Ball State to return to on-campus instruction in fall

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MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State students will return to campus in the fall, resuming classes on schedule.

The university made the announcement Wednesday after the board of trustees voted to approve plans for face-to-face instruction to begin on August 24, as scheduled.

The university is taking several steps to advance the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. These include:

  • Retaining a sufficient number of rooms in residence halls and in other University-owned facilities to quarantine and isolate students who may be exposed to or who may test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
  • Adjusting room assignments to reduce the number of students who use the same restroom and other common areas.
  • Incorporating staggered and alternating work schedules, reconfigured workstations, remote work, and other accommodations to limit density on campus and maximize safety.

“We have heard from many returning and prospective students that they value the personal education that we uniquely provide,” President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “Our students told us they also want to participate in immersive learning projects, student life, and our vibrant campus experiences.”

President Mearns said that in the past month, the Academic Planning Group assembled and led by Provost Susana Rivera-Mills, reviewed a vast array of courses that Ball State offers to undergraduate and graduate students, and evaluated how faculty can use technology to improve learning.

Key components of the plans include:

  • Faculty will prepare classes that can quickly shift from being taught in-person to online, depending on conditions on campus and in the community.
  • Faculty will front-load learning activities that are best facilitated by face-to-face instruction so that those activities are completed before the Thanksgiving break. After the Thanksgiving break, all remaining instruction, as well as all final projects and exams, will be completed online.
  • The University will cancel the two-day Fall break and will schedule class sessions on Labor Day. These changes enable students to have 13 weeks of on-campus instruction before the Thanksgiving break.
  • To accommodate faculty and students who may be in high-risk populations, the University will offer more online courses.

Within two weeks, Provost Rivera-Mills will provide faculty and staff with more detailed information. Provost Rivera-Mills said the University is putting systems into place to support faculty as they design their bimodal courses.

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