November 29, 2021
Florida universities plan ‘normal' operations amid COVID-19 spike

Florida Trend Education

Florida universities plan ‘normal' operations amid COVID-19 spike

| 8/5/2021

Florida universities plan ‘normal’ operations amid COVID-19 spike

State universities are staying on track for a return to normal “pre-pandemic” operations as the fall semester approaches, while Florida grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Classes begin Aug. 23 for most universities. While universities remain poised to keep mask-wearing optional and discontinue limits on the numbers of people in classrooms, they are encouraging students, faculty and staff members to get vaccinated. [Source: WJXT]

Education lawyer: Expect legal challenges over order on school masks

A leading education lawyer said Monday that Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order banning school districts from requiring masks appears to violate the Florida Constitution and will likely lead to legal challenges as schools prepare to open next week amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. “The governor and the commissioner of Education (Richard Corcoran) are simply removing the authority from local elected school boards, which flies right in the face of the constitution,” said attorney Ron Meyer. [Source: WUSF]

In-state college tuition program to help grandparents lure grandkids to Florida

Next year, out-of-state college students could be eligible to attend Florida’s public universities at the same cost as in-state residents — if they have a grandparent living in the state. The legislation, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law June 29, allows Florida to waive out-of-state fees for as many as 350 students each academic year – saving tens of thousands of dollars for each family over four years. [Source: Fresh Take Florida]

UCF to be first university to use hologram technology in healthcare education

The University of Central Florida is changing up or better yet, beaming up the game for healthcare students. “Whether it’s our speech pathology students who are learning anatomy and physiology or neuromotor disorders or language development or our physical therapy students,” Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs College of Health Professionals and Sciences Bari Hoffman said. Hoffman spearheaded the project to incorporate hologram technology in the classroom. According to UCF, the school is the first university worldwide to incorporate this new technology. It was purchased for $75,000 with a donation from Brooks rehabilitation. [Source: WKMG]

Only 37 percent of Florida 8th graders passed a crucial statewide math exam

A solid grasp of exponents, functions, properties of geometric shapes and other skills can help set up 8th graders for success in higher-level math, but in 2021, only 37 percent of 8th graders tested in Florida passed the statewide math exam. Those dismal math results — the lowest since at least 2015 — mean 8th graders will likely face hurdles in high school, with the 2021-22 school year approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Marymount California University to merge with Florida Catholic college
Marymount California University officials signed an agreement last week to merge with Saint Leo University, a Catholic college in Florida, though the deal still needs approval from a regional governing body and both sides need to work out final details. The agreement will unite the two Catholic institutions together under the Saint Leo University name, officials say, though it’s not yet certain that the “Marymount California University” moniker will go away entirely.

› Florida A&M forgives student debt, totaling more than $16 million, for its graduating class
Florida A&M University students got a welcome surprise when the university announced it would be paying off student financial balances for the 2020-2021 school year. President Larry Robinson broke the news at the commencement for graduates Saturday. The historically Black university used more than $16 million of funding from the federal CARES Act, which was passed in March 2020, to cover the fees, tuition and unpaid student account balances, according to a news release from the school.

› Feeding stray cats could get you fired at Nova Southeastern University
The stray cats that prowl Nova Southern University are becoming more than a nuisance. They’re now grounds for firing. The university, in an attempt to control troublesome wildlife, is threatening to fire anyone who feeds the cats, according to a directive issued by Vice President Daniel Alfonso with approval from President George Hanbury.

› FSU to break ground on Interdisciplinary Research and Commercialization Building
Florida State University officials broke ground Monday on the Interdisciplinary Research and Commercialization Building in Innovation Park. FSU President John Thrasher, Interim Vice President for Research Laurel Fulkerson and Danfoss Turbocor President Ricardo Schneider are scheduled to make remarks prior to officials breaking ground.

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