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Iowa State University welcomes students back for fall semester

ISU campus photo by Christopher Gannon

AMES — Students have started moving back to campus at Iowa State University in Ames.

Provost Jonathan Wickert, says the fall semester will see things get back to more normal operation after changes for the pandemic.

“For the most part, academic instruction at Iowa State University will look a lot like it did in the fall of 2019. We know, our faculty know, how important it is for our students to have that in-person learning experience,” Wickert says.

Wickert says they will have mostly in-person classes, with some online and hybrid classes as well. “In-person and online are pretty clear. Hybrid instruction is a format of instruction where some sort of one-way communication is put online —  and then the class time is reserved for question and answer, problem solving, and teamwork,” he says.

Wickert says they in a way have two incoming first-year classes.  “We’ll have the class that just finished high school and is entering Iowa State as new direct from high school freshman. But we will also have our returning second-year students — and their experience last year was interrupted by the pandemic,” Wickert says.

He says those second-year students will be getting a more full look at what its like to be on campus and have in-person classes.

The Board of Regents says masks aren’t required this year — but Wickert says they are strongly encouraged indoors. The same goes for vaccinations. Wickert says the faculty have been provided standard statements on masks and vaccination they can cut and paste into their class materials.

“And we’ve also encouraged faculty to speak with their students about these issues on the first day of class as well,” Wickert says.   Wickert says they have received some petitions from students and faculty asking the school to request that the Board of Regents require masks.

“The recommendations they are making are coming out of their genuine set of views about what we should be doing here at the university. So, we’ve listened very carefully to that and we continue to have conversations with our faculty and faculty leaders, and the board office about those recommendations,” Wickert says.

ISU residence hall officials say they’ve had a big demand for people wanting to live on campus and they have opened up another dorm to accommodate them.


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