Niner Health Check: UNCC releases digital tool as students return to campus

UNCC uses digital health check assessment tool as students return

CHARLOTTE — UNC Charlotte is moving ahead with plans for on-campus living, learning and working this fall, university officials announced on Tuesday.

Students in some classes and programs can return on Oct. 1 in some areas of study.

[PAST COVERAGE: Thousands of UNC Charlotte students begin new semester online]

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UNCC is placing an emphasis on the return to on-campus instruction in two areas. The return to on-campus instruction includes the following programs:

  • Engineering
  • Science lab classes
  • Studio and performance art classes
  • Clinical programs in the College of Health and Human Services
  • Architecture

It also includes courses primarily for first-year students (freshmen and transfers), so they can transition to university instruction to build community and access campus support (e.g., Prospect for Success, liberal studies and similar lower-division courses)."

UNC Charlotte will then move to all online/remote classes after the Thanksgiving break, which includes exams.

Students who registered in those two categories will follow the following formats:

  • Hybrid
  • Synchronously online
  • Asynchronously online

All other courses may remain in an online or remote format.

The day after the announcement, education reporter Elsa Gillis spoke with some students who said it may not be the easiest schedule to understand, but they realize the university is trying to keep them safe.

“It’s kind of confusing, but it’s the first time to do it,” freshman Aly Khalifa said. “So, it’s confusing for the teachers. It’s confusing for everyone in school.”

Khalifa said he is excited that he’ll be able to go to class in-person in the beginning.

“As a freshman, I feel like I missed a lot of freshman stuff, and there’s no one on campus now,” Khalifa said. “But I feel happy that everyone is coming back.”

“I think I am still getting some of the traditional college experience,” student Reeve Williams said. “We meet up. We eat. We hang out. Going remote is actually sad but if it’s the safest way to do it, we’ll all do it.”

As previously announced, classes will be suspended on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29, so students can move to campus. Those days will be made up during the semester.

Chancellor Sharon Gaber said Monday that the college experience this year is still worthwhile.

“Many of our students have been out of a classroom for months, and many students want to get back to some normalcy,” Gaber said.

Gaber said the school won’t be afraid to discipline students who violate social distancing rules and COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are hoping students will help us be able to continue to offer it face to face,” Gaber said. “Part of it is making sure they are partnering with us to make sure we are continuing to offer it.”

Students said they hope their classmates can follow the rules.

“I think we are going to do better than some of the other schools,” Williams said. “I think there is more unity here at Charlotte than some of the other schools.”

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As students return, the university also released a new tool to help make sure students are safe. It’s called the Niner Health Check and it’s a digital health assessment tool.

“It makes it much easier and much more efficient for us to know what’s going on in our community,” said Chris Gonyar of UNCC’s office of emergency management.

The tool covers COVID-19 testing, quarantine, isolation and contact tracing.

Students and staff also will receive a daily email asking them four questions that they must answer:

  • Do you have any symptoms?
  • Have you been tested?
  • Have you been in close contact with anyone who’s tested positive?
  • Do you plan to come to campus today?

Depending on the answers, there are three different instructions. Students and staff should either stay home, seek medical care or head to campus as normal.

“This does not work if individuals don’t play a role in protecting each other and doing what we all need to do to make this work,” Gonyar said.

For more information on the Niner Health Check assessment tool, click here.

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