Boise State University is welcoming its students back this fall to a future-facing blend of in-person, online and hybrid courses, lab work and field research designed to keep students safe, on track to reach their academic goals, and meaningfully connected to each other and their faculty.
It may look a little different when Boise State begins classes on Aug. 24, but faculty and staff are determined to embrace the challenge and produce a rigorous, engaging and rewarding experience for all students.
“I am incredibly proud of the many ways we have served our community during this pandemic. The work of faculty and staff from all across campus has prepared us to offer our students educational experiences designed both to meet people’s needs and to be responsive to the challenges we continue to face,” said Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State president. “Our reintegration plan earned national attention precisely because it displayed the kind of creativity and innovation for which Boise State is known — the same innovation that will ensure we continue to positively impact our community and our nation long after COVID-19.”
About half of Boise State’s fall classes will be delivered in a hybrid or online format — but due to their larger capacity, these courses amount to about 60 percent of the student seats. About 10,000 students will attend at least one class in person on campus. Boise State’s faculty spent a cumulative 16,000 hours this summer in training designed to help them adapt and grow their teaching skills and offer the best online and remote courses this fall.
On campus, large settings like the Morrison Center and Extra Mile Arena have been converted to classrooms for fall. In the Morrison Center, for example, students will have three empty seats between them and their nearest classmate, and seating areas will be sanitized between classes.
Here are some fall 2020 back-to-campus highlights for this week:
State of the University address
Dr. Marlene Tromp, university president, will deliver the annual State of the University address at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, online at boisestate.edu/president/state-of-the-university/. Boise State is one of the Top 50 most innovative public universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. Titled “Forging our Future,” Dr. Tromp’s remarks will address how this unique attribute will help the university continue to adapt and thrive.
To ensure a safe and efficient experience for students who will live on campus, move-in day has been spread out over three days — Aug. 18-20. Students will arrive from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day and be greeted by volunteers who will assist them and their families. They also will have access to a dedicated health officer and other resources to help keep them healthy in the residence halls.
Bronco Welcome Week
Boise State is planning several ways — some virtual and some in-person — to welcome students and help them make new connections. Bronco Welcome Week activities run Aug. 18-29. See a full list of activities at boisestate.edu/broncowelcome.
A longstanding Boise State tradition, Convocation formally marks the beginning of students’ academic journeys. It will be streamed online at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Speakers include Dr. Marlene Tromp, president; Angel Cantu, ASBSU president; members of university faculty and leadership, and a couple of surprises.
Bronco Gap Year
Boise State has created a new program for students — whether they are new or returning — who are unable to fully enroll in college this year. Bronco Gap Year will let them explore their priorities and passions, while gaining Boise State credit. They can participate in the program affordably, and from anywhere. Learn more at boisestate.edu/gap.
Boise State faculty, staff and students have found new ways to connect with and serve our local community and beyond in response to the COVID pandemic. From creating a face shield design that has spread across the world to helping hundreds of Idaho school teachers adapt to a new teaching and learning environment, Boise State is offering solutions. Visit boisestate.edu/we-serve/ to learn about dozens of engaging projects.
Testing, Health and Safety
Boise State has hired two public health officers and is training a team of campus staff and students to help direct a safe return to campus. Public health officers will provide guidance on COVID to university leadership and the campus community. A daily symptom checker phone app and website will be available, and a partnership with Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s will facilitate on-campus COVID testing. In addition, all students, faculty and staff are being asked to endorse a pledge (themed We are Broncos. We’ve got this covered.) to do their part to help keep campus safe.