Coppin State University welcomes its students and faculty back to campus after a long year of mostly remote learning and working. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coppin State, like many other campuses nationwide, has had a minimal number of students and employees on campus. COVID-19 adjustments have challenged the faculty in ways that could not have been imagined, but they have continued to meet challenges and expectations while moving forward in the same usual spirit - with Eagle pride, strength, and resilience.
While some feel more cautious than others about the return, many are enthusiastic about returning to campus and starting the semester in a way that’s closer to the normal that they are used to. Faculty Senate President and Assistant Professor within the Department of Management and Marketing, Dr. Ericka N. Covington, has worked as a connector between the faculty group and President Jenkins during the pandemic. Dr. Covington says that there was a quick transition and pivot during COVID-19, and faculty, specifically, the I.T. department was phenomenal in terms of adapting and getting everyone what they needed to continue their responsibilities remotely.
Distance learning required a higher level of discipline for many students and presented many barriers to communication that wouldn’t necessarily be prevalent during in-person instruction. For instance, a percentage of students dealt with distractions in the virtual learning environment and professors couldn’t gauge who was comprehending and retaining information as easily as they can in-person. Returning to campus relieves the faculty and students of barriers presented by remote communication. The past days have been a joyous and highly celebrated occasion campus wide as students begin to arrive on campus grounds. “We've got students from all over the United States coming in. So just mixing and mingling and just having that first time opportunity to be on your own and make your own independent decisions and get in the mix. That's the best part,” Dr. Covington.
There has been a host of kick-off activities this semester to energize and spread that Eagle spirit around campus. Faculty created a huge welcome back banner and signed it, welcoming students in their coming semester. The freshman and upperclassmen were welcomed during Move-In by President Jenkins and campus life staff. Transfer students and freshmen were given a preliminary orientation and a proper Eagle introduction to the Coppin way of life during Welcome to Eagle Nation week.
Gathering to participate in the university-sponsored day trip to Six Flags on Friday morning, a part of Welcome to Eagle Nation week, new members of the women’s basketball team, express their excitement for the coming year. One, Nadjy Tyler, the team’s forward–center and incoming transfer student, stated that she wanted the HBCU experience, something she’d be missing out on if there was not a return to campus this semester.
This week the entire campus celebrates as faculty, staff, and all enrolled students are anticipating participating in Back-to-School week activities as their class instruction begins in-person once again.