CU Boulder announces tentative plans to increase in-person classes in summer, fall

University of Colorado Boulder will offer a mix of in-person, online and hybrid courses for the summer term and is tentatively planning a fall semester with a majority of classes in person, along with more events and activities.

Plans will be based on the spread of coronavirus this spring, vaccine rollout and general pandemic trends, Provost Russell Moore and Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke wrote in a message to campus Wednesday.

Along with more in-person classes, the fall semester could include more social activities and events, more dining options and more public attendance at athletic events and arts and culture activities. Residence halls could also operate at close to full capacity.

“We will work cooperatively with public health authorities and believe that we can maintain a safe campus environment while opening the CU Boulder campus experience to a far greater extent,” Moore and O’Rourke wrote.

It’s not yet clear what percent of summer courses will be in person, online and hybrid, Moore said, but CU Boulder expects to strong enrollment numbers this summer.

Summer courses in 2020 were all online and saw a 20% increase in enrollment, Moore said.

“We anticipate seeing the same kind of success. We have anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 students who remain in Colorado, and I know students are hungering for an in-person experience,” Moore said. “My ungrounded assessment is we should see strong enrollments again this summer based on all those factors.”

The priority for in-person summer courses will be for classes that help students advance and complete their degrees, according to the announcement.

That’s usually the case with summer courses, Moore said, but especially this year as students have had an academic year challenged by the pandemic.

There’s also a chance for more on-campus events this summer, according to the announcement, but it will not be the same as a typical summer on campus.

“The campus will give priority to events that support academics, research, creative work, the student experience and campus visits for prospective students and families,” Moore and O’Rourke wrote. “If possible, we will enable programs and events that support the broader community.”

Fall semester plans are very preliminary, O’Rourke said, and the campus is relying on scientific experts, along with information and guidance from Boulder County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as it moves forward.

“I think we’re going to have more definitiveness in the weeks to come, but we are starting with a science-first perspective to be able to make these decisions,” O’Rourke said.

While vaccines are currently being prioritized for high-risk populations and frontline workers, O’Rourke said campus leaders hope the vaccine will be more broadly available to students in the fall.

“We are going to be very strongly encouraging people to take the vaccine,” O’Rourke said. “There may be some who choose not to, but it really is the best protective mechanism we’re going to have, not just to have things on campus be able to resume, but it’s the right thing for the community.”

Campus leaders will confirm more summer and fall plans by March 24, according to the announcement.

Source: Read Full Article