Indiana University East is planning to see more students in the classroom for face-to-face instruction, and on campus, for the fall 2021 semester.
IU East Chancellor Kathy Girten said that returning to more normal operations in the fall semester will provide more opportunities for students, faculty and staff. “We are planning for fall semester that will be similar to the fall 2019 semester. It will be exciting to see a busy campus with engaging programs and activities happening on a daily basis.”
The IU East fall semester will begin on August 23, 2021.
Michelle Malottt, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said many faculty and students are looking forward to returning to campus. “For nearly a year we have looked forward to a time when we could come back together. We anticipate this being a real possibility by August. It will be nice to see more students on campus, in classrooms and participating in activities and programs. We’re here to serve students and we’ve missed seeing them on campus.”
While many students haven’t been on campus during the pandemic, Malott said that IU East found innovative and creative ways to keep students connected. At the onset of the pandemic, faculty worked tirelessly to move in-person courses to an online format while also providing outstanding virtual experiences for all IU East students. “I am continually impressed by our faculty. They are dedicated to quality teaching and learning but also care about our students’ well-being. I believe this is one of the reasons we are so successful,” said Mallot.
According to Malott, the past year also brought about innovation in virtual instruction and inspired new ways to engage with students in online platforms. IU East recognized that students needed a sense of normalcy, including the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and achievements. IU East kept many of its milestone celebrations for students by offering virtual celebrations, and recognition ceremonies. Support for academics, technology, mental health and food insecurity were maintained during the pandemic.
While moving forward with plans for the fall, IU East will continue to implement some of these new practices, which help strengthen connections to its distance education students and further integrate the online and face-to-face student populations.
The campus is also preparing to welcome more people for events. In doing so, however, IU East will remain dedicated to its efforts to make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. “Maintaining the health and safety of campus community will remain the number one priority. While we are excited to return to campus – we will do so in manner that keeps us safe,” said Girten.
Part of the fall planning includes introducing incoming freshmen students to the IU East campus, registering those students for classes and completing New Student Orientation.
Molly Vanderpool, executive director for Recruitment and Transitions, Admissions at IU East, said the plan for more students to be on-campus in the fall is appealing to potential high school students who are considering IU East.
“Many of our incoming freshmen and new students want to be on campus and have what they consider to be a traditional college experience,” Vanderpool said. “We want them to have that too. We look forward to welcoming our new students to the Pack this year, and can’t wait to see them in person.”
Now as IU East plans for a fall that will look very different compared to the previous year, the campus is dedicated to continuing its efforts to help make the campus a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
“Before the pandemic, IU East was a leader in online education, and though the past year has brought challenges, it has also made us even stronger,” Girten said. “IU East, like so many others in our communities near and far, has been waiting a year to be together again. We can’t wait!”