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George Washington University to conduct spring semester online

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“Managing this pandemic has called on us all to do our part to keep the community healthy and safe, and to support one another through these difficult decisions,” officials said in an email to the university community.

University leaders considered the spread of the virus, the school’s ability to house students safely and feedback from the community as they weighed the possibility of reopening the campus, according to the announcement.

Based on current conditions, the school said it is also unlikely commencement will be held in person in May.

GWU President Thomas J. ­LeBlanc told the Faculty Senate on Friday the spring semester “will look a lot like it looks right now,” according to the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper. Most classes are being taught remotely; exceptions have been made for a handful of courses that require research or in-person instruction.

The campus has reported 29 positive virus cases since August, the school’s testing dashboard shows. About 500 students are living on campus instead of the usual population of between 6,500 and 6,800 students, Maralee Csellar, a campus spokeswoman, said. Next semester, the university may expand housing, but it will depend on additional health and safety assessments, Csellar said.

Officials do not expect new cuts because of Friday’s announcement. And tuition discounts offered to most undergraduate students this fall will remain, the school said.

Hundreds of students and employees are urging the president to resign. More than a thousand students, staff, faculty and alumni have pledged to stop donating until LeBlanc is replaced, said Gaurav Gawankar,

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U moves spring break to April at Twin Cities campus because of COVID-19

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The University of Minnesota has modified spring break at its five campuses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving the weeklong vacation from March to April for Twin Cities and Rochester students and spreading the days across the semester for those attending Duluth, Morris and Crookston.

Additionally, U leaders say social distancing and masking requirements will remain in place this spring and professors will again be given the choice of teaching online or in person.

“Each campus engaged in extensive consultation with their respective communities and governance structures,” U Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson said of the spring decisions during a Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

Students and faculty at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses “strongly preferred” keeping the five-day break, Croson said. Spring break at the two campuses will now be held April 5-9. It will coincide with the spring breaks of Minneapolis’ and St. Paul’s public school districts.

At the university’s Morris campus, spring break days will be broken up and spread across the semester. Crookston’s spring break will be replaced with one midweek study day plus two extra study days to be taken between the last day of classes and the week of final exams. Duluth students will take the Monday and Tuesday of their spring break week off, with the remaining three days to be used as study days between the end of spring instruction and exams week.

The spring break delay at the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses will allow for more instruction to be completed before students take time off. There is concern that students may travel away during the vacation period and potentially carry COVID-19 back to campus.

In the coming months, administrators will decide whether to resume some in-person instruction after spring break or fully pivot to distance learning,

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West Chester University To Stay Remote Into Spring Semester

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WEST CHESTER, PA — West Chester University officials announced today that spring semester classes will continue with remote instruction, a move they say is precautionary with a view to a predicted second wave of the coronavirus.

“With the nation continuing to experience spikes in COVID-19 and scientists predicting a new surge due to cold weather, West Chester University is taking extra precautions to protect the community from a forecasted second wave of the virus by continuing remote and some hybrid (meaning both remote and in-person) academic instruction through the spring semester,” the university said in a media release Wednesday morning.

The university made the announcement this week in order to allow students and their families to plan as they soon being selecting their spring semester courses.

“Continuing remote instruction through spring 2021 will ensure that WCU students will be able to earn credits for academic degrees in an uninterrupted manner,” said West Chester University President Christopher Fiorentino.

“There is not enough information on the availability of rapid testing or a vaccine on a sufficient scale for us to be confident enough to announce and plan for a spring semester that includes a return to in-person instruction,” he added.

The university said it will continue to provide COVID-19 relief credits to both in-state and out-of-state students, full-time and part-time, for spring 2021, which will lower the total combined costs of tuition and fees.

Spring 2021 instruction will be delivered via Zoom Conferencing, Skype, email, and a variety of other remote modes of course delivery as determined by WCU faculty, much like it was delivered in fall. Some courses will continue to be offered in a hybrid format (both remote and in-person) to assist students with clinical placements, student teaching, performance obligations, internship sites, and similar academic responsibilities.

“Universities across the State

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Springfield Technical Community College to remain mostly online in spring 2021

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College said Wednesday it will continue with online classes in the spring 2021 semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school will offer on-campus low-density labs for its health and STEM programs.

Holyoke Community College made a similar announcement last week. Greenfield Community College also announced that it will be primarily a remote-learning institution in the spring.

In Enfield, Connecticut, Asnuntuck Community College will follow the same model it used in the fall, with courses offered online with the instructor teaching live.

Asnuntuck’s CEO, Michelle Coach, said the college is working to have all hands-on courses have the necessary time they need for training. Those include the phlebotomy, registered dental assistant, esthetics, cosmetology, dental and manufacturing programs.

STCC said its faculty members are working with their deans in the online development program to prepare classes for spring delivery.

“We look forward to one day being back on campus full time, but we need to safeguard our students, faculty and staff,” college President John B. Cook said in a news release. “The pandemic has created an unpredictable environment that prompted extensive and thoughtful discussions. After much consideration, we felt a mix of online classes and low-density labs for our technical and health programs, using strict social distancing protocols, would be the best approach for the spring.”

The college said there is no intention to convert to an online-only institution. Hands-on training on computer-numerical-control manufacturing equipment and in the patient simulation center is being redesigned to involve fewer people and more space.

STCC said it will also continue to offer student services remotely. The college has about 90 programs and 7,000 students.

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Kent State University pushes spring break to April, will go remote for rest of spring semester

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KENT, Ohio — Kent State University has moved its 2021 spring break from March 29-April 4 to April 12-18, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Afterward, all classes will be remote, through final exams May 6-12. The idea is to keep students and staff safe after a week of travel.

The school notified students and faculty Thursday, not long after Ohio State canceled its spring break. Kent State had 31 new COVID-19 cases the week of Sept. 20, according to its coronavirus dashboard. The school has had 125 total cases since July 7.

Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs, said in a news release that information about dining plans and residence halls for the spring semester will be coming soon.

“We wanted to make sure that students would have a break,” Van Dulmen told cleveland.com. “We know that a lot of students across the country really struggle with stress, anxiety, and it’s a very difficult time. So we wanted to figure out whether we could find a way to still give students a spring break, but not have students travel back and forth.”

Kent State is managing its spring break similar to how it’s handling Thanksgiving for the fall semester. The university will have no classes the week of the holiday and then go fully remote the rest of the semester. Van Dulmen thinks students will appreciate how the university is handling spring break.

The university’s spring course schedule will be available Oct. 5, and a mix of in-person and virtual classes will be offered. Registration begins Oct. 21.

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