West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s decision announced Friday to continue remote learning this fall is not affecting Indiana University of Pennsylvania, at least for now.
“IUP is continuing its plan to pursue a hybrid model, with as much face-to-face instruction as is safe and within social distancing and safety and health recommendations from the (Centers for Disease Control) and (Pennsylvania) Department of Health,” IUP Executive Director of Media Relations Michelle Fryling said Sunday.
West Chester, the largest of the state-owned universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said it could not ignore the potential danger of bringing thousands back to its campus near Philadelphia — and near the Pennsylvania border with Delaware, one of 19 states from which visitors to the Keystone State must observe a two-week quarantine.
“Accordingly, our plans for the fall semester must adjust to this new reality,” President Christopher Fiorentino told the West Chester community. “My leadership team and I have made the decision to continue remote learning through the fall 2020 semester, with a few courses delivered in a hybrid format, meaning both in-person and remote, in order to assist those students with clinical placements, student teaching, performance obligations, internship sites, and similar academic responsibilities.”
On May 22, IUP, the second-largest PASSHE institution, announced its plan for the fall.
“While we must remain flexible and ready to act as new information about the coronavirus pandemic becomes known,” IUP President Dr. Michael A. Driscoll said, “we are planning to welcome you to campus for face-to-face instruction and residential living for the fall semester.”
However, Driscoll said, classes would be formatted “to maintain social-distancing recommendations while focusing on real-time instruction and delivery.”
Classes would be divided into teams of students who would physically attend class on a specific day, in classrooms sanitized and set up to maintain social distancing.
“On days when a team is not scheduled to be physically in the classroom, that team’s students would participate and interact with the class’s other teams via Zoom or similar technology,” Driscoll wrote in May. “We’re now installing technology in additional classrooms to do this and similar scenarios.”
Fryling said Sunday that any changes would be announced on the iup.edu website.