NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Much like school districts across the country, colleges and universities are also having to navigate the challenges of operating amid COVID-19.

Before the pandemic, students entering college had some expectations about what a college semester would look like. Now, COVID-19 has shattered those expectations, and students returning to campuses this year will notice some big changes from years past.

The changes will be noticed at Texas Christian University where students, faculty and staff will now be required to wear face coverings anytime they are in a public indoor space–including classrooms.

They will also notice signage and classroom layouts that encourage social distancing.

TCU is also requiring every TCU community member to conduct a daily self-reported health assessment prior to coming onto campus or leaving their residence hall.

The university will also be actively tracking the COVID-19 case count on campus through their website.

All steps Dr. Brandon Chicotsky, a Marketing Professor at TCU, says help to keep students and faculty safe and healthy

“We are able to do it through a practice and train carefulness that TCU is known for,” Chicotsky said.

“We are adherent and we are also a very responsible institution. Yet, we are a small school with the big-funded, big-minded ambition and world-learning, world-class approaches to everything we do.”

TCU has also developed the “COVID-19 Tuition Assistance Program.” The program provides 50 million dollars in additional financial air assistance for the fall semester. Specifically, for students whose courses have been designated online only by the university. https://www.tcu.edu/connected-campus/students-families/covid-19-tuition-assistance.php

“Tuition assistance is about ensuring that students have the maximum value and the greatest student experience while optioning to be online,” Chicotsky said.

“Of course, we also have in person and hybrid format classes to ensure that students have the flexibility and adaptability that also meets their needs, depending on the circumstance they find themselves in next semester.”

Madison Sawyer