An official decision has been made, and according to an email sent by SNHU President Paul LeBlanc on October 30, SNHU will be continuing with mostly remote courses in the 2021 spring semester.
This decision was the result of a student survey, sent out on October 13, with the goal to gain as much information as possible about student’s thoughts on returning to campus. The COVID 19 Taskforce wanted to know what student concerns were, how the online semester has been going for students, and what students wanted in the coming semester. The survey received the most, and fastest, responses of any survey that SNHU has ever put out, with over 2,100 students filling out the survey by the time a decision was announced only 17 days later.
“Students wanted open transparent communication, wanted all the details about policies, most specifically a majority of students were highly concerned about the cost.” Said Heather Lorenz, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
“Only half of our students wanted to come back in person.” Said Lorenz, and while the quantitative data such as a direct yes or no question was useful, “I don’t think those questions gave me as rich of an information base as the qualitative questions. The amount of thought and effort put into the feedback from the students was so incredible, and it was everywhere…it was raw, it was insightful, it was thoughtful, it was gut-wrenching.” According to Lorenz the student survey’s responses were a “significant part of the decision making process.”
The student survey was not the only outreach that SNHU did to gauge student feelings regarding the current and upcoming semester. A “call campaign” was set up and executed in late September, where SNHU representatives called students to see how things were going. Surveys were also sent out to faculty and staff to receive their input.