ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local colleges are making future plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Nazareth College is preparing to move to on-campus learning in the fall and the Rochester Institute of Technology is no longer requiring SAT or ACT scores for admission.
Multiple teams have been working on a safety plan at Nazareth. President Daan Braveman said they’re looking at everything from screening students daily, to one-way hallways and stairwells, to social distancing in classrooms. Touches faucets are already being installed in bathrooms. Dining hall and dorm room changes are also being discussed.
“We might organize the students in the residents hall by cohorts, so say theres a family of 15 people that live near each other they’ll eat with each other, it’s almost live having your own bubble at home,” said Braveman.
He said they’re also preparing to continue online learning or a combination of online and in-person.
“Say we have a class that holds 30 people but we’re only allowed to have 15 in it so we might have one day part of the time one class meets in the room and one part is on the Zoom call and then we flip it,” said Braveman.
Meanwhile, RIT announced they won’t be requiring standardized test scores from prospective students beginning in fall 2021. Marian Nicoletti is the director of admissions. She said they’ve been considering this for awhile but the pandemic played a role in the final decision.
“There’s a lot of issues with how students from different backgrounds, there’s a lot if bias in the test, and a lot of admissions professionals are asking themselves whether the test is a one size fits all,” said Nicoletti.
She said the College Board may offer the test online, which she said brings up more problems.
“That causes all kinds of issues with the validity, who’s taking the test all kinds of problems. It’s not just the direction we want to go in,” said Nicoletti.
Nazareth’s plans to move to on-campus learning are being guided by health agencies. The plans are subject to state and federal mandates.
Education falls into phase four of the New York State reopening plan. The governor hasn’t released guidelines about colleges reopening yet.