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Point Loma Nazarene University drops plan to start fall session with in-person classes; will stay online

Point Loma Nazarene University will at least temporarily stick with online courses due to the coronavirus.
(Courtesy)

Point Loma Nazarene University has dropped plans to begin the fall semester with in-person classes, deciding to at least temporarily stick with online courses due to the threats posed by the coronavirus.

“Although we previously announced a face-to-face start — and that was our sincere hope and preference for this fall — it is our understanding that higher-education institutions in California will not be allowed to move beyond a virtual modality until the state moves into Stage 3 of recovery,” PLNU said in a statement posted on its website July 28.

“The most up-to-date direction from Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as the county of San Diego, makes clear that all public and private colleges and universities, just as public school districts, need to continue classes online.”

The private Christian liberal arts school, which has about 2,700 students, had planned to resume in-person classes Aug. 17 and complete final exams by Nov. 24 or 25. PLNU also planned to reopen its dorms.

But the virus has been surging, leading the California State University system to announce that all of its classes will remain online for the fall.

UC San Diego, which is public, and the University of San Diego, which is private, are attempting to bring many students back to campus with a combination of in-person and online courses. But both schools said they are prepared to go with online-only courses if they have to.

UC San Diego says it will attempt to partly resume in-person classes this fall and will offer free and regular COVID-19 coronavirus testing to its 65,000 students, faculty and staff, a program that could cost up to $2 million a month.

The schools are hoping that the pandemic eases enough that they can begin to return to normal late this year.

PLNU said in its statement that it would “shift to on-campus instruction during the fall semester, when possible. When we are given approval to return to a face-to-face modality and to allow increased residential housing, there will be a two-week window [for a] transition back to campus. Oct. 19 would be the last possible start date on campus.”

“If by Oct. 5 we cannot return face to face, we will complete the fall semester remotely,” the university said.


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