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College campuses adjust as spring semester approaches

the college of saint scholastica nbc

DULUTH, MN-- Campuses across the Twin Ports are evaluating their fall semesters where COVID-19 precautions were in full effect and looking ahead to the spring semester.

Those at Lake Superior College say the fall semester went better than expected.

"More than half of our classes were online, but we still had a quarter and a half of our usual classes either in that hybrid option or completely on campus.", said Daniel Fanning, VP of External Relations.

Some programs simply weren't able to be held in a remote model like the auto, aviation, firefighter training programs.

Instead, LSC held them in larger facilities on campus with smaller class sizes.

"The students' kind of liked what we were able to do, which was maybe the size of the classes weren't going to be as big as they usually would be," said Fanning. "But we pride ourselves on being pretty small classes [anyway]."

For the spring semester, many students asked for more on-campus opportunities.

The school will be offering more on-campus tutoring and hybrid learning models for liberal arts and general education classes.

"Just to have some of that safe face to face interaction, students seemed hungry for that," added Fanning."[It's]not necessarily more classes on campus but more opportunities to meet with faculty."

Fanning says they've found some courses and programs work better for students in an online or hybrid model. The campus will continue to provide those learning models post-pandemic.

For those at St. Scholastica, they'll be starting the semester off in-person as they did in the fall.

Officials say they are ready to make adjustments as needed.

Ryan Sandefer, VP of Academic Affairs said by Thanksgiving, the campus was learning in a full remote setting like the rest of the state.

"We were looking at everything from course caps, classroom sizes, down to the number of how many chairs and desks we could fit into a particular space," said Sandefer.

Academic officials said student feedback and on-the-spot training helped them learn what was and wasn't working.

"What was happening in the first week, the third week, the fifth week, etc. to try and provide more competencies to those faculty to best meet student needs," Sandefer added.

Fanning said they had some students test positive for COVID-19 this fall but most were students learning online.
St. Scholastica said they also had a small percentage of cases on campus.

For those interested in attending LSC in the spring, click here to find new student information and application details

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Emma Quinn

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