Nearly one month into classes, many N.C. Central University students and faculty members are still adjusting to the new normal and new class structures that COVID-19 has caused.
As a result of the safety precautions prompted by the outbreak COVID-19 across the nation, universities such as UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina, and N.C. State shifted all courses this fall to an online format.
“Being a freshman in college is going to be challenging for me because I’m used to having a face to face classes, and since all of my classes are online, it’s going to be hard,” said N.C. Central freshman LaTasha Willams.
N.C. Central opted for not only online learning, but small in-person class instruction, and hybrid learning.
Some professors at N.C. Central are utilizing hybrid classes to sustain an in-person class experience while applying social distancing safety measures in the process.
“The way my class works is I have my students split up into team A and team B, if team A is in person then I have team B meeting virtually and the opposite on the other class day,” UNIV 1100 Adjunct Professor James B. Leach said.
Despite some downfalls associated with virtual and hybrid learning, Leach reflected on how hybrid learning has helped enforce social distancing for students and faculty during these new times.
“One of the benefits is the safety aspect of it,” Leach said. “As we’re bringing the students back safety remains the biggest priority for the university and with social distancing in mind, the smaller classrooms facilitate it better.”
Leach added that hybrid classes could become a precedent for universities moving forward even after the pandemic.
“This is the new norm, and this could be the thing of the future,” Leach said.
While preparing for graduation, many upperclassmen are experiencing difficulties with adjusting to the new online and hybrid learning, especially if they had no prior experience with these learning formats.
“As a senior, I am just trying to do my best with online learning because it’s new to me, it’s new to everyone honestly unless they did online classes before,” N.C. Central senior Cameron Brown said. “ Since everyone is doing it, we should try to do our best and pass these classes. I know I am because I graduate this December.”
Although studying, learning, and campus life is different in the era of COVID-19, many students and professors are holding onto positive thoughts and focusing on the good days this semester can bring.
“Make sure you’re socially distancing and wearing your mask,” said N.C. Central sophomore Dana Wright. “This semester is different but we can get through this together.”
Story by: Tianna Degraffenried and Jailen B. Leach