University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano announced in a From the Chancellor statement the highly anticipated plan for fall semester learning today with the “Road Map to Fall 2020 Plan.” The plan details that the semester will begin with in-person learning Aug. 24 and will transition to remote learning after Thanksgiving break—although this is subject to change throughout the summer depending on the status of COVID-19.
DiStefano said that the Road Map, created by the Academic Year 2020-21 Planning Team, aims to “(minimize) health and safety risks to faculty, staff, students and community members.” He also noted that opening the campus for in-person learning until break is in the interest of the public good.
“Some of the students who would be most disproportionately affected if we were to be fully remote are our first-generation, underrepresented, low-income and rural students,” DiStefano said.
The Road Map’s plan of action details “three major areas,” the first being to create a “COVID-ready campus,” which requires the campus to adapt to local conditions and city and state requirements, as well as to implement “mitigating measures.” These measures include what the plan says decreases each individual’s “potential for infectious contacts by at least 55 percent” by requiring that masks be worn by students and CU Boulder employees, decreasing the density of people compared to normal conditions and implementing greater sanitation measures. It also details the necessity for CU to have the capability for COVID-19 testing in order to “monitor for potential spread.”
Because CU Boulder students have a range of needs in the face of COVID-19, the second major aspect of the plan includes accommodating both in-person and remote academic instruction to ensure both “equity and student success.” The university will offer courses which allow for both in-person and remote learning, as well a hybrid of the two.
Additionally, in-person classes will be split into a number of sessions or moved into larger spaces to reduce the overall density of students in a classroom. To do this, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday will be utilized for academic instruction.
In regards to first-year students, the university plans to provide a normal first-year experience by continuing with enrollment and with assigning student housing.
The third major area of the plan addresses the need to properly align resources “to support safety and academics” by investing in technology to better support teachers and students, testing, masks and training, as well as “physical distancing supplies and public health awareness.” The university also promises that there will be no tuition increases, as agreed upon by the CU Board of Regents earlier this month.
The plan will continue to be modified and improved with feedback from the community through virtual forums held throughout the summer.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Noelle Videon at firstname.lastname@example.org.