Davenport University gives students choice: offers classes on campus and online for fall


FILE: Rachel Keenan takes a live class online at her home in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Grand Rapids, Mich. (WLNS) — Davenport University announced today that it is preparing to host students both on-campus and online in the fall. 

“Our students need to be able to pursue their dreams and Davenport remains committed to helping them achieve those dreams,” said Dr. Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “We know we don’t have all the answers about what will come next, but our university has the flexibility, the agility and the experience to adapt and ensure our students don’t miss a step when it comes to their future.”

The university’s Coronavirus Preparedness Taskforce, a team with representatives from across the organization, have been outlining plans for staff, faculty and students to return to campus safely. The taskforce is exploring a number of methods to protect Davenport’s university community while following state, federal and NCAA guidelines including:

• Utilizing small class sizes and a hybrid approach to hosting classes that will combine in-seat and online environment to maintain social distancing
• Initiating strict and consistent cleaning protocols including advanced whole room disinfectant devices
• Requiring and utilizing facial masks and hand washing, offering disinfectants at contact points and health screen and testing protocols when appropriate for the university community
• Hosting students on the Grand Rapids campus in residence halls with private bedrooms
• Dining services with take-out options  
Davenport’s W.A. Lettinga Campus located in Grand Rapids offers students living arrangements with private rooms for up to 800 students. The university is encouraging students to submit their housing application as soon as possible. Classes for the fall semester begin September 8.

The university has also hired a private cleaning firm to initiate cleaning protocols that include a new anti-microbial fogging system that effectively eliminates contaminates across all surfaces.
Davenport was the first university in Michigan to offer classes online.

It has offered online classroom options for more than 20 years. Earlier this year it also introduced its students to virtual classrooms. 

“When it comes to online education, experience matters,” said Brian Miller, dean of Davenport’s Global Campus. “We have run the gauntlet when it comes to understanding the best methods to support students in an online learning environment and it’s one of the reasons our programs continue to earn national recognition for their effectiveness.”

The university is currently creating hybrid models of instruction by offering classes that will combine online and face-to-face instruction. 

Davenport kept its classes running online through the spring and summer semesters. In an internal Davenport survey, nearly 80% of students reported the transition to online was better than expected. 

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