Colleges and universities across the country are considering what summer and fall classes could look like if COVID-19 concerns carry on.
Beloit College officials already moved summer courses online, but knew they needed to be more proactive.
They met with faculty and decided to divide semesters into two condensed modules.
Eric Boynton is Provost and Dean of the College. He says it makes the College more flexible if the pandemic lingers.
“We can minimize the disruption COVID has on our students by allowing that first module to go online. But the second one, then we can bring people back to campus,” he said.
Boynton says it’s better if students take no more than two online classes per module. He says that’s easier on them. He says this spring the college has seen the challenge for students taking four online courses at once.
This is a one-year pilot program, but Boynton says if it’s successful they could continue the new model.
Boynton says they’re offering extra financial assistance to students, including freezing tuition prices for those returning to school.
“In this time of hardship, we're not going to squeeze people more, we're going to recognize that we need to think about how the institution is preparing future lives, even five years from now," he said.
They’re also launching a program called the Midwest Flagship Match. For Illinois students, Boynton says the program guarantees tuition prices at the private liberal arts college will be the same or lower than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Other schools, like the University of Illinois System, are creating financial aid funds and relief efforts to help students cover costs for next year.