DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — It’s back to the classroom today for students at Cheyney University in Delaware County. But faculty are less than thrilled over in-person instruction.
Faculty at Cheyney University are calling for all virtual learning because of health concerns associated with the pandemic. But students on campus say they’re looking forward to seeing and interacting with their instructors in-person.
“I’m pretty excited for this to be my first year,” said Shadia Jones of West Philadelphia.
Jones couldn’t be happier to start her college career here at Cheyney University, where in-person and online classes for the fall semester began Monday.
“I love in-person because you can interact with other students,” she said.
Jones is not alone.
“I work better if the teacher is hands-on, actually talking to me,” said sophomore student Jailyn Pope.
“It’s good to connect with your teachers face-to-face,” Jordan Fluker said.
University officials insist the school is safely reopening.
Anyone who enters the campus goes through temperature checks. Face masks are also required and classrooms have a limited number of students.
“It’s nice to see the campus is lively but it’s even better to see the students aren’t congregating in one area. People are spread out,” said junior student Nicholas Steptoe.
But instructors here at Cheyney are worried because testing for COVID-19 is only required for those showing symptoms.
“One of the biggest issues I have is to my understanding, there is no systematic testing — no testing of students, no testing of staff,” said Cheyney University Faculty Senate member Ivan Turnipseed.
Some instructors are calling for virtual classes only unless more testing is required.
But in a statement, the university said:
“Cheyney previously encouraged all faculty who wanted to provide remote instruction to become certified to teach online. While some faculty pursued the certification, there was not a sufficient number of certifications to consider moving all instruction to online.”
Students we talked to point out online learning comes with some challenges.
“Online is too many distractions, way too many distractions,” Pope said. “I couldn’t really hear what she was saying, it kept freezing and she kept having to start over. I don’t like that.”
Eyewitness News also asked a university spokesperson if students from high-risk states quarantined per state or CDC guidelines, and if so, how many have quarantined? We haven’t yet received a response.
Cheyney University officials also say anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms will be required to get tested off-campus. Officials detailed in length how it says it’s safely reopening.
To read more about Cheyney’s procedures, click here.