Troy University is working on a plan to reopen its campuses by fall semester.
A college that attracts a lot of local students is making plans to open its many campuses in the fall. Troy University is working on a plan to make sure students have a normal college experience while also keeping them safe from COVID-19.
The main campus is in Troy, Alabama but the university has four other Alabama campuses and 60 teaching sites in 17 U.S. states and 11 countries. One of those sites is in Panama City.
While the spring semester was cut short due to the coronavirus, Troy officials are looking ahead to the fall and preparing to welcome students back on campus.
"The disruption has caused us to look at a number of different operational aspects that we do here at the university," Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Lance Tatum recently told Newschannel 7.
Staff and faculty at Troy University know most students who attend want to experience all aspects of college life.
But COVID-19 put an end to spring semester activities and like every other college moved to online classes. However, instead of dwelling on the past, the university is looking ahead.
"We thought it was really important that we look to the future. A time in which we could open the campus back up. Something for our students to look forward to," said Tatum.
Tatum also said they have individuals throughout the university who are experts in public safety and public health.
"In terms of trying to make sure we adhere to the guidelines that are given to us by the CDC and the state and federal levels," said Tatum. "Things that deal with social distancing and things that deal with disinfection and all the things that have been talked about for most of the United States over the last 40 to 50 days."
Tatum said the challenge is figuring out how to create a social environment while social distancing.
"The great thing is we've got a lot of creative staff here and we have students who are absolutely knocking the top out of how we’re doing things," said Tatum.
Troy also has about a thousand international students who are working online right now. But the school is hoping to get even those students back on campus in the fall.
“US embassies are closed around the world right now. Those have to open back up to get these students in to interview for visas. So there's a lot that we still have to wait and see what happens," said Tatum.
Tatum said one encouraging thing they've seen lately is national announcement day.
"We've been really happy to see all the students throughout the Southeast and really across the country who've made Troy their decision to attend in the fall and we know the Florida Panhandle is a large part of what makes up our student body and we’re very proud of the high schools and the connections and the alumni that we have down there," said Tatum.
Tatum says they normally bring incoming freshmen onto campus during the summer to see the university in person. They're moving that to a virtual tour that includes giving them a chance to talk with current students.