In the interest of getting college life back to normal, universities and colleges in Abilene have focused on a return to pre-pandemic methods this year.
Throughout the semester, there were attempts to eliminate online options for students enrolled in in-person classes.
And while masks remain a key feature for some, they haven’t been mandatory all year round. McMurry University started the semester with a tenure, while Abilene Christian implemented a temporary two-week ordinance in September.
But other than that, the emphasis has been on being together as much as possible and getting back to the way things used to work before the term “COVID-19” became part of our daily routine.
And this trend continues to emerge from the Thanksgiving holiday. The tradition of college students returning to campus for a week of classes and a few final exams, just to pick up and go, continues.
COVID-19 deprived students of the experience last year.
“Being back in person allows professors the opportunity to end their lessons with group projects or presentations that are often best done in an interpersonal setting,” said Sandra S. Harper, President of McMurry University. . “For students completing projects and final written exams, being able to access the library and their teachers for guidance is also beneficial in order to achieve optimal learning outcomes.”
The situation is the same around the city, whether it concerns the three private universities or the technical schools in two years: everyone is returning to “normal”.
And with active COVID-19 cases continuing to decline, why not?
Numerous travel restrictions have also been lifted for those leaving Abilene for the five-day turkey break. That said, universities also expected safety and caution to ensure the number of infections stays low.
“We have encouraged students, faculty and staff to be personally responsible for regulating their individual safety measures and for getting vaccinated,” Hardin-Simmons University said in a statement. “We have offered opportunities and incentives to do so. As a result, we continued to see less than a handful of active cases on campus at any given time. “
Timothy Chipp covers education and is a general assignment reporter for Abilene Reporter-News. If you value local news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.