ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Colleges and universities are facing challenging times as they try to keep both students and faculty safe amid the reopening of higher education facilities.

When it comes to learning the fundamentals of life, education is at the forefront.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, schools across the nation had to alter curriculums and transition to online schooling. Students’ lives changed as sports came to a halt, theatrical stages went dark, and graduation ceremonies were canceled.

As the educational reopening process begins throughout the Twin Tiers and for the State of New York, the top priority for many higher education institutes is to keep both students and faculty safe—while bettering the quality of education.

“The way I look at it is we need to make sure we’re providing the safety and health of students first,” said Dr. Charles Linsay, President of Elmira College. “After that, a college education is about new opportunities and challenges.”