The hallways throughout Michigan Institutions are quiet as in-person learning is all but over at colleges and universities. The students studying and taking exams online from home to wrap up the last bit of a tumultuous and unprecedented fall semester brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanksgiving break has several students already home or heading that way, colleges and universities are looking ahead to a winter semester that, as of now, could be much like fall or very different.
Schools like the University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Western Michigan University had in-person, online, and hybrid classes. Albion College insisted on bringing students back to campus but had them use an app to track their locations and COVID-19 symptoms.
All of these schools, however, had COVID-19 outbreaks at some point this fall.
Right after students returned, cases on the Grand Valley campus cases tripled in one week.
At UM students were under a two-week stay-in-place order from Oct. 20 to Nov. 3 after more than 1,000 cases were reported by the university since the start of the fall semester, officials said.
Students are looking at a longer-than-normal winter break as they wait for the winter 2021 semester and any changes their schools still might make to their plans.
With fewer undergrads living on campus, more remote classes, and COVID-19 testing options available, most post-secondary institutions will continue to offer a winter semester similar to the fall.