While many details remain to be worked out, plans for fall at Northern Illinois University are coming into focus.
“While we know that the start of the fall semester will need to look different from last year, we are very committed to making sure that it’s still a personalized, engaging and inclusive experience,” Provost Beth Ingram said in a Tuesday letter to returning students.
In a communication to newly admitted students, President Lisa C. Freeman pledged that the university is working to create a first-year experience that will foster opportunities for students to make friends, build connections with faculty and do well in courses while prioritizing their health and wellbeing.
Both letters outlined plans for classroom instruction, saying that students can expect a combination of in-person instruction, online instruction and courses that employ a blend of both. In-person classes will be kept smaller than in past years and scheduled to allow for physical distancing and proper sanitization, President Freeman said.
It also was announced that students who wish to live on campus will be provided individual rooms for the 2020-21 academic year. Housing and Dining is evaluating which residence halls provide the best layouts for physical distancing and student health; specific information about room assignments, dining options and room and board rates will be released the week of June 22.
Regardless of where students choose to live, NIU will work to help them feel connected.
“Whether students live in residence halls, at home or off-campus, we will continue to help them succeed through programming, opportunities to connect with fellow students and NIU faculty, and a wide variety of resources to support their academic and emotional needs,” Dr. Freeman said.
As the university begins to communicate its plans for the fall, a series of working groups continues to work out the finer details of fall operations. More information will be communicated to students, faculty and staff as it becomes available. Helpful information and communications to faculty, staff and students is available on the NIU COVID-19 Updates site.