JONESBORO, Ark- Students at NYIT will complete the rest of their fall semester online as they will switch to fully virtual after Thanksgiving.
The medical school says the rise in cases comes at an interesting time; they planned to switch back in the summer.
“We actually decided when we were mapping out our semester from the beginning of the year, our academic year that we would put this in place,” says NYIT Associate Director External Relations and Marketing Casey Pearce. “The hospitalization rate and infection rate and the surge rate in northeast Arkansas absolutely affirmed that decision that we have to do everything we can to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe.”
This is one of the many steps NYIT’s done to help stop the spread, including requiring temperature screenings, closing common rooms and, only allowing students in the building for classes.
They are also conducting COVID-19 contact tracing for the Arkansas State University system.
The announcement comes as Craighead County continues to rank in the top five counties for the highest number of new daily cases in the state.
In addition to instruction going virtual, faculty and staff will work remotely during that period, with students and employees arriving back on January 19th.
Pearce says virtual learning was already incorporated into NYIT’s curriculum, allowing for an easy transition back to fully remote learning.
“We had a lot of lectures delivered virtually from New York here and Jonesboro back to New York, our faculty on our staff delivering lectures to students in New York as well,” says Pearce. “So, all of that was very second nature to us, so that makes this process very smooth for us as we transition again back to an all-virtual platform.”
Since they did anticipate the virtual learning switch, all hands-on labs and classes were moved to the beginning of the semester.
So, students would not be behind once they arrive back in January.