Rethinking Resilience: Planning for COVID-19's Lasting Impact on Campus

Colleges and Universities are grappling with the difficult decisions of how and when to welcome students back to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions related to maintaining social distancing, effectively and equitably deploying hybrid learning, adapting to declining enrollment and retaining students and faculty amidst drastic changes on campus can be informed with rapid strategic planning. SmithGroup’s Higher Education Practice offers integrated expertise in space utilization, campus and mobility planning, change management, energy systems, resiliency strategies and multi-disciplinary design. This unified approach affords us the ability to gather and leverage data to lead institution-specific Scenario Mapping to help predict the effects of these multi-layered decisions before implementing adjustments to policy and space use. 

Resources COVID-19 office design SmithGroup
Higher Education COVID Photo

ROADMAP TO THE RESILIENT CAMPUS

To navigate an institution’s unique combination of issues and opportunities and work towards new innovative, integrated strategies that are agile, cost-effective, and resilient is best empowered by co-developing solutions utilizing multi-disciplinary teams that include experts from education and research, architecture and engineering, real estate and facilities, information technology; human resources and finance. It is for this reason that JLL and SmithGroup have partnered to develop this roadmap and to be available to further formulate integrated solutions for our clients.

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Higher Education after COVID-19 SMithGroup Architecture Dental Schools

RETHINKING ACADEMIC DENTAL CLINICS IN THE ERA OF COVID-19

As academic dental clinics reopen throughout the country, there are
a number of unanswered questions about the durable impacts of
the pandemic. Leveraging our national perspective, and with the goal of reducing
airborne disease transmission in dental teaching clinics, we have
identified emerging best practices for the near-term and a post-
COVID world.

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Campus COVID-19

WHAT CAN THE RETREAT FROM CAMPUS TEACH US ABOUT THE VALUE OF PLACE?

Across the country, typically boisterous campuses have all but closed to allow students, faculty and staff to retreat to their homes to safely practice social distancing. With students rushed off campus, dining halls, dormitories, classrooms, stadiums and research labs are all eerily silent.

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Higher Education COVID-19

RENEWING THE SOCIAL CONTRACT OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION

The COVID-19 pandemic, in parallel with already shifting American demographics, is having an acute impact on student access and success. That impact is disproportionately affecting first generation, Pell Grant-eligible students, and disadvantaged communities with limited access to technology. The current crisis has also reinforced the importance of higher education for encouraging upward social mobility, economic stability and a strong democracy.

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University of Houston Clear Lake Recreation Higher Education Wellness Interior Student Life

FROM RECOVERY TO RESILIENCY: PART 1 - CAMPUS RECREATION RESPONDS TO COVID-19

NIRSA's annual conference for Leaders in Collegiate Recreation was cancelled in response to the travel bans and campus closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SmithGroup organized a virtual dinner party to respond to conference attendees' interest in seeking ideas from their peers. Recreation leaders and strategic consultants from across the country joined and shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities the industry can expect. The conversation revealed strategies for near and long-term impact.

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Simulation Spaces

DESIGNED FOR DISRUPTION: THE NEXT ERA OF SIMULATION LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Rethinking campuses to adapt to the current COVID-19 pandemic, lower enrollment, student life uncertainties and equitable access present complex challenges to the status quo. As higher education strategists with a focus on health profession education, we are convinced simulation learning environments can become a leading model to address the accelerating speed of transformation and disruption throughout higher education.

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College Students Wearing Masks During COVID-19 Pandemic

WHAT IS DRIVING STUDENTS' DESIRE TO RETURN TO CAMPUS?

Our higher education team was curious about the emotional drivers underlying student choices for fall 2020. We interviewed a small sample of students that represent each institution type from open access to research universities to regional comprehensives and private liberal arts. While our survey methods are not scientific, we were able to identify several interesting themes.

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CSU Long Beach Student Success Center Courtyard

CAMPUSFORWARD: THE LASTING EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

Colleges and universities across the nation are grappling with tough decisions due to the unknown long-term implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, SmithGroup’s Higher Education Practice leaders interviewed academics, administration and faculty from various institutions across the U.S. to gain insight into how they are responding to the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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University of Colorado at Denver Health and Wellness Center | SmithGroup

FROM RECOVERY TO RESILIENCY: PART 2 - INTEGRATING FITNESS AND WELLNESS ON CAMPUS

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, campus recreation and wellness leaders are asking how to create recreation and wellness environments that are more responsive and resilient for the long-term. Based on a conversation with recreation leaders and strategic consultants from across the country, the second post in this series focuses on the promise of new models of integrated fitness and wellness services to help college and university students embark on a journey of life-long health and well-being. 

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