Not sure where to start? Explore the graphic below to navigate our resources to help college and university leaders safely repopulate their campus.
Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions have assembled taskforces to design operational strategies that protect the safety of their campus communities and maintain their financial operations. With mounting uncertainties and complexities, college and university leaders are facing challenges that will redefine their institutions and the future of higher education.
This resource center provides the latest information on key considerations for campus repopulation plans. As our work evolves, we will update this center with research, tools, and resources to help partners determine how to safely bring back their students, staff, and faculty amidst the global pandemic.
Institutions are scrambling to develop robust contact tracing plans as critical components of their containment strategies. Consider the following lessons learned from government-controlled contact tracing plans.
An essential public health tool to contain the spread of viruses, testing is the cornerstone of institutional repopulation plans. Review the potentials and limitations of COVID-19 testing.
To prevent spread of COVID-19, it is critical to separate identified infected individuals from the campus community. Watch the webinar to learn about the spectrum of quarantine and isolation strategies to consider for your repopulation plans.
Health Protocol Compliance
Repopulation plans must develop measures to ensure compliance to new policies and procedures on campuses. Check out these best practices for educating campuses on physical distancing.
Institutions must prepare for how they will scale down operations in the event of outbreaks this fall. Review which metrics you should be tracking and how to create a public-health-informed depopulation plan.
De-densifying campuses is a complex challenge that demands innovations across institutions use and manage their facilities. Listen to EAB experts discuss the magnitude of this challenge as they examine on-campus housing, dining facilities, and classroom spaces.
Traditionally a cornerstone of socialization for students, residence halls create unique challenges to repopulating campuses this fall. Review what institutions should consider for their residential operations to maintain the safety.
Institutional de-densification strategies involve a complex set of decisions which have significant downstream consequences. Read our expert analysis on which considerations should inform your academic de-densification plans.
Faculty have quickly mobilized to develop remote learning experiences for students, often with little training and resources. Check out our resource center to support remote instruction design for your short- and long-term institutional course planning.
Disruptions to on-campus learning pose great threats to the long-term skill building required to secure employment after graduation. Consider integrating experiential learning into your virtual offerings to address and prevent further gaps in career development.
Transitions to digital learning have exposed deep-seated equity concerns on campuses across the nation. Review how to design equitable and accessible virtual offerings for your students.
Developing a symptom monitoring and surveillance testing strategy is critical to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on your campus. Review these resources to determine which factors to consider in your institution’s containment plan.
The decision to pull-back from repopulation will be one of the most complicated any leadership team will make. Not only are the public health and financial consequences immense, but there are dozens of variables that could inform this decision. Some of these may contradict one another, and others—like faculty and student opinion—are not easily quantified.
Although most institutions acknowledge a need for testing in their reopening plans, few have provided concrete details about whom, how, and how often they plan to test. As leaders develop a plan for unprecedented COVID-19 testing in their communities, they must answer five key questions.
IT leaders are now grappling with how to effectively implement contact tracing technology and protocols on their campuses and ensure that data is being protected and ethically utilized. Although these new capabilities are still taking shape, we can glean some early lessons about the challenges and opportunities that contact tracing technology presents by reviewing how international and local governments have approached these tools.
As critical as it is to prioritize an isolation and quarantine strategy as part of your repopulation strategy, it is just as important to determine what approach works best for the needs of your campus community. Inherent in every decision is a balance between cost and risk to public health. EAB has spent the past few months speaking to higher education leaders about their IQ strategies and have catalogued the spectrum of approaches into the following tiers.
With dense-by-design campus facilities and the historical focus on in-person interactions, universities face some of the steepest challenges of any industry in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff. Campus leaders must weigh the financial and educational benefits of a well-populated campus with the public health concerns of learning and living in close quarters. Review these resources to evaluate your plan for modifying campus facilities to lower the risk of transmission.
The breakdowns in COVID-19 testing have left colleges and universities with only one lever to pull: more de-densification. Learn why the first weeks of term—even for the best-prepared institutions—suggest that it’s time to limit the number of students on campus as much as possible.
Why campus de-densification is a complicated set of decisions at the core of college re-opening plans
College and university leaders continue to grapple with difficult questions around bringing their students, faculty, and staff back to campus safely. Read our latest insight for more information on the complicated set of decisions at the core of re-opening plans.
Explore four major trends why institutions are reducing the number of students they plan to have return to campus.
As research leaders begin planning to ramp back up on-campus research activity, they must consider how to safely resume operations. A critical component will be meticulously scheduling and tracking lab occupants and users.
At many institutions, living on campus is a crucial dimension of the student experience, as well as a key source of auxiliary revenue. But current public health evidence indicates that communal living could strongly facilitate virus transmission, and many campuses lack the ability to give each student the safest option of a private room and bathroom. Ultimately, all universities are facing the same question: what is the housing solution that provides students with an on-campus experience that’s as fulfilling as possible, while also protecting the community from outbreaks?
Health Protocol Compliance
For campuses to resume face-to-face instruction, students will need to take public health precautions seriously. Currently, institutions are crafting education and enforcement policies to create new community norms around COVID-19 prevention. From marketing blitzes around handwashing to revising student conduct codes and course syllabi to include mask-wearing, leaders are exploring how to cultivate student buy-in.
In early June, EAB surveyed about 70 institutions on their plans to promote and enforce physical distancing on campus. Here are the three trends we uncovered.
Providing students with opportunities to build community and form meaningful connections will not only make students more willing to follow distancing guidelines, but will also positively impact students’ mental health—another growing crisis of the global pandemic. EAB has identified four strategies to foster connections among the student body in a physically distant environment.
Use this toolkit with your team to evaluate your current communication strategy to promote physical distancing on campus and identify any holes or missing populations from your current strategy.
Leveling Up Virtual Learning
Regardless of if and how institutions return to an in-person environment, academic leaders will have to consider how to serve students who cannot come back due to travel restrictions or health concerns. This is especially important given uncertainties about how the virus will evolve and how it will impact individual campus communities. To allow for the greatest flexibility, almost all face-to-face courses will need to be available in multiple modalities (e.g., hybrid, online synchronous, online asynchronous etc.). Review EAB resources related to online and hybrid learning to develop robust virtual learning experiences.
The continued spread of COVID-19 has forced many institutions to rethink their fall plans, and as a result of this an increasingly larger portion of the course catalog will likely be taught remotely. This represents a large shift in fall strategy that institutional leaders now need to prepare for in a limited amount of time.
Use this checklist to assess your current and planned remote courses and focus your efforts to improve quality in high-impact areas of course design in advance of next term.
As campuses continue to operate in our new virtual reality, it is critically important that accessibility is at the forefront of online design and instruction, so that all students can learn effectively. With a lot of progress to be made across the board, the IT Forum has narrowed down the top considerations for institutions looking to make their remote learning environments accessible for all.
The Online and Hybrid Education Strategy Resource Center was developed to guide academic leaders through the process of developing and expanding their online learning offerings.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education leaders scrambled to make important decisions about remote campus operations while trying to maintain some academic continuity for their students. Use this resource to reflect on your institution’s COVID-19 response and access guidance and resources to help improve your efforts in that area.