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Viewpoint: CWI coronavirus challenges and changes; Analysis of special legislative session

CWI Pres. Bert Glandon talks changes the college made to meet coronavirus challenges; Dr. Stephanie Witt of BSU gives an analysis of the special legislative session.

BOISE, Idaho — It certainly has been a year of challenges and changes because of Covid-19. That goes for our colleges and universities, too. 

The College of Western Idaho took many steps to be able to start school on Tuesday, Aug. 25 for its 31,000 students.

It's offering face-to-face classes, but also beefed up the number of online and hybrid courses. 

CWI President Bert Glandon says about 35% of students have chosen to take purely face to face classes on campus. The rest are taking hybrid or online-only classes.    

In our interview for this Sunday's Viewpoint, Glandon laid out the safety protocols CWI put in place at its Canyon and Ada County campuses. 

RELATED: College of Western Idaho set to return for in-person and online classes

Read a portion of the interview below: 

Dr. Bert Glandon: "We have strict cleaning, sanitizing protocols for all classrooms and lab space. All students are to use hand sanitizer stations coming in and out of the classroom, coming in and out of the laboratories. They're cleaned between sessions and there's reduced sizing of all classes and all labs meaning that we don't have classes of 35. They'll comply with the social distancing. This, of course, makes all kinds challenges. If anything does occur and we do find that we're doing tracing, tracking as well, and once we know of something we also last spring purchased foggers that means if we have a particular classroom that needs to be completely fogged or sanitized we can literally on a moment's notice as well."

Doug Petcash: What did you hear from students heading into this semester as far as how they would like to learn? 

Dr. Bert Glandon:  "One of the things we anticipated, and we said let's survey our students, let's find out from our students what they're really thinking. We had some students that actually called us and said: a diesel lab, nursing, health care facilities, those kinds of things, we had students call us and said are you offering this course face to face?  Because if you're not offering it face to face, I'm not coming because I won't be able to complete, I won't be able to do the kinds of things, demonstrate the kinds of skills and abilities that I have in order to get my certificate degree or diploma.  So we found a significant number of students that were adamant about face-to-face classes. We also heard a lot from students about making sure that it was safe and secure." 

RELATED: 'This program was born out of a genuine desire to support students': Boise State faculty discuss creation and purpose of Bronco Gap Year

Glandon says not having dorms, food service or athletics makes it easier to deal with the COVID-19 situation. The college did receive federal and state money to meet the safety needs of students and staff.  

Glandon also says the college is in good financial shape, and has not raised tuition for five years.  

You can watch the full interview with CWI President Bert Glandon on Viewpoint this Sunday at 6:30 a.m. on KTVB and several times after that on 24/7. 

Sunday's Viewpoint will also include analysis of the special legislative session from Boise State Political Science Professor Dr. Stephanie Witt.  

RELATED: As more colleges stay online, students demand tuition cuts

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