You’re officially on your way to become a college student. Congrats! The search for your dream school is about to begin. It’s a little intimidating to think about because there are so many options out there.
So, where do you begin?
Well, finding the perfect college involves finding out the facts. Don’t be afraid to ask away! It’s important to know how colleges are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You won’t have all the answers from the start, but the college you’re interested in will. To help guide you, here are four questions to ask when choosing a college during the pandemic:
1. How is the college looking out for your safety?
This is a good question to ask during your college search whether or not there’s a pandemic. And if you don’t ask, your parents or guardians will definitely bring this up time and time again.
With continuing concerns about COVID-19, it’s a good idea to know the safety precautions in place to keep students healthy, as well as plans the college has if there are any major changes during the semester.
Winona State University is taking student safety seriously by:
- Giving each student, faculty and staff member a face mask
- Providing sanitizing stations in every building
- Redesigning classrooms, labs and lounges, so there’s enough space for social distancing
- Making testing kits available at Health Services
- Offering tele-health appointments for Health Services and Counseling Services
These are just some of the ways WSU is making campus safer for everyone.
2. What areas of campus will be open?
Some colleges are re-opening their entire campuses and going back to “business as usual,” but this isn’t necessarily the best for student health and safety. Other colleges, like WSU, are being more cautious and making sure they have plans in place to re-open safely.
So, here’s what you can look forward to using on campus:
- Dining Halls & On-Campus Restaurants: What’s there to eat? Well, the Jack Kane and Lourdes Hall Dining Centers will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for those who have meals plans. Also, Zane’s Food Court, which includes the student all-time favorite Panda Express, will be open. Somsen Café and Einstein Bagels plan to be open, so you can grab a quick snack in between classes.
- Academic Buildings and Library: All classrooms, and shared spaces including the Krueger Library have been rearranged for social distancing. If you’re a student who likes to study from home, go ahead because you’ll have access to online tutoring.
- Fitness Center and Pool: Take a free fitness class at the Integrated Wellness Center or swim a couple laps at the Memorial Hall Pool. Both plan be open for you to use!
- Kryzsko Commons Student Union: Kryzsko Commons is the perfect place to eat, meet, hang out or catch an event. In this space, you’ll still be able to participate in student programming activities like Kryzsko After Dark while staying safe. If you like free food, games, winning prizes, and entertaining shows, then you won’t want to miss it.
3. What is the on-campus housing situation?
Colleges are making many different plans for on-campus housing.
WSU is keeping your safety in mind by converting all traditional residence halls into single-person rooms. This ensures that you have a safe and comfortable space if you need to self-quarantine. Here are some other perks of having your own room:
- You can decorate just how you like it
- You can spread out and relax
- You have a quiet space for online classes
Either way you look at it, the choice is up to you!
4. How are classes being taught?
When on the search for the perfect college, how they modify the way classes are being taught has an impact on you. You may not be familiar with terms like hybrid, or online synchronous–and honestly, I’m just learning them, too–but it’s best to know how each college plans to modify classes.
At WSU, here’s how our modifications impact you:
- By having some face-to-face classes, you still get that traditional in-person class experience: Students and professors in the same classroom together will be limited to a max of 10 people, but your option to make friends in the class isn’t diminished.
- By having some online classes, you’re prepared to succeed: Other than face-to-face, most likely you’ll have a mixture of fully online or hybrid (some online some face-to-face) instruction, which can help you get ahead.
Even with these changes to more online and hybrid courses, essential hands-on student teaching courses and other practicum experiences are still going on. This means that students should be able to complete their programs as planned without a delay to due to COVID-19.
If you’re thinking about becoming a Warrior at WSU, just know that we’re doing things differently. Talk directly to Admissions in the Ask Anything Zoom Room.
At Winona State, we want to support your college search from beginning to end. So, whether that means gathering the family with a few of your questions, then come and join us!
– Updated by Hailey Seipel on 07.24.20