CHARLOTTE – ECPI University Charlotte has reopened its campus with new protocols to protect against the spread of COVID-19 so students can stay on course for graduation.
ECPI is an accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate education in an accelerated format. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as two and a half years or an associate’s degree in as little as one and a half years if they already have college credit.
The school has six colleges with campuses in the Carolinas, Virginia and Florida. The Charlotte campus is at 4800 Airport Center Pkwy.
Campus President Victor Riley said no students have had to delay their completion due to coronavirus and reopening campus allows the school to ensure that continues.
“It affords our students with a great opportunity to get back into hands-on labs using very safe reopening procedures so they can prepare to go into a better career,” Riley said.
Some of those reopening procedures include requiring faculty, staff and students to have their temperature taken as they enter the building. Face masks should also be worn in all common areas.
The school will be enhancing its cleaning and disinfection of common areas, restrooms and high-touch surfaces each day. Sanitizing stations have also been set up near all entry and exit points, elevators and stairwells.
While many classes will continue to meet remotely during this time, most require a hands-on learning component. ECPI has reopened labs but will limit the number of students who participate at one time to ensure safety.
Classrooms and labs have also been reconfigured to allow for distancing between workstations. Faculty, staff and students will be required to clean and disinfect their personal workstations, classrooms and labs before starting and ending work or class.
Riley said it’s critical for students to get the hands-on experience that drew them to ECPI in the first place.
“No amount of simulation is like doing it in person,” he said.
Here’s what other colleges and universities around the region are doing:
Central Piedmont Community College
The majority of Central Piedmont’s summer classes will be held online, but some will be part online and part in-person. Some health careers and commercial driver’s license students will have the opportunity to resume and complete their spring semester classes that were suspended in March.
Still, most summer students should not come to campus over the next few weeks and CPCC employees will continue to work remotely. No updates have been posted about the fall semester.
Queens University of Charlotte
Summer courses at Queens University will be offered online, but the school anticipates the fall term will be on campus.
President Daniel Lugo said in a May 4 message to the Queens community that a reopening task force will recommend plans and procedures to safely reopen campus this summer and for the return to campus-based instruction and living in the fall.
“The task force is studying best practices in social distancing and, if necessary, ways to minimize density in living, learning and common spaces,” Lugo said.
South Piedmont Community College
All classes at South Piedmont have transitioned to online with the exception of certain courses in public health and safety, trade programs and basic skills that have a hands-on learning component.
“Employees are mostly teleworking and those who need to be on campus, we’re staggering those schedules,” said Misty McMillan, director of marketing and communications.
The school has yet to make a definite decision about how to handle fall instruction.
All in-person and overnight camps at UNC Charlotte scheduled for July and August have been canceled and all summer courses are being offered online.
Based on public health guidance, the school has moved the start of the fall semester from Aug. 24 to Sept. 7 to allow more time between the projected peak of the virus in Mecklenburg County and the start of the academic year. The school not announced if fall instruction will take place on campus.
Wingate President Rhett Brown told students May 6 the university is planning to reopen for in-person instruction this fall.
Brown said in-person will be the default plan, but there are also two contingency plans just in case: online only or hybrid/flexible instruction.
“With the HyFlex model, students can choose between attending class in-person or online,” Brown said. “This also gives us flexibility in case of a coronavirus flare-up that leads to another evacuation of the school.”