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July 27, 2020 | Midwestern University
Midwestern University’s Campuses in Downers Grove, IL, and Glendale, AZ are welcoming back additional students, faculty, and staff this fall. The University’s COVID-19 Response Team has met continuously since March to develop health and safety protocols for a safe return to our campuses and clinics in order to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while staying up-to-date with the rapidly evolving information and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, as well as executive orders from the states of Arizona and Illinois.
“All colleges and departments of Midwestern University have made preparations for the upcoming academic year, knowing that we must implement, communicate, and reinforce enhanced high standards and protocols that revolve around protecting every member of our academic family while continuing to provide excellent healthcare education,” said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “Midwestern University has a strong tradition of innovation and prides itself on the care we show to our students, faculty, staff, and the community. To that end, the University has worked tirelessly to provide an optimal and safe learning environment.”
The University will offer a hybrid learning model starting in the Fall 2020 academic quarter that combines virtual and in-person labs, lectures, and other educational experiences to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Further, the University is requiring everyone on our campuses and in our clinics to wear a face covering in all public spaces and in all campus facilities. In addition to maintaining enhanced cleaning protocols, providing additional hand sanitizing stations in all buildings, installing plexiglass shields in high-traffic areas, and increasing the air exchange in campus and clinic facilities, the University also has taken the following steps to ensure the health and safety of our campus community:
- Daily Health Screenings – students, faculty, and staff are required to complete an 11-question daily health screening and record their temperature prior to coming to campus. Protocols are in place to immediately address any health concerns and limit the potential exposure to the virus.
- Occupancy Limits – the University has implemented significant reductions in occupancy levels in classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls, and will schedule smaller student groups for in-person learning. New signage displays the updated occupancy limits and Campus Facilities has arranged chairs and desks to maintain social distance, limited seating in auditoriums, and newly designated laboratory workstations.
- Enhanced Educational Technology – new hardware and software has been purchased by the University to provide better learning experiences for students, both online and in-person. This enhanced technology includes improved audio-visual tools to facilitate the recording of all lectures, presentation materials, and documents.
- Increased Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures – all campus and clinic facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily, as well as using outside airflow and HEPA filtration systems. Computer labs are being cleaned three times a day; campus cafeterias are open with additional health and safety protocols being followed; campus libraries are open with enhanced cleaning and social distancing guidelines in place, and library books and materials are being sanitized on frequent basis.
- Continued Student Support and Mentorship –interaction, guidance, and support of the Midwestern University faculty and staff is an important component to our students’ success and the University will continue to provide student support and mentorship with virtual meetings and office hours via teleconference.
Midwestern University will continue to monitor the latest developments and recommendations from Federal, State, and Local authorities regarding COVID-19, and will update its plans accordingly. “We must, as a campus community, continue to work together to prevent the rise and spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Goeppinger said. “As a healthcare community, I am confident we can successfully move forward and face this new reality together, while also fulfilling our mission and commitment to educate our students in a safe and healthy environment.”