West Chester University to continue remote instruction through spring 2021

West Chester University Philips Memorial Building

West Chester University Philips Memorial Building. (West Chester University)

West Chester University plans to continue remote instruction through at least spring 2021, school officials announced Wednesday.

In a letter to the WCU community, President Christopher Fiorentino pointed to continuing spikes in COVID-19 cases across the country, as well as a surge of cases expected to accompany the winter season, as the reasons behind the school’s decision.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 166,552 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 8,272 fatalities.

Fiorentino said the university is announcing its intentions so that students and their families can plan accordingly, as course selection and preparation for the spring semester will soon begin.

“There is not enough information on the availability of rapid testing or a vaccine on a sufficient scale for us to be confident enough to announce and plan for a spring semester that includes a return to in-person instruction,” Fiorentino said in his letter.

“Continuing remote instruction through spring 2021 will ensure that WCU students will be able to earn credits for academic degrees in an uninterrupted manner.”

The university will continue to provide COVID-19 relief credits next semester, in an effort to lower tuition cost.

As with the fall semester, spring semester instruction will be delivered through platforms now integral to most colleges and universities during the pandemic: Zoom, Skype and “other remote modes of course delivery,” according to WCU.

The university said that some courses will continue to be offered in a hybrid format to assist students with clinical placements, student teaching, performance obligations, internship sites and similar academic responsibilities.

WCU will again offer on-campus housing for a small number of students during the spring semester.

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