MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) – As college students get ready to take their final exams of the spring semester from home, they still don't know whether or not they will return to campus this fall.
Universities across Wisconsin are already trying to come up with plans to deal with the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic and the fall semester could look very different for students.
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Right now, colleges across the state are expecting the worst but hoping for the best.
Here's how universities across the state are dealing with the health crisis:
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
UW-Green Bay Chancellor-Elect Michael Alexander knows one thing for sure: there will be some type of instruction this fall.
“We're trying to prepare for every possible scenario we can see moving forward,” Alexander said. “We are preparing for some students who will want to access classes not in-person and then there's, you know, the large group who are going to obviously want to be back in-person, and so we're taking all the necessary steps we need to take to be ready to hopefully make that happen.”
UW-Green Bay doesn't have a set timeline for deciding how fall classes will be held.
Alexander says the university just urges students to stick with their education in these uncertain times.
“We are going everything we can to make sure people are not getting behind in their educational pursuits,” Alexander said. “Especially in times like this, we want to make sure that people have a sense of normalcy and routine.”
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Earlier this week, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Provost Karl Scholz spoke to the University Committee made up of faculty leaders about possible options for the fall semester.
Those include returning to normal in-person classes, continuing to operate completely virtually, or a hybrid of both in-person and virtual classes.
Chancellor Blank says the option they pick will depend on the availability of coronavirus testing, especially for students living in residence halls.
UW-Madison expects to decide by the end of July.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Meanwhile, UW-Eau Claire is seeing an increase in applications from students near the university who may have planned to move for college but reconsidered because of the pandemic.
Still, the university is coming up with a series of plans just in case there is a more than 10-percent decline in overall enrollment and emergency state budget cuts.
UW-Eau Claire plans to decide whether to hold in-person classes by July 10.