North Alabama colleges and universities go to online learning after Thanksgiving

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:09 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:10 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Three state universities in north Alabama will move to online learning after the Thanksgiving holiday.

No in-person classes will be offered at Alabama A&M University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, or the University of North Alabama.

The staff we spoke with said transitioning students from in-person classes to online learning will help protect students and staff from exposure, as well as limit the spread of the virus.

A spokesperson for Alabama A&M University said not returning to campus after Thanksgiving was the original plan going into the Fall semester.

Students we spoke with on campus said they weren’t aware of any final decision going into the fall semester, but many of them were expecting to get the email alerting them to stay home after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It is definitely an adjustment, but as far as the school year is going, I love it so far,” said Sophomore Albert Ball.

Besides social distancing and wearing a face cover, Alabama A&M University students will need to adapt to another adjustment this school year.

“After Thanksgiving we will be going home and we won’t return to finish finals,” said Sophomore Gabrielle Farris. “We will come back during the spring for another semester.”

An official memo went out to students and parents this week alerting them of the change. No students will be on campus after November 20th. All classes and final exams will be completed online.

“It is definitely not a shock,” said student Jamese Clay. “It is the safest option for us all.”

“I believe it would be the most sanitary thing for us to. With everyone going home and going back. I think it would be the easiest,” said Farris.

The last week of classes and finals will also be done online for both the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of North Alabama.

Since the start of the semester, 75 UAH students have tested positive for the virus and more than 200 students and staff on UNA’s campus have tested positive.

Last month, the Alabama A&M COVID-19 Task Force reported 41 positive cases, including residential and commuter students, faculty, and staff. We requested more recent COVID-19 numbers from Alabama A&M but they haven’t been provided.

“I am okay with it. It gives me more time to focus in a less chaotic environment,” said Clay. “A week extra at home is really nice for me,” said Ball.

Calhoun Community College and Wallace State Community College will also go online after Thanksgiving.

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