ORLANDO, Fla. — The University of Central Florida is encouraging its professors to be ready to take their classes online.
- UCF launches online portal for professors to move courses online if necessary
- University of Florida urging professors to move coursework online, as well
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While there are no cases of students at UCF contracting the coronavirus, university leaders are trying to get ahead of a possible outbreak, and they’re not the only school considering taking their classes online.
UCF’s campus looked pretty deserted Monday thanks to Spring Break.
However, graduate student Agnes Badu-Mensah said she hopes it doesn’t stay empty because of the coronavirus.
“I hope it doesn’t happen,” Badu-Mensah said.
UCF is already preparing for the worst. On Monday they launched an online portal to help professors move their coursework online in case they have to shut down the campus.
The University of Florida is urging their professors to move all their classes online, saying that it could become a requirement in the near future.
Colleges in other states with more coronavirus cases have shut their campuses down completely.
But for graduate students like Badu-Mensah, she can’t afford to do her work online. She studies Lou Gehrig’s disease in live experiments for her Ph.D.
“I’m working with human cells that need to be fed and data points need to be taken at certain times,“ Badu-Mensah said.
If she’s not there to take care of those cells, they’ll die.
“Not being able to go into the lab would mean trashing the experiments pretty much and that’s a lot of money, as well,” Badu-Mensah said.
And aside from losing thousands of dollars’ worth in research, losing those experiments would delay her graduation.
“Very important milestones in my program, yes,” Badu-Mensah said.
But even worse than delaying what she worked for years to achieve would be to watch people she knows come down with COVID-19.
“You wouldn’t want to hear like a dear one you’ve worked with like a professor or a student you’ve been in class with just be no more,” Badu-Mensah said.
UCF says although they have not been heavily impacted by coronavirus, university leaders will hold a pandemic exercise Tuesday morning, where staff and emergency personnel will work through scenarios they may face if there’s a coronavirus outbreak.