Penn State Great Valley: ‘When We Adapt, We Just Do Better’

Image via Penn State Great Valley.

Penn State Great Valley spent the summer working toward a safe return to campus for the fall 2020 semester. Modified classroom setups, protective plexiglass barriers, hand-sanitizing stations, regular cleaning and disinfecting, and signage promoting social distancing are among some of the measures being taken to ensure the health and safety of students and employees.

In late June, Ted Hartz, assistant director of business services, began working with the conference services team to create diagrams of each classroom to determine occupancy and how to rearrange furniture.

Hartz and the tech services team then cleaned and sanitized every room scheduled to be used for classes and rearranged the rooms’ setup to ensure social distancing would be maintained. Rather than tape off furniture that couldn’t be used, Hartz moved extra chairs and tables to unused rooms.

“We took a couple of other rooms off of the availability list and those are our furniture storage rooms,” Hartz said. “We took every other chair into those rooms so the classrooms are ready. … If we don’t have a chair there, students are not going to sit there.”

JoAnn Kelly, director of enrollment management and student services, headed a committee focused on classroom planning.

“We talked about the occupancy, what each classroom could handle, and monitored enrollments to see how large our classes would be to determine whether or not we could house classes in particular rooms,” Kelly said.

As the start of the fall semester neared, the group tested the technology in the rooms and scheduled sessions for the faculty to test the new equipment and get comfortable with the modified layout and class format.

“When we adapt, we just do better,” said Minyoung Cheong, assistant professor of management and organization.

Click here to read more about how Penn State Great Valley is adapting to these changing times.

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