Point Loma Nazarene University plans early fall classes to avoid possible winter coronavirus surge

Point Loma Nazarene University is a private Christian liberal arts school with 2,700 students.
Point Loma Nazarene University is a private Christian liberal arts school with 2,700 students.

Point Loma Nazarene University has decided to begin fall classes in mid-August in hopes of completing the semester before winter, when the COVID-19 coronavirus might make a resurgence across the country.

The private Christian liberal arts school says undergraduates will start classes Aug. 17 and complete final exams by Nov. 24 or 25. Any final work they need to do will be conducted online.

Point Loma Nazarene will hold a winter break from Dec. 5 to Jan. 10, which will be followed by an online miniterm from Jan. 11 to Feb. 12.

“By adjusting the academic calendar we hope to prevent the need for students to travel back and forth during a season when there is a possibly higher level of respiratory-borne illness,” President Bob Bower said in a statement.

Bower added that all fall classes “will be offered face to face but built in a hybrid format with technology capabilities to quickly move online if necessary and to offer students flexibility in their mode of attendance.”

“PLNU has invested in video technology within all of our classrooms and meeting spaces so that students can participate seamlessly in the hybrid environment.”

The university, which is more than a century old, also plans to conduct coronavirus testing in the fall. Bower didn’t say whether all 2,700 of PLNU’s students will be required to undergo testing.

Residence halls will be open during the fall in a format that will emphasize social distancing.


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