Fall 2020 Reopening Planning Process
The “Blueprint for the Fall 2020 Semester” serves as a guide to the successful reopening of the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) campus.
The planning process began in April amid the early days of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Two guiding principles: the health and safety of the CCSU community and student success remained the highest priorities as the University considered academic, psychosocial, and financial issues and various educational formats — including an online model for classes, a combination of online and on-ground classes, or a fully remote academic and administrative operation.
Eight work groups with members drawn from numerous departments across the campus reviewed and researched eight general areas: academics; technology; student life; logistics and operations; student recruitment and supports; social and emotional aspects; community and alumni relations; and essential personnel to consider the following questions:
- What challenges must be met to reopen for the Fall 2020 semester?
- What are the challenges in implementing on-ground, hybrid, and remote models?
- What services/activities may not be provided in a remote model?
- What immediate and long-term needs must be considered?
The work groups’ summaries included information and data gathered from the campus community, our sister institutions, medical experts, and state and federal health agencies. Safety was the paramount theme in all the summaries, with various overlaps in challenges and solutions related to on-ground, hybrid, and remote experiences.
A steering committee appointed by President Toro reviewed and analyzed the work groups’ summaries while considering the gating conditions required by the Governor’s ReOpen CT Task Force. In its report to the President and Executive Committee, the Steering Committee recommended that two pathways, a remote model and a flexible hybrid (HyFlex), were realistic options in need of further study.
The Executive Committee expanded the number of work groups to 16 and directed the teams to focus on the academic, administrative, and operational logistics for each pathway. Included in this charge was the understanding that HyFlex was the preferred pathway, though an equal focus was put on each pathway. This would ensure the University’s ability to smoothly and swiftly transition from HyFlex to remote due to the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 16 work groups, involving more than 120 members of the CCSU community, worked both independently and collectively to provide detailed plans and guidance to the Steering Committee. Their suggestions and concerns, along with guidelines and policies established by the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) System Office, are reflected in this “Blueprint for the Fall 2020 Semester.”