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Emergency Preparedness

College Using Block-Class Plan to Reduce COVID-19 Risk

Arizona's Prescott College will reopen on-campus classes this fall with a new risk-management strategy: using a flexible block-class schedule to minimize contacts among faculty, staff and students. In four, four-week sessions, students will take one course at a time, allowing them to study with a small, distinct group of peers (rather than moving from course to course with different classmates each day).

"This 4x4 block-class plan is in the best interest of students," explained John Flicker, president of the college, in a statement. "Our goal is to create a safe and dynamic learning space that will allow us to optimize field- and community-based studies, so students can learn and explore in the fresh air as often as possible with the advantage of our mild four-season climate."

The block courses are part of a larger plan that includes online courses as well as additional safety and physical distancing protocols.

"Our plan includes a combination of testing, screening and monitoring which will enable us to track the health and well-being of our entire campus community. Physical changes to campus are being made to encourage distancing. Students will move into single occupancy dorm rooms from day one but pay the lower double occupancy rate," noted Kristine Preziosi, associate dean of student affairs and risk manager.

More information on the college's block-class plan is available here.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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