KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan University (WMU) announced they'll be moving back to more of a normal campus experience for the fall, anticipating about 75% of classes will be held in-person.
While there are only about 50% of in-person or hybrid classes on Western Michigan University's campus currently, the school is expecting somewhat of a more normal feel for the fall semester.
WMU said it's being made possible through vaccine distribution.
"We’re anticipating a near normal experience here at Western Michigan University for fall," said Dr. Jennifer Bott, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
It has been a long year for students and faculty at college campuses across the country and Western Michigan University is no exception.
From online classes to hybrid models to in-person, the school announced they made a plan for the fall semester.
"We anticipate that about 75% of our classes will be offered on campus or through hybrid and look forward to bringing all of our students back to campus for the experience. We know that’s what they want, and we desperately want to deliver," said Dr. Bott.
Dr. Bott said it was a long thought-out decision, especially with the current unknown of what it will actually look like in terms of social distancing and mask guidelines.
With vaccine distribution and guidance from the local and state health departments, she said the school feels confident in their choice.
"We know that in just a couple of weeks, students, faculty and staff can get the vaccine without encumbrance. Widespread vaccine distribution has made these plans for fall seems much more realistic, and in keeping with our number one priority which is to keep our faculty, staff and students safe," said Dr. Bott.
While the campus hasn't mandated the vaccine, they are strongly encouraging students, staff and faculty to get it.
With a 75% return to in-person or hybrid instead of 100%, it still gives students the opportunity to learn from a distance.
"Many of our students and faculty have found that online does produce really great outcomes for their students. We let, as we did all year, we let Pedagogy, or how we believe the course material is best delivered, be the guide to how we deliver instruction in fall," said Dr. Bott.
Starting Monday, the school will have a spring break and will then move students back to virtual learning to prevent potentially spreading more virus after vacations or trips home.
Students will then be able to return for the first day of the fall semester on September 1.