UNCP readies campus ahead of move-in

Making The Grade

PEMBROKE, N.C. (WBTW) — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is preparing to welcome students back to campus after a pandemic-induced hiatus.

A few students will begin to move in later this week, while the bulk of move in will happen next week, university administrators say. Classes are set to begin Aug. 5.

Like with many things these days, UNCP won’t look the same as years prior.

The changes to accommodate a world with COVID start at the top- at move in- as university spokesperson Jodi Phelps told News13 Tuesday.

‘Traditionally, our new students come in in a one day time frame,” Phelps explained. “So you can imagine, everyone’s coming in on one day. That’s now spread out over about a week… and our returning students will come back a little before that too.”

Students have set sign up times to move in as well, in an effort to stagger the process.

Phelps said residents will notice ample signage across campus that will serve as reminders to take precautions against COVID. Students, staff and visitors need to wear masks.

Some classes will be held online or in a hybrid fashion. Face-to-face instruction will happen in classrooms spaced out to allow for social distancing. Some courses with a larger class sizes will be held in more spacious venues on campus.

Dining halls will operate at a 50 percent capacity, while the university offers other options like more grab and go items and a food truck to help maintain that.

“The goal is to reduce that congestion, reduce that capacity there so we can keep everyone healthy and safe and socially distant,” Phelps said.

Dorm buildings will be limited to those who live there. Cleaning efforts will be stepped up.

The university has set up a specific area in a case a student needs to isolate or quarantine.

“We have several people on campus who have been trained in contact tracing,” Phelps said. “Clean the area. Communicate with other people that person has been  in contact with and either test or recommend them to their provider for testing.”

Classes are beginning earlier than usual, allowing the semester to wrap up prior to Thanksgiving break.

News13 also learned more about Robeson Community College’s plan for the fall semester. Here is a statement from the college:

“As we prepare to welcome everyone back for the fall semester, the health and welfare of our students, faculty, staff, and community are our top priorities. We are committed to providing superior academic instruction and workforce training to our students despite the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVD-19 pandemic. To that end, RCC has established health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19, emphasizing the guidelines established by local and state health officials.

For students, the “Safe Return to Campus” plan will outline health and wellness guidance that optimize learning, while minimizing health risks and spreading the virus. Information on symptom monitoring, self-reporting, and self-isolating will be easily accessible for students with suspected exposure to the virus. Students not feeling well or experiencing symptoms will be encouraged to seek the appropriate medical care and not report for classes. The RCC faculty will work with students self-isolating or self-quarantining to complete any missed coursework.

Classes will be offered in a variety of methods, including traditional face-to-face with reduced class sizes, online asynchronous, online synchronous, hybrid, and blended. Our goal is to work with each student to find an instructional method that works best during these unprecedented times.

As our public health officials’ knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to unfold, RCC’s student plan will be updated.

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