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Watch: Amidst the Pandemic, Columbia’s HyFlex Format Delivers a Safe and Immersive Campus Experience

With the onset of the pandemic, the normal course of education at colleges and universities has been fundamentally disrupted. But in this climate of change and increased safety measures, Columbia has introduced its HyFlex learning model that allows students to balance online classes with on-campus experiences. Strategic Communication students Phil Smith and Carson Li recently spoke about the advantages of this unique way of learning.

From flyers and monitors around campus to digital information, Smith, '21SPS, finds reassurance in Columbia’s clear and omnipresent communication about ensuring a safe yet rich and highly-connected campus experience for its students. “One of my concerns before coming to campus was around safety, but all of the communication, all of the images that Columbia has in place [during the] pandemic have been really comforting.” 

For Phil and many other international students, the HyFlex curriculum is especially important because it offers them the ability to safely attend classes on campus. The combination of online and on-campus learning made him feel more involved with the school. “I'm an international student, I wanted to be on campus,” Smith says. “I didn't want to do my degree in a spare bedroom, so to be in a campus, to have the atmosphere of being surrounded by the history of Columbia is just amazing.”

For Carson Li, '21SPS, what stands out the most is the faculty’s dedication to providing their students with the same high-quality education experience that was in place before the pandemic. “The professors are so engaging,” Carson says. “They are so committed to making the education quality still remain of high standard in the virtual classes.” The faculty’s devotion is also a strong motivating factor for the students to remain focused and actively engage with the courses -- whether the course is conducted virtually or in-person and on campus.

As Li puts it, “Finally being able to meet some of them in-person is nice and encouraged me to study.”

Learn more about Columbia’s Strategic Communication master’s program.