CSU campuses to continue virtual instruction during spring semester


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — All 23 California State University campuses will continue virtual instruction into the academic term beginning Jan. 2021, the CSU Chancellor announced Thursday.

The decision was made after extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, said Chancellor Timothy White. The campuses will also continue with reduced populations in campus housing.

“This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time,” White said. “And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students.”

The desire to give students and their families time to plan, the need to publish and promote course offerings and accreditation requirements for virtual course were the primary reasons for the timing of the CSU’s announcement.

The campuses will publish its lists of course offerings to allow students to select courses and then campuses can allocate resources to meet student demand, the CSU said.

Courses that were accredited for on-site instruction but plan to be offered in distance learning environments will need to be authorized by the the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, the accrediting body for all CSU campuses.

The requirement was temporarily waived by the Department of Education for fall 2020, but will expire at the end of December and will not be renewed, the CSU said.

All CSU campuses will continue following protocols established for the fall 2020 semester in the spring semester of instruction.

“This will allow the flexibility to potentially offer additional in-person coursework should the situation in the campus’ respective region warrant that or, conversely, to further limit such offerings as needed,” the CSU said.

Campuses will develop and communicate its commencement plans during the spring semester.

Fresno State President Joseph Castro released a statement Thursday afternoon on the decision of continuing virtual instruction:

I fully understand this decision may be difficult to process initially and, for some, to accept. But I also continue to believe the best way to weather challenges is to first know what we are facing. By knowing now, in early September, what we can expect in the spring semester, we can each process the ramifications for us personally, and then begin planning accordingly. 

I also realize this development will spur many questions about who will be on campus in the spring, which classes will be offered in person, which employees will continue to work from home, and so on. As of this afternoon, I cannot answer those questions definitively.  

President Joseph Castro

For the full statement, click here.

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