Fall 2020 Preview: Adapting in the Midst of Uncertainty

June 22, 2020

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Title: Fall Comes Into View

Author: Lilah Burke

Source: Inside Higher Ed

In the absence of a coronavirus vaccine, U.S. colleges and university administrators have had to decide what the coming fall semester will mean for their institutions. A piece from Inside Higher Ed breaks down some of the choices facing institutions, as schools contend with whether to adopt an in-person, fully online, or hybrid format of instruction; shorten the semester (by starting later and/or ending earlier); reduce density by alter class schedules; and how to enforce physical social distancing, among others. As campuses figure out their plans, some have announced elements of each, opting for changes to academic calendars where they will not have a traditional fall break in October, and will either finish the semester or transition to fully remote courses by Thanksgiving break.

Among plans already announced, Wichita State University has chosen a hybrid model which will see traditional in-person classes transition to become partially online. This will limit in-person meetings, though students will return to campus and their residence halls. Similarly, University of Texas at Austin has announced a hybrid model, where students can opt to take classes either in-person or online though they will be required to pay the same tuition. The university is also moving more than 20 percent of their classes fully online. The University of Colorado, Boulder has announced distinct and separate cohort models for residential students and commuter students with staggered in-person attendance in select cases to reduce classroom density.

The article provides examples of several other institutions with announced plans, highlights differences in approaches, considerations, and strategies for planning in what remains an uncertain and ongoing situation.

To read the full piece, please click here.

—Charles Sanchez

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