Students on campus amid pandemic

Two students carrying their take-out boxed lunches from Nelson Commons on Ohio University's South Green. Photo by Ben Peters

Ohio University recently released a comprehensive list of all undergraduate and graduate programs and courses that were authorized for the second phase of its reopening plan.

Many of the courses included require specialized equipment or access to facilities that is required for students’ degree requirements or accreditation, according to the university’s website.

All freshmen and sophomores enrolled in any of the dozens of courses included will be permitted to return to campus and live in the dorms, though many are upper-level classes that underclassmen are often ineligible to take. There are, however, a handful of lower-level classes, like introductory courses in the College of Business, and entire degree programs, namely within The College of Fine Arts, that were authorized for in-person instruction.

Unlike in phase 1, there is no definitive option for phase 2 students to take all of their classes online, but many courses included have remote options. A large portion of phase 2 courses will be delivered in a hybrid format, meaning students will attend in-person classes some days and learn online during others. Many classes included can be completed entirely remotely and will not require any in-person attendance.

All graduate students were authorized to return to campus in phase 2. Their access to on-campus facilities will vary based on their area of study. All students in The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine were invited to campus in phase 1 for hybrid learning, though some may have the option to remain fully online in phase 2. (Scroll down to view a complete list of all courses included in both phase 1 and 2.)

Housing and Residence Life is anticipating about 1,500 students to be living in on-campus residence halls by Sept. 28, the first day of phase 2, a university spokesperson said. The total number of students expected to live in residence halls is subject to change as many continue to decide whether they plan to return at the end of the month or not.

As of Monday, there are just over 300 students living in residence halls, according to OU’s COVID-19 dashboard, with 105 more expected to move in this week.

The university previously announced its plans to bring about 7,000 students back to campus in phase 2, on top of the more than 2,000 that already returned in phase 1, making it likely that several thousand students will move back to the area and live off-campus.

It’s not clear exactly how many students currently living either in dorms or off-campus have tested positive for COVID-19, largely because OU’s dashboard to track cases is both disjointed and inaccurate.

According to the university’s dashboard as of last Friday, at least 162 Athens campus students have reported they’ve received tests to the OU COVID-19 hotline, which is managed by OhioHealth in partnership with the university; while at least 53 have reported positive test results and at least 38 have pending tests.

At least 12 Athens campus staff members have reported to the hotline that they’ve been tested, but none have come back positive and one remains pending.

Since Aug. 24, at least one staffer, one faculty member and at least 31 students at the Athens campus have reported positive test results through voluntarily submitted COVID-19 incident report forms, which the university verifies by contacting any individuals named and asking them to provide official documentation.

“This data may not be a comprehensive reflection of all positive cases within our Ohio University community,” OU Spokesperson Jim Sabin previously said in a statement about the university’s dashboard.

While the vast majority of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in the county are among young people ages 20-29, its unclear exactly how many of those are OU students.

Winfried Just, an OU professor who studies the transmission of infectious diseases, and a colleague were tasked in August by an OU official with modeling how many virus cases are likely to arise once students returned to campus.

He said last week that the model has generally been accurate in predicting the numbers of reported student cases in Athens.

Once phase 2 arrives, Just said he believes the numbers of reported cases among students should stay below the point where quarantine space and testing could become even more scarce.

“[Phase 2] may just work. We’re taking a risk, I mean, there is no doubt about it,” he said on Friday.

The worst case scenario, Just said, would involve Athens County becoming designated by the state as a purple “level 4” county, the most severe public health advisory within its COVID-19 alert system, with students being sent home a few weeks before the already-adjusted end date for on-campus activities.

For a period in July when virus cases surged, Athens was the only county in the state nearing a “level 4” designation. To date, no counties in the sate have turned purple. As of Monday, virus cases in Athens County are, on average, soaring to heights not seen since the July surge. And there is a clear correlation between the rise in cases and the start of phase 1.

Below are lists provided by the Office of the University Registrar of all the undergraduate and graduate courses authorized for both phase 1 and phase 2:

College of Arts and Sciences

Human Anatomy Lab, Cell & Microbiology Techniques, Principles of Physiology Lab, Human Physiology Laboratory, Field Ecology, Teaching Vertebrate Anatomy, Aquatic Biology, Physiology of Exercise Lab, Ichthyology, Ornithology, Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, Physical Chemistry I Lab, Advanced Inorganic Laboratory, Advanced Organic Synthesis, Forensic Chemistry I Lab, Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Breeding, Restoration Ecology, Intermediate Laboratory – Electrons and Protons (Physics), Social Welfare Overview and Trends (Social Work), and Field Practicum I (Social Work).

College of Business

Introduction to the College of Business, Introduction to Business, Intro to Business Communications, and Strategic Business Communications, Intro to Management & Organization, Business Information Systems, and Intro to Marketing Management.

College of Fine Arts

Studio Art BFA Exhibit, Intro to Modern Dance, Intro to Dance Ballet, Intro to Dance Jazz I, Modern Dance Technique I, Ballet Technique I, Beginning Dance Composition I, Beginning Dance Composition I, Dance Production I, Modern Dance Technique III, Ballet Technique III, Intermediate Dance Composition I, Jazz Dance Technique II, Lighting for Dance, Modern Dance Technique V, Ballet Technique V, Advanced Dance Composition I, Dance Pedagogy, Dance Production II, Modern Dance Technique VII, Ballet Technique VII, Dance Senior Capstone, Dance Internship, Practicum in Teaching Dance, Technical Toolbox I (Film), Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra Symphony Orchestra, University Singers, Choral Union, Play Analysis and Playwriting, Acting I, Acting Fundamentals II, Introduction to Playwriting, Acting III, Practicum in Production Design, Playwriting Revision Technique, Stage Management 1, Stage Management Seminar, Acting Studio I, and Advanced Playwriting.

Students enrolled in the following degree programs within the College of Fine Arts are included in phase 2 because they require in-person instruction for accreditation:

Dance, Dance Performance and Choreography, Playwriting, Production Design, Stage Management, Theater Performance, Theater Performance Musical, Film (first-year and second-year students only), Composition, Instrumental Performance, Music Education, Choral and Instrumental emphases, Music Therapy, Piano Performance, Piano Performance and Pedagogy, and Voice.

College of Health Sciences and Professions

Nursing (second-year and fourth-year students; third-year students were included in phase 1 and continue in phase 2; in-person learning is required for accreditation for many nursing students), Health Assessment (Nursing), Nursing Care of Adults I, Nursing Care Child & Families, Physiology of Exercise Lab, Cardiovascular Assessments, Principles of Food Science, Intro Food Production, and Experimental Foods.

Honors Tutorial College

It’s not clear specifically which tutorial programs will require in-person learning, but the classes are required to be face-to-face for accreditation.

Patton College of Education

No undergraduate courses within the Patton College of Education have been authorized for phase 2.

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Introduction to Aviation, Private Pilot Ground, Aviation Laws and Regulations, Instrument Pilot Ground, Commercial Pilot Ground, Aircraft Systems & Powerplants, Flight Instructor Ground, Adv Aircraft and Flight Crew Ops, Transition to AVN Industry, Elements of Land Surveying 1, Experimental Methods in Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Lab I, Chemical Process Control, Chmical Engineering Process Design I, Electrical Engineering Instrumentation Laboratory, Hydraulics & Pneumatics, Production Tooling, Automation, Robotics & Control, Operations Management Capstone II, Mechatronics I, Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design I, and Experimental Design Lab.

Scripps College of Communication

Understanding Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality Lab, Virtual Reality Production, VR Production Lab, Communications Foundations (Information and Telecommunications Systems), Business Reporting, Music Production and Technology I, Music Production & Technology II, Video & Audio Field Production, Production for the Community, Sound for Moving Image, Music Production: Mixing & Delivery, Music Production/Recording Industry Capstone, Special Topics in Media Arts and Studies, Commercial Photography I, Commercial Photogaphy II, Commercial Photography IV, and Photojournalism Capstone.

University College

Intro to U.S. Air Force, History of Air Power, Mgt Concepts and Practices I, Fundamental Military Leadership Concepts, Military Leadership Laboratory, Tactics and Leadership, Small Unit Leadership & Operations I, Leadership, and Management & Ethics.

Center for International Studies

Independent Study.

College of Arts and Sciences

Principles of Physiology Lab, Advanced Organic Synthesis, Restoration Ecology, Special Topics in Spanish, Foundation Field I (Social Work), and Advanced Field Practicum I (Social Work).

College of Business

Advanced Managerial Accounting, Advanced Auditing, Forensics/Fraud Investigation, Law of Sports, Accounting for Executives, Descriptive Analytics, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, Strategic Marketing, Predictive Analytics, Ethics in Leadership, Sport Marketing, and Revenue Generation.

College of Fine Arts

Filmmaking I, Sound Techniques, Piano, 1 Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, University Singers, Practicum in Design and Tech (Theater), Writing for Production I, Practicum Design – Tech, Writing for Production III, Voice and Movement, Practicum in Design/Tech, and Writing for Production V.

Graduate College

Tools for Translational Research (Translational Biomedical Sciences).

Patton College of Education

Skill Acquisition (Coaching Education), Issues in Athletic Coaching, and Foundations of Coaching I.

Scripps College of Communication

Advanced Photo Reportage.

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