NASHVILLE,TN (WSMV) - Tennessee State University's will reopen for the fall semester under a comprehensive plan that will provide additional COVID-19 safety protocols to protect the health and safety of the campus community, along with student discounts.
The university said in a release that the current plan is to begin the fall semester on August 17 with all classes online for the first two weeks. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be both in-person and online instruction throughout the semester, which will end by Thanksgiving.
“This innovative and comprehensive plan for fall 2020 was developed in consultation with TSU stakeholders and public health officials,” TSU President Glenda Glover said Wednesday in a correspondence to TSU students, faculty and staff.
TSU will also implement a 14-day "safer in place" policy upon arrival for all students living in residence halls. The policy will require students to stay in their residence halls unless they need to perform essential tasks, such as getting food or going to their doctor appointments.
In addition, TSU is also offering up to a 15 percent discount on fees and tuition for students enrolled in all online courses. The discounts will depend on the student's in-state or out-of-state status.
“This pandemic is unlike any challenge we have ever faced. All decisions have been made with the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as the top priority," said Dr. Glover.
Additionally, students who choose to take online courses only will be allowed to cancel their housing and have their whole deposit refunded. The discounts come after the university announced it is freezing tuition with no increase this year.
“I am pleased that these discounts will result in significant savings for our students during these challenging times,” said Dr. Glover.
The university will also continue to offer laptops and technology devices to students that need them.
Glover has also appointed a Fall Course Delivery Task Force to help develop the best strategy this fall.
Classroom are being assed to determine the maximum amount of students that can occupy one room, based on guidelines from the CDC. Computer labs are also being marked to determine the amount of people allowed to use them at once. Desks and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day for classes, labs and public areas between usage.
While on campus, people will be required to wear masks and social distance at all times. Buildings will also be regularly cleaned and sanitized and temperatures will also be taken upon entering campus and randomly throughout campus. Shields will also be installed throughout campus and a non-emergency COVID-19 phone line and email have also been set up.
TSU will also work closely with the Tennessee Department of Health regarding contact tracing.
For any positive diagnosis of COVID-19, TSU will follow protocols in place, as well as state reporting guidelines. A contact tracing team will look to identify potential secondary cases to limit the spread of the virus. TSU has also established its own early contact tracing.
The football season will be delayed until the end of September and the first three games of the season will not be played. TSU is still reviewing information pertaining to the homecoming game on October 10.