The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Universities Take Precautions for the Fall Semester

COVID-19 has posed challenges for higher education, one of them being the abrupt change to online classes. College professors were able to adjust to teaching online and may be quietly preparing to do the same for the fall semester. 

Most universities are taking precautions in case it is not deemed safe for students to return to school, but they are planning on starting online or conducting hybrid classes, or delaying the start of the fall semester altogether. 

Last month, the Faculty Development Center (FDC) at California State University, Dominguez Hills opened registration for two summer classes to instructors called “Improving Your Online Course” and “Applying the Quality Matter Rubric Course.” The quality matter rubric is a guide for instructors to help them through development, evaluation and improvement of online and blended courses, according to Quality Matters

CSUDH has not decided if their fall semester will be starting online, but they are taking precautions and helping instructors improve their online classes. 

According to Inside Higher Ed, CSU San José and CSU Fullerton have been open to having virtual fall semester, while other universities such as Purdue University are considering limiting class size and separate students by age and vulnerability. 

Private institutions are under more pressure to have in-person classes due to higher tuition rates. 

“I think they will be under a lot of pressure to have face-to-face classes rather than online classes, because I think we’re seeing student dissatisfaction with paying normal tuition for online classes,” Chuck Staben, former president of the University of Idaho, told Inside Higher Ed. “The higher the tuition, probably the greater that level of dissatisfaction.”

In a survey conducted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers said that about 21 percent of universities are considering a delayed start, including Georgetown University and Stanford University, according to Inside Higher Ed. 

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, only 20 institutions have shared their plans for the fall semester.

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