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Thursday, September 23, 2021

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SDSU to Offer In-Person, Virtual Courses for Fall 2020

SDSU President Adela de la Torre outlined plans for Fall 2020, noting that more than 200 in-person classes would be offered for the fall and up to 3,500 students may live on campus.
By SDSU News Team
 

Students will have access to more than 200 unique in-person courses and the university is preparing to house up to 3,500 students on campus during the Fall 2020. 

In a campus update, SDSU President Adela de la Torre announced that the California State University system has approved the campus-wide academic plan for Fall 2020. 

“I have a high level of confidence that, through our plan, we will offer an exceptional education and experience for our students, no matter their physical location,” de la Torre said. 

The university also launched a SDSU Flex website to provide information and updates. The site, now live, includes information about campus repopulation plans, course offerings, and the university’s plans to offer a meaningful student experience, no matter where they are physically located. 

“I know this information will be helpful to every single member of our community, including our incoming students and their parents and families, as we all prepare for Fall 2020,” de la Torre said. 

SDSU does not have enough classrooms to offer all classes in person while providing for sufficient physical distancing.  For that reason, the university identified more than 200 courses for in-person, focusing on those that have critical in-person elements. All other courses will be offered virtually. 

“Less density is a public health imperative to limit the spread of COVID-19,” de la Torre said. “Because we will need to keep physical distance for an undetermined time, we will certainly embrace the strengths of virtual to ensure students can customize their learning experiences. Doing so, however, allows us to maintain for those courses which most need it.” 

In-person classes must meet certain parameters, including having discipline-relevant pedagogical standards and student-learning outcomes, which cannot be met by adjusting pedagogy; a reliance on specialized equipment that cannot be substituted in virtual delivery; and accreditation and/or licensure requirements necessitating in-person experiences. 

Further, SDSU expects it will house about 3,500 students in on campus residence halls, about 54% of the capacity offered in Fall 2019. The university will offer all students in residence academic support and residential programs, respecting distancing requirements and increased health and safety protections. 

The university will offer increased and continuing flexibility for faculty and staff, encouraging those able to continue to telework to do so, with the exception of faculty approved to teach in-person courses or who are engaged in certain research and creative activities.  

“The health and safety of faculty, staff, and students is paramount,” de la Torre said, noting that faculty and staff will be granted telework assignments if they are unable to work onsite due to medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. Those able to continue teleworking will be encouraged to do so. 

“We are working to make the virtual experience as engaging and enriching as possible for all students. SDSU has spent years increasing online course offerings and moving all courses to virtual modalities mid-spring allowed our instructional faculty time to redesign courses and begin training,” de la Torre said. “We are also identifying ways to expand other features of meaningful in-person teaching, to include small group interactions and peer-based learning, complemented by academic support.” 

The university will continue to maintain its COVID-19 site for public health-related updates.