pandemic.
The University of Cincinnati, the second largest college in the state of Ohio with more than 43,000 undergraduate students, faces challenges with in-person learning due to its size.
UC, according to their novel coronavirus webpage, “plans an approach with a combination of online, hybrid, hyflex, and in-person classes.” The UC website also notes that the majority of classes will be held online.
“All of my classes are online this semester,” UC junior Erica Jenks said. “Almost all of UC’s medical field programs are also online this semester.”
Jenks is studying to be a speech pathologist and wishes that there was more in-person class time.
“While I am happy that UC has our safety as a priority, it is also important to note that when we are medical professionals, most of us will be required to work in person,” Jenks added.
UC junior Robbie Davenport has similar feelings and wishes that a tuition reimbursement would accompany the move to online learning.
“All of my classes are hybrid except for two labs,” Davenport said. He also noted that for many upperclassmen like himself, off-campus roommates would help fill the social void left by pandemic restrictions.
“I live in a house with all of my friends, so I do not think that I will be affected socially by this,” Davenport said.
UC junior Danny Ruddy views online learning as something that not only could hinder social
life, but also exacerbates academic difficulty.
“I still have one in person class,” he said. “I do not like that I won’t be on campus as much as I want to be. It should be interesting trying to keep up with all the online stuff I have to do this semester.”
Xavier, which only has around 5,000 undergraduate students, faces different challenges than larger schools in the area.
According to their website, they “plan for the majority of undergraduate classes to be held face-to-face, taught by dedicated and expert faculty, and in the same small class size that defines a Xavier education.”
“Fortunately, only two of my classes are online,” junior Julie Bilcheck said. “I do think it will affect my academic life, however. Students might not be able to work closely in small groups due to social distancing.”
With online learning, many students fear losing the campus community that they believe has defined their Xavier experience.
“I am not sure about the status of any of my classes yet, but I believe that most of these classes will be online just to play it safe,” sophomore Nick Bell said.
“I do think that online classes will affect me socially because I won’t be able to talk to my classmates in person and meet new people, so I won’t really know the people in my classes. I also think it will be more difficult to find help on the assignments that I am struggling with,” Bell noted.
Xavier will begin classes Aug. 17 and plans to end in-person education for the semester before Thanksgiving break.