University & college leaders in the metro meet to discuss COVID-19 impact

The universities say the changes they're seeing has been a long time coming.

FARGO-MOORHEAD – Universities and colleges in the F-M area met to discuss how they’ve been adapting to the pandemic.

Universities across the nation have faced a lot of pressure as they grappled to find new modes of teaching while also keeping some sort of normalcy for students amid the pandemic.

The main universities in the metro NDSU, MSUM and Concordia have been implementing the hybrid education model for the fall semester.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani says the University will continue to use the Hybrid Model because he says it has been working so far.

“That’s very exciting and what we found is our students have been, it’s sub optimal, but our students have been satisfied because they feel like they’re having the in person experience that they came to NDSU for,” says NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

Some Universities are providing some economic relief for students who might be struggling financially.

“We have available emergency grants for students, we employ two full time social workers who provide resources for students and connections to community groups that may help students with basic needs,” says Minnesota State Community and Technical College President Carrie Brimhall.

“All of our currently enrolled students and those who enroll with us next fall, a fifth year, optional year for Concordia students entirely free of tuition charge,” says Concordia College President William Craft.

“We froze tuition this fall, even though we had planned for a modest tuition increase in recognition of the financial challenges our students and their families are facing due to the pandemic,” says Minnesota State University Moorhead President Anne Blackhurst.

The universities say the changes they’re seeing in education due to COVID-19 has been a long time coming.

“We’re certainly more flexible in terms of where we work, and how we work at the university and I think we’ve realized that there are many ways to get our work done, some of them more efficient, more creative, more innovative, more effective than pre-covid. And some of them are much more accessible to our students,” adds Blackhurst.

Concordia College and MSUM shifted to online learning after Thanksgiving where they will remain for the rest of the semester.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Coronavirus-ND, Local News