BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Spring semester at the University of California, Berkeley will begin with fully remote learning for at least the first two weeks of the session, the university announced Tuesday.

A letter from Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos to the campus community said the planning for the 2021 spring semester, beginning January 12, would mirror that of the fall semester.

The two weeks of remote instruction would allow any students returning to campus to self-sequester for 7-10 days. After the first two weeks, the majority of classes will continue to be delivered online, but there are plans for limited in-person instruction, with classes limited to 25 students, according to the announcement.

Students will not be required to take in-person classes or to be on campus for the spring semester, with almost all classes being delivered remotely, even in-person instructional activities

UC Berkeley stressed that the decisions on how and when to hold in-person instruction were dependent on approval from local public health authorities.

“We must recognize that we continue to operate amid great uncertainty, as uncomfortable as that may be,” the letter stated. “For the small number of courses that will only be offered in person if public health conditions allow, departments are ensuring that other classes are available that can be substituted so that students can continue to make progress towards their degrees.”

Cal students will have the option to live on-campus, with residence halls currently offering single occupancy rooms only. Some double-occupancy rooms may be made available if public health conditions allow. Family housing will be available for students with spouses, partners, children and/or dependents.

Those living on campus will be required to be tested before moving in and to quarantine for 7-10 days, followed by additional mandatory testing.

Since the Pac-12 Conference is resuming practice and competition for some fall and winter sports, the university said it was working with public health authorities for approval of additional non-mandatory in-person activities for those who wish to participate. The university said if approved, these activities could commence as soon as the last week of October and continue until the start of the Thanksgiving break.

The university said it was also exploring the possibility of allowing limited non-academic outdoor meetings of students, including clubs and other activities.

 

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