Alabama colleges reflect on first full semester operating during the COVID-19 pandemic


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — College and university campuses have worked for months to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fall semester was the first opportunity for these colleges across Alabama to deal with the major challenges brought on by the pandemic.

Officials with UAB say the hybrid class models of in-person and virtual classes they offered gave flexibility for students and faculty with a variety of in-person and remote classes. UAB staff say that overall, they are thankful for the commitment for those on campus who complied with COVID-19 restrictions and have worked towards keeping everyone safe amid the pandemic.

Pam Benoit, senior vice president of academic affairs and provost at UAB, said coronavirus cases on campus have been minimal and in-person portions of learning have gone well. Benoit added good public health practices and contact tracing has helped the school achieve this goal. The Guidesafe exposure notification app also has been instrumental in assisting the campus in keeping COVID-19 cases down helping them determine who should be able to remain in class on campus.

“Our faculty and our staff have utilized new technologies and teaching techniques to keep students engaged and to continue to provide a quality education. A lot of creativity has gone into how to do this. We’ve learned a lot that will only enhance UAB and our community going forward,” Benoit said.

Officials expect the spring semester to look similar as coronavirus cases remain high continuing with hybrid learning and enforcing safety guidelines. They will continue to make adaptions as they are advised by UAB health officials.

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