USF rolls out hybrid learning model for upcoming school year

This week the Board of Governors approved the fall reopening plans for all 12 of Florida’s public universities. Students at the University of South Florida can expect a hybrid learning model, meaning classes will be a combination of both in-person and online learning.

”The idea is to do everything we can to promote health and safety on our campus,” said Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health.

USF is also going with a phased approach to bringing employees back to campus. It is currently in phase one, which allows 25% staff capacity. Officials said they’ll move up or down phases based on the latest COVID-19 data. 

“I think we're going to try and create those opportunities to be together, maybe not in person maybe not in large groups but we'll do our best,” Dr. Petersen explained. “I think on balance I’m excited about the fall.”

For an incoming freshman, the change and uncertainty of it all can feel almost overwhelming.

“Freshman year is the time you get used to being on the college campus versus high school,” said incoming freshman Toyo Siadigum.  “And I have to adapt to a new way of it.”

For returning students, the adjustment period will be easier on some than others.

“I will be having classes in-person,” said Christopher Ulrich, a senior.  “I won’t exactly be feeling safe.”

“I like that everybody has to wear masks,” said Kristen Luongo, a senior. “They have to social distance. The classes will be smaller some will be online. I don’t really have any concerns.”

Meanwhile, testing will be required in some cases including for out of state students, international students and those coming from Florida counties with higher than a 7% positivity rate.

Random testing will also take place during the semester. Mask use will also be mandatory for all students and staff.