In a time when many businesses are being effected negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ancilla College is actually keeping on track with enrollment numbers and are even doing better in some categories as compared with the numbers from the same time last year. Like other colleges and universities across the country, Ancilla has had to move quickly to accommodate the students, both new and returning, that plan on arriving in just a few short weeks.
All classrooms have been rearranged in order to allow for proper distancing between students and faculty. All rooms will be wiped down between classes, which also caused a change in class scheduling. Many spaces, such as the student lounge and Hardesty Hall, have been reworked to allow for use as classroom space. These factors have also changed the way courses are being taught at Ancilla.
There are many classes that would be difficult to teach outside of a classroom situation. Science Labs, Nursing Labs, and other more hands-on courses will still be taught in the classroom with proper social distancing measures. In order to make room for these classes however, many classes have changed to a format that requires less face-to-face time. Some have been switched to a fully online format, while others are in a hybrid format where the students will be in a face-to-face situation half of the time, and the rest will be done online.
The residence halls have also had to change protocols. Because of the larger sized dorm rooms, students will still be able to be placed two to a room, though three in a room will not be allowed. Fortunately, the dorms have private bathrooms which the residents will be taught how to properly maintain in order to reduce risk of contamination. The dining hall, which was formerly serving buffet-style meals, will also be modifying the deliverance of meals and will require social distancing at the tables.
To keep students from straying off campus looking for something to do, the college is ramping up activities to keep students occupied in their downtime. There will still be bicycles for students to use on the campus that is home to acres of woods with hiking trails. Kayaks will also be available to use on Lake Gilbraith behind the college building. Outdoor movies and other activities are also being planned to make sure students have plenty to do. Ancilla College athletics are in the NJCAA which has recently stated that all fall sports will shift to spring, with the exception of cross country.
It hasn’t been easy to change with the current times, but the leadership at Ancilla College has worked hard to put together a program that allows students to continue to walk into the future of their education while still practicing safe distancing measures. Working with others such as Independent Colleges of Indiana, NJCAA, and other college groups, Ancilla is ready to welcome students – not with open arms, unfortunately – but maybe a fist-bump.