One year ago, college life shifted from walking across campus with friends to sitting behind a computer screen on Zoom as colleges sent students home as the coronavirus began to spread across the country.
While college life has remained atypical throughout the 2020-2021 academic school year, Northeastern University believes it might be able to provide students with a more traditional experience come the fall semester.
Those expectations were announced in a Tuesday letter sent to the campus community from provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, David Madigan.
“We developed many innovations and experiments to make the most of this unprecedented period, and some of these new approaches will continue to serve us well into the future,” Madigan said in the letter. “But the past year has reinforced the importance of our physical campuses for teaching, learning, research, and work.”
The combined efforts of mass vaccination, as well as the hopeful resumption of K-12 in-person education to relieve faculty and staff of serving as caregivers for their children should allow for a successful return to campus life, Madigan said.
While the university hopes to welcome students back to a “normal” semester in the first week of September, precautions such as wearing face coverings and continued COVID-19 testing will likely remain in effect, he said.
The safety of students and faculty remains the first priority, and if necessary, the university will shift and adapt plans, Madigan said.
“It is our hope that a full reopening in the fall will not only enhance our ability to achieve our mission, but also serve as a beacon of hope that a brighter future is within our grasp,” he said.