Coronavirus brings new changes to Tarleton State University

Nicholas Ratcliff

Multimedia Journalist

Tarleton State University has announced that it will reopen in the fall of 2020 after having to shut down on-campus learning during the spring semester due to the coronavirus.

While many students are excited to return to Tarleton and continue their education, others are wondering what the fall semester might look like. Tarleton’s Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications Cecelia Jacobs was able to shed some light on what students can expect their classroom environment to look like when they return in the fall.

Jacobs said, “Plans are to offer most courses in hybrid (hy-flex) mode; we are upgrading equipment so this can happen. A single course will combine face-to-face instruction, remote synchronous and asynchronous instruction, and online learning. In the face-to-face portion, we will be certain to meet social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements. This combination of teaching modes will let us respond at any of our campuses to a short-time shutdown while we accommodate students or faculty who find themselves needing to isolate or quarantine. We look forward to the face-to-face component but will always defer to current conditions and guidelines. In some programs, particularly graduate programs, Tarleton has offered online classes for years. We will continue to offer some online classes for students who need them for those programs.”

Many Tarleton students are wondering how organizations such as Greek life, club sports and other student organizations will be affected in the fall as well as if they will be able to meet face to face at all.

Jacobs said, “We plan to open normally but will follow the governor’s orders and Centers for Disease Control guidance. Virtual meetings and services will be available as needed. We know our students will be glad to again be on campus; we hope to offer a robust programming agenda so that students have the best fall ever in their organizations, Greek life events and club sports.”

As for football and other sports, Tarleton officials remain optimistic that the programs will be able to proceed as planned.

“We are optimistic that Tarleton will resume play,” Jacobs said. “We will adhere to guidelines established by the governor, The Texas A&M University System, NCAA protocol and the Western Athletic Conference. After June 1 players can voluntarily strengthen and condition in small groups. However, plans are fluid in these unprecedented times.”

Tarleton is excited to reopen its doors, but the coronavirus can be unpredictable, therefore, Tarleton promises to closely monitor the situation to ensure both student and staff safety.

Jacobs said, “Decisions will be based on the most current guidance from federal, state and local leaders, The Texas A&M University System and public health officials to ensure a safe and healthy community at all Tarleton locations. We have strived since Day 1 of COVID-19 to ensure that our students, staff and faculty have a safe learning and working environment, and we will not let up, so Tarleton Texans can enjoy in-class and out-of-classroom experiences second to none.”

Tarleton’s plan for reopening will offer students a safe way to continue their education, participate in their student organizations and compete in organized sport events. Although the fall semester will be a lot different than semesters before it, it will still offer a semblance of normalcy that many of its students need after the coronavirus outbreak.

For more information about Tarleton’s response to the coronavirus go to https://www.tarleton.edu/coronavirus/index.html.

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