Western New England University preparing for students returning this fall

Hampden County

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In less than two months, college students will be heading back to campus for the fall semester.

Western New England University thinks they’re putting themselves in the best position so that students and staff are safe from the virus.

The college experience will look a lot different for students when they return in August. In Springfield, WENU is implementing Covid-19 safety precautions, similar to those recommended by the state for public schools.

Helen Caulton-Harris, Commissioner of Springfield Health & Human Services, told 22News, “Our institutions will be doing everything they can to provide a safe environment for them so that everyone is safe, that’s the critical piece.”

Just like at local schools, the classroom experience will also be much different at local colleges. At Western New England University, the instructor will stand behind plexi-glass divider and all students will be required to have a mask on. Anyone who doesn’t wear to one will be asked to leave the classroom. Faculty members will also wear face shields and there will be capacity restraints.

“Our capacity for students inside the classroom has been cut in half. So we have had to double the usage of our campus, we had to open up new course sections but amazingly we’ve done it.”

Bryan Gross, Vice President, WNE Enrollment Management & Marketing

There will also be changes to food service on Western New England’s campus. Expect a lot more outdoor dining and takeout options. And as of now, they can’t guarantee a full online experience for students who don’t want to be in a classroom, since the majority of their classes are taught on campus.

In terms of enrollment, WNEU is already 25 students over their goal for the fall semester. They’ll be accepting first-year and transfer applications until August 15.

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