The university will decide whether fall 2020 classes will be held virtually or in-person on August 26, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced in an email May 13. 

CSU Chancellor Timothy White said that CSU Campuses should prepare to deliver classes online in the fall, though each campus will approach teaching differently based on individual circumstances.

“This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast,” White said. “Virtual planning is necessary because it might not be possible for some students, faculty and staff to safely travel to campus.”‘

Some classes may be taught in person with strict safety measures if they cannot be done virtually. The classes could include science labs needed for graduation, senior projects in engineering, architecture and agriculture and access to kilns and other materials for the arts, he said.

Cal Poly made three plans for fall quarter: offering no more than 15 percent of classes in-person with the rest online, offering all classes online or delaying the start of the quarter. 

Scenario A: Some in-person classes 

  • 15 percent of the 7,000 fall quarter classes that cannot be taught effectively online would be offered in person. 
  • Offer synchronous virtual classes. If public health improves during the quarter, synchronous classes could return to in-person instruction with the consent of the instructor, students and the university. 
  • Offer asynchronous virtual classes, which would stay virtual the entire quarter. 
  • Dorms will be “de-densified,” with no more than two students per dorm room, and if needed, only one student per room — allowing 5,200 students to live on campus. 

If Cal Poly has the resources do widespread COVID-19 testing and if the county is in phase three of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California Resilience Roadmap, Scenario A is possible, Armstrong wrote. 

“We are optimistic that we will be in Stage Three of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan and that we can have students return and offer some in-person courses,” Armstrong wrote.

Scenario B: All online classes 

  • All classes taught online.
  • Students may or may not be able to live in the dorms depending on public health conditions.

Scenario C: Delayed Start

  • If the county is in stage two of Newsom’s California Resilience Roadmap in August, they may wait two to four weeks to start the quarter to see if they can offer in person classes.
  • Could postpone the quarter two to four weeks.

Registration for fall classes starts on June 14, fall quarter classes start on September 17.

CSU Chancellor Timothy White said that CSU Campuses should prepare to deliver classes online in the fall, though each campus will approach teaching differently depending on individual circumstances.

Students should prepare to return to San Luis Obispo for Fall Quarter, Armstrong said. 

The plan for Fall Quarter will align with “the governor’s plan, CSU guidelines and advice” from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, Armstrong wrote. 

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