Parent’s Playbook: Ivy Tech Community College

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Area school districts and universities aren't the only institutions starting back during the pandemic.

Community colleges will open their doors soon.

16 News Now's Joshua Short spoke with Dr. David Balkin, the Chancellor for Ivy Tech to find out if classes will be held in-person or virtually when they start on Monday.

Dr. Balkin: So we're offering a variety of delivery mechanisms from in-person to online. We anticipated that there might be a problem, so we're focused on obviously reducing the population density on campus. So we do have a lot of online and virtual classes and the face-to-face will probably make up less than 10% of our classes this semester.

Josh: Speaking of enrollment, can you tell us how that's been? Has it been impacted negatively at all because of the pandemic?

Dr. Balkin: Yeah, it's definitely been slower than we had hoped. I think there are a lot of people that are sitting on the sidelines that are trying to figure out exactly how things are going to happen. But I really want to encourage people to move forward, because there's no better time now than to invest in your education and in your future careers. And whether or not you can enroll for classes that start Monday, we have another start date of October 26, so again, in a couple of months you can start in with a new set of courses.

Josh: Talk about some of those safety protocols you all have in place and if there's any difference between the different ivy tech campuses.

Dr. Balkin: So, we've got 18 campuses, 40 locations. And we have Jon Barefoot who is our Vice President of Safety and Security who's ensured that we're consistent and that we're implementing best practices across all of our campuses. And, again, these include the obvious things-- we're requiring people to wear face masks, we're ensuring physical distancing, we've moved desks, we've got markers on the carpet so people know where to queue up. We're encouraging people to wash their hands regularly and as with everyone, before coming to classes we're requesting that everyone check for symptoms. We're basically wearing face masks and doing physical distancing because we have to assume that everyone is an asymptomatic carrier and it doesn't preclude us from being effective. So, we're really looking forward to this semester and we're confident that we do have the safety measures in place to keep all of our staff, students, and faculty safe.

Josh: Okay, Dr. David Balkin, South Bend Elkhart Chancellor for Ivy Tech Community College. Thank you for joining us this morning, we really appreciate it.

Dr. Balkin: My pleasure.

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