SOUTH BEND — Ivy Tech Community College has followed the lead of other higher education institutions across state and cancelled in-person classes because of coronavirus concerns.
Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech President, announced the delay in continuation of current courses and the start of new eight-week courses until March 23 as the college moves to deliver all courses virtually through at least April 5.
College officials will monitor and adjust this timeline as more is learned about COVID-19 nationwide and in the state.
“While our students have been on spring break we have continuously monitored the coronavirus pandemic and have weighed all options,” Ellspermann said in a news release. “At this time, given the escalating cases in Indiana and across the country, we believe that offering our courses virtually is now the most viable alternative.”
Ellspermann said Ivy Tech currently offers nearly half of its courses online. But with more than 1,600 faculty across 18 campuses, including South Bend-Elkhart, officials plan to use next week to provide training to faculty so they can “deliver quality instruction to our students so that they can successfully move forward with their educational and career goals.”
Ivy Tech locations will remain open to provide student and business office assistance including the ability for students to meet with advisors, admissions and financial aid, use computers and access to faculty as needed, according to a news release. Accommodations will be made for labs, clinicals and some technology courses to meet in groups of 10 or less as needed.
Ivy Tech offers 16-week courses that started in January and were at the midway point in the semester when spring break started on March 9. The restart of those courses will be delayed one week with this change. The semester will extend an additional week and conclude May 17.
The College has not announced any changes regarding commencement ceremonies at this time.
Lake Michigan College and Bethel University joined others Thursday in shutting down face-to-face classes.
Lake Michigan classes are cancelled Friday and all campuses will be closed to students and non-essential staff. All in-person classes at the college are cancelled next week, according to a news release. Classes will be delivered via distance online starting March 23. Regular classes are planned to resume April 13.
All face-to-face classes at Bethel University beginning Friday through March 17 are cancelled to allow faculty to prepare digital instruction for the next several weeks. Classes resume in the online format March 18.
The university food service and residence halls will remain open for students who choose to remain on campus.
Southwestern Michigan College said Thursday that beginning Monday all face-to-face class meetings on Dowagiac and Niles campuses will be suspended, and class content will migrate online. In-person classes could resume April 13, if circumstances allow.
Campuses will remain open, with employees reporting as usual.
On-campus gatherings that could draw 100 or more people will be cancelled through the end of the semester, and a decision about commencement ceremonies is yet to be made.