MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) kicked off the fall 2020 semester Monday, and with Covid-19 in the midst there are some changes.

In 2019, ULM had 8,500 students registered for the Fall semester. For Fall 2020, that number is 7,500 so enrollment is down about 1,000 students.

With the current pandemic, ULM came up with four options for learning: Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Hyperflex, and Online classes. Hybrid classes are 50% online and 50% in person. The hyperflex model allows students to choose how much class time is in-person and online. School officials say they came up with the options because 65% of its students are local.

On the first day of classes, to the average person, ULM’s campus seems normal, but things aren’t the same. “It’s definitely different than what I was expecting when I first thought of college,” said freshman Annagrace Brooks.

One junior agreed, “I was worried that I wasn’t going to get a lot of interaction with the professors,” said Kade Malone.

“I was just worried that all of my classes were going to be online and that was a bummer for me because first year of college,” said Taylor Snowden.

Zoom instruction, face masks, social distancing, and frequent cleanings are the new norm according to one senior, “The class I just left, we had to wipe down our desks and also just keeping out space, that’s the biggest thing right now,” said Jeremiah Wilson.

With enrollment down, the numbers are expected to increase by 2% which is roughly 200-300 when dual enrollment admissions.

However, with everything going on, some students believe everything should be online.

“I seriously feel like we should go back home and do online classes strictly because they’re going to shut down the school again,” said senior Denisha Peterson.

If that does in fact occur, Vice President of Academic Affairs Alberto Ruiz says they’re ready, “I think if we have to go that route, we’ll be a lot better prepared than we were in the spring.”

The goal of it all is to keep students safe and on campus since over half of them live in Northeast Louisiana.

While things are different, to students, not much has changed.

“I thought it was going to be a lot more of a mess, but it’s really been handled well,” said Malone.

And freshman are still hoping for even more normalcy, “Looking forward to football games,” said Brooks.

The four models of instruction will continue through the end of the fall semester.

ULM officials say the spring semester is still up in the air, they say if Louisiana can get a handle on the pandemic, full in person classes can be expected.