SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Distance learning will continue, at least through the Fall semester, for the nearly half million students attending California State University because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The chancellor of the nation’s largest 4-year university system made the announcement at a meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees, on Tuesday.
CSU cancelled nearly all of its in-person classes last March, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Chancellor Timothy P. White said that a few in-person courses may be offered, like labs, but most of the courses at the 23 CSU campuses will remain virtual.
“Our university, when open without restrictions and fully in person, as is the traditional norm of the past, is a place where over 500,000 people come together in close and vibrant proximity with each other on a daily basis,” Chancellor White said. “That approach, sadly, just isn’t in the cards now as I have described.”
Health officials have predicted a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Fall. In a statement, White said the plan to continue virtual learning is in response to a potential second outbreak.
“This approach to virtual planning is necessary for many reasons. First and foremost is the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty and staff, and the evolving data surrounding the progression of COVID-19 – current and as forecast throughout the 2020-21 academic year,” he wrote. “Virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to safely travel to campus.”
Many CSU campuses pushed the deadline for enrollment decisions until June, so it is not clear how many students will be enrolled in the fall.
No word yet as whether the University of California will offer in-person classes in the Fall.