The Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) has announced its plan to host its 70th Annual School Session July 18-30, 2021 in person on the University of Colorado Boulder campus while giving students the option to participate in a virtual learning experience in tandem with the two-week school. The school’s plan overview is as follows:
COVID-19 Protocol Will be Strictly Followed
The health and safety of students and faculty is GSBC’s top priority. CU Boulder currently has tighter restrictions than that of the State of Colorado and the Centers for Disease Control. As guests of the university, GSBC will adhere to CU Boulder protocol for all COVID-19 related items, including but not limited to social distancing, mask protocol and required virus testing and monitoring/contact tracing. Those engaging in off-campus activities will be expected to adhere to Boulder County and City of Boulder COVID-19 protocol.
The Classroom/Virtual Student Experience
Due to social distancing requirements, classroom sizes will be much smaller, causing a greater physical footprint on campus. GSBC’s faculty will be expanded to include instructors and facilitators to conduct small group discussions outside of the main lecture, and live-streaming technology will be used to connect multiple small groups in larger classes. A local hotel will be utilized for additional classroom space and will serve as an additional housing option for students who request it.
Virtual attendees will attend sessions live where they can interact with in-person students and instructors in a dynamic group environment. Faculty members are currently undergoing extensive training to prepare course discussions and materials for a hybrid learning environment.
Students have been asked to declare their initial attendance (in-person or virtual) preference and have until June 1 to change their plans without penalty. Additionally, a flexible cancellation policy is in place.
The school’s curriculum has been modified to address the impacts that the pandemic, economic and political environments have made on banking. Specifically, the following issues will be addressed:
- • Impact on HR practices in a virtual environment
- • Diversity and inclusion opportunities for community banks
- • Strategic opportunities arising from PPP lending
- • Balance sheet management issues and opportunities arising from the low-rate environment
- • Managing loan modifications and forbearances
- • Environmental risk management and emergency preparedness
- • Disaster recovery
“GSBC is committed to helping community banks navigate a new era and wants to adapt as necessary to ensure that a valuable, state-of-the-art educational experience is delivered amid today’s challenges,” stated GSBC President Tim Koch. “We acknowledge the value of in-person education while recognizing risks it poses in the COVID-19 environment. The GSBC staff, board of trustees and faculty are determined to do this effectively and safely.”