While it will look different, state-run colleges and universities expect to welcome students back to campus in the fall with certain procedures and precautions in place.
The plan includes 18 locations of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH).
James Dean, president of the University of New Hampshire, wrote in a letter that the return “will not look the same as any other time” in the school’s history.
“We don’t have all of the answers and ask for your patience and support as we continue to make decisions based on the evolving guidance from state and federal public health officials,” he wrote.
System leaders have worked closely with state leaders and health professionals to develop guidelines and criteria that institutions will follow to support a safe return, according to a news release.
Each campus will work with a task force to ensure social distancing regulations and develop online learning components if that process needs to continue.
“The institutions are making investments over the spring and summer to improve technology and support their teaching and learning environments as they further develop high quality, blended learning capabilities,” the news release reads.
Labs and other hands-on components at the community college will likely return later this spring and summer.
USNH enrolls 32,000 students and consists of four public institutions: Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire.
“The vibrance, creativity, talent, and impact of our students, faculty, and employees who inspire our mission to the state of New Hampshire are missed, and we are working diligently to restore safe frameworks that will enable the return of our communities and their impact on our local economies” said Todd Leach, USNH chancellor, in a statement.
CCSNH consists of seven colleges, offering associate degrees and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dual-credit partnerships with New Hampshire high schools.
“This spring has shown us how adeptly our faculty, staff and students can adjust to changing circumstances,” said Susan Huard, interim Chancellor of CCSNH. “Higher education supports strong communities and our state’s economy in so many ways through fulfillment of our public mission, and we will continue providing the opportunities that our residents rely on to sustain a high quality of life in the Granite State.”
New England College, which has campuses in Henniker and Manchester, also plans to resume in-person classes in the fall, NEC announced Friday.
After deciding to move classes online on March 13, the college is preparing to reopen its doors Aug. 24 to over 1,000 new and returning residential undergraduates, the school said.