Graduate students in athletic training will be the first East Stroudsburg University students to participate in on-campus classes since campus closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two classes, Clinically Oriented Anatomy and Foundations in Athletic Training Practice, started Monday with online work, and will switch to in-person meetings on July 20 at the main campus and at ESU’s Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem.

“I’m very excited to be back in the classroom,” said Elizabeth Dalrymple of Phillipsburg, New Jersey. “The university did a great job with the remote learning but now being able to practice those skills in a classroom is going to be amazing. The hands-on approach is definitely how I learn best.”

In-person instruction “helps students retain all the complex knowledge about the parts of the body,” ESU said. “In dissecting a cadaver, the students see first-hand what injuries look like so they better understand what is happening with ailments like an ACL tear or a shoulder injury.”

“The students come away with an experience they’ll retain forever,” said Gerard Rozea, associate professor and chair of the athletic training department. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Personal protective equipment will be used and classes will be conducted according to guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts.

Other summer classes may occur face-to-face beginning July 20, and the fall semester starts on Aug. 31.

“The facilities management staff will be working diligently to make sure shared spaces are sanitized regularly to mitigate the spread of the virus. ESU is in communication with local health experts from St. Luke’s Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono regarding COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing, as well as receiving guidance from the State, to prepare in the event of a second-wave,” ESU said.