California State University campuses have been operating primarily via online learning as Fall semester has begun. Students have anxiously awaited an update regarding the format of Spring semester’s classes, and now we finally have an answer. In a statement released last week, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said,
“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing,” said White. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. 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.”
While the announcement might seem early, with January still four months away and the course of the coronavirus pandemic still unpredictable, CSU leadership made the decision at this time citing three primary reasons:
- The desire to give students and families plenty of time to plan and prepare
- Administrative need to plan for, and publish, course offerings for the Spring semester
- Accommodating accreditation requirements for courses delivered online
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, the accrediting body for CSU, requires the school to seek authorization to move traditionally on-site courses to an online learning format. In order to receive authorization, Spring semester classes must be published by October. Therefore, the CSU system felt compelled to make this decision now.
In the next few weeks, each campus will publish its Spring semester course offerings so that students can make their selections. Then, each campus can allocate resources according to demand.
For more on this story, visit the Cal State website here.