College will look different this fall; everyone is sure of that. Nevertheless, students, families, faculty, and staff are all wondering just what to expect and how best to prepare. While this year has taught us that nothing is certain, here are four possible changes to expect: 

1. More students online full-time

The most obvious change we’re seeing is that the percentage of students who will be online full-time is higher than in previous years. Some higher education institutions will only be offering remote courses, while others will have in-person options, but will still see a large number of students opting to take classes exclusively online. For example, according to the article, Why Scripps College Went Online-Only for the Fall, West Chester University in Pennsylvania announced that it will go almost entirely online this fall, citing the rising coronavirus case count in the United States.

2. Home by Thanksgiving for some Colleges and Universities

According to the article, College Calendars in the Pandemic: No Fall Break and Home by Thanksgiving, college calendars and schedules are being modified so that breaks will look different this year.

3. More health protocols 

Imagine a campus filled with more than 50,000 students who are all trying to abide by social distancing norms. That’s the reality facing some of the largest universities this fall. Even if enrollment is down 10 to 15 percent, having students on campus presents a significant challenge. Therefore, we’ll see colleges and universities implementing new health and safety measures, such as only single or double occupancy dorm rooms, robust contact tracing, and common areas marked off to maintain social distancing. 

4. Less travel and fewer international students

Travel restrictions will continue through the fall if not longer. This of course means canceled student trips and missed learning opportunities overseas. Unfortunately, it also implies that fewer international students will be studying in the US.

Whether you will be teaching online or remote this fall, Vista Higher Learning is here to help. We have all the support you need to get you and your students online, from on-demand webinars, to training documents and helpful videos.

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