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Colleges Plan To Hold Virtual And In Person Classes For Fall Semester: 'We Still Think Students Are Holding Back A Little To Make A Decision'

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Many college campuses will look a lot different this fall.

Some universities will welcome students back. But for others, remote learning will remain.

Crews at Molloy College in Rockville Centre on Long Island are busy deep cleaning and making sure the school is safe for students this fall.

For the first time, senior Jack Ryan is living on campus as a resident assistant.

"It's gonna be my responsibility to make sure that my residents are safe and ultimately healthy," said Ryan in an interview with CBS2's Hazel Sanchez. "It kind of gets me a little paranoid here and there about whether or not I should be concerned who is coming on campus and where have they been."

Following guidelines from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and best practices from the CDC, administrators at Molloy have come up with a hybrid plan. The school will have learning online and in person, fulfilling requirements for safety and high quality education.


"In this classroom, we are following the guidelines of six feet separation and to do that, that means we have to have a lot smaller in person class experiences," said Jim Lentini, Molly College President.

Students will have their temperature taken by machines before entering any campus building. Everyone will be required to wear face coverings indoors at all times and follow social distancing guidelines in public areas. The only exception is when students are in assigned dorm rooms.

The same rule applies to many other schools, including Princeton University. Rising junior Elan Zohar says that's one of the reasons he's choosing not to return to the New Jersey campus.

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"To have social distance and isolate everyone in their own room. It's just not really appealing to me. It doesn't really feel like the true college experience," said Zohar.

Moving day protocols at Molloy have also been changed. Normally students living on campus moved in on one day, but now they'll be staggered over several days.

The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed more than a thousand schools and found 60% plan to return to an in person semester. 9% will continue all remote learning and 24% will offer a mix, with the others still deciding. Many students are undecided too and enrollment at Molloy is down two to three percent compared to last year.

"We still think students are holding back a little bit to make a decision, so we're just slightly off the number we want," said Lentini.

But, if COVID-19 conditions improve over the summer, students may feel more comfortable going back to school.

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