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Cost of COVID: Macon colleges find ways to adapt programs during pandemic

COVID-19 has presented new challenges to higher education classrooms across the country from technology to student health

MACON, Ga. — 13WMAZ, GPB Macon, the Telegraph and Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism will continue to report on how coronavirus has impacted our lives, and the price we all pay in a series titled 'Cost of COVID.'

After making a lot of changes to the classroom because of COVID-19, many area schools are approaching the mid-point in their semester.

Through our partnership with Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism, Amyre Makupson checks in with two Central Georgia universities to see how their programs have adapted to the changing times.

"We're very safe at the moment, but again, our faculty, staff and students have taken this very serious,” said Wesleyan College Provost Melody Blake.

COVID-19 has changed higher education classrooms across the country. There’s new technology for online instruction and socially distance classrooms for in-person learning.

“We’re trying to provide opportunities in different ways,” said Middle Georgia State University’s VP of Student Affairs, Jennifer Brannon. "Things have changed this semester. We have a lot of students who are taking all their classes online and we have some students who are partially online, kind of hybrid classes."

Faculty and staff have created various learning options to keep enrollment steady. At Wesleyan College, a largely international student body presented a different hurdle.

"A lot of students unfortunately, international students, were not able to get back into the country. The students who were able to make it back on campus, we asked them to quarantine for two weeks before they joined back into classes,” said Blake.

Still, both schools are at least offering the option for in-person instruction -- the key to keeping students in the seats.

"We've done a lot of the COVID progressions that most colleges and universities have done, obviously wearing face masks, we've socially distanced classrooms, we've limited class sizes,” said Blake.

"I'm excited we're still on campus and still working through this semester. I think folks are adapting pretty well,” said Brannon.

Both schools have designated quarantine areas for infected students as well as access to testing sites on or near campus.

To keep up with COVID-19 testing numbers at Wesleyan, click here. Or click here for testing numbers at Middle Georgia State University.

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