university of new haven

‘Very Surreal': One Year After Pandemic Forced College Changes

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Exactly one year ago the University of New Haven suddenly announced in-person classes were temporarily canceled and dorms would be closing amid growing COVID-19 concerns.

On March 9, 2020, students and faculty did not know they’d eventually switch to virtual classes and not return to the campus for five months.

“It was very surreal at the time. It still is,” said Reese Severino, UNH sophomore.

That same day Sacred Heart University in Fairfield announced a transition to online and then many other colleges followed suit.

“It’s been hard to adjust to that and really learn what we’re supposed to be doing,” said Anna Schleck, UNH sophomore.

“Definitely wasn’t the best but I think we came back from it stronger,” said Alyssa Cashman, UNH junior.

At this point UNH is still not back to normal with regular COVID testing, campus restrictions and hybrid learning.

“When campus first closed down there was a little bit of panic on my part,” said Jenna Sheffield, who says that time was a challenge as an instructor and UNH’s assistant provost for curriculum innovation.

While she is amazed at the resilience of the school community, she realizes remote learning has been far from ideal for some.

“What you don’t want is for students to get behind and then really struggle to catch up and I think that’s going to be a worry for a time until we’ve figured out where students are at,” said Sheffield.

For at least now the school will stay in hybrid learning.

But amid recent investments in technology UNH sees offering more online classes well into the future.

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