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California State University system plans for a virtual fall

While there will be some variability among its 23 campuses, “limited exceptions” will be made for in-person learning and research.
Photograph: Shutterstock

As colleges across the country work on COVID-19 contingency plans for the upcoming academic year, one university system has announced that it’s forging ahead with plans to conduct classes virtually in the fall.

Timothy White, chancellor of California State University, on Tuesday said the system’s fall courses will be executed remotely for the most part.

“This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast,” White said in a statement. “Virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to safely travel to campus.”

The statement clarified that “limited exceptions” would be made for learning and research activities that are most challenging to conduct remotely, such as clinical training classes for nursing students. However, White said that “on some campuses and in some academic disciplines, course offerings are likely to be exclusively virtual."

The California State University system encompasses 23 campuses and 482,000 students.

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