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Tennessee Tech plans to welcome students back to campus this fall

By Karen Lykins - Media Resources

Tennessee Tech has set a goal to bring students back to campus this fall, offering the traditional college experience students say they expect, Tech President Phil Oldham announced Friday. “There are qualities about our university that will naturally help us get back on campus this fall while making the safety and health of our campus community the priority,” said Oldham. For instance, Tech has the most classes under 20 students of any public university in the state. Faculty and academic leaders have been discussing how key class size and classroom adaptations will be to getting back to face-to-face instruction. “As a university built on practicality and problem solving, we are exploring ways we can safely bring students back to campus and still give them a complete college experience, even if it looks somewhat different than before the pandemic,” said Oldham. Tech has formed four action groups, which include faculty, staff and administrators, to focus on essential topics: Managing residential life Adapting classes and classrooms Screening for and responding to COVID-19 testing Cleaning and personal protection The president and his cabinet, made up of all vice presidents, serve as the steering committee for these groups. Contingency plans will be created so students, parents and the campus community will know what to expect if state or federal guidance interrupts plans in August or later in the semester. “Our faculty and students showed great resiliency in moving to online classes this spring, so that puts us in a great position, knowing that we can depend on and support each other when we are asked to respond to unexpected situations,” Oldham said. Tech will bring back employees in phases over the summer with a balanced approach to meeting the university’s needs to prepare for fall semester and the needs of employees transitioning back to campus. A plan will be announced in mid-May.

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