How college classes will look like in the fall around the Inland Northwest

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Author: KREM Staff

SPOKANE, Wash. — Amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many universities around the Inland Northwest are releasing their plans on whether to hold classes in-person, through online methods or through a hybrid approach.

With the fall semester just weeks away for higher education institutions in the region, students are awaiting this information from their schools as they make plans before the beginning of class.

Many universities have already released their guidelines or plans, but not all institutions have made announcements as of July 24. This page will continue to be updated as more universities release their plans.

Gonzaga University

As of July 24, Gonzaga University plans to still host in-person classes with a few modifications.

"We have developed and introduced training modules, invested over $1 million in technology and classroom upgrades, procured large amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), and created modified formats for housing, dining and campus activities (such as New Student Orientation)," GU President Dr. Thayne M. McCulloh said in a press release.

However, GU says they have asked faculty and staff to be prepared for a back-up plan to move courses fully online.

The first day of classes for all students is currently scheduled for August 26, according to the university’s website.

Washington State University

Washington State University announced on July 24 that it will only offer online learning for students at its Pullman campus in the upcoming fall semester, with extremely limited in-person instruction exceptions.

WSU’s other campuses will announce plans for fall learning at a later date.

The university previously said on June 24 that it didn’t intend to bring students back for the fall semester.

More can be found on Washington State University’s reopening plan website.

RELATED: WSU decides to shift to online learning only for fall 2020

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University previously announced that it would be resuming most classes online in the fall, with some exceptions.

The university said it will identify classes that can’t be taught online, like labs, that will move forward with in-person instruction. These classes will be held using “methods that reduce health risks” for staff and students, the university said.

“Developing curriculum in anticipation of online instruction and also scheduling in anticipation of face-to-face teaching provide maximum flexibility to EWU’s fall course offerings,” EWU President Mary Cullinan said in a release. “Our plan also addresses public health and safety concerns.”

The university’s plan would also allow for classes to switch to in-person if health restrictions are eased going forward. Students are allowed to live in on-campus housing during the semester, but only one person is allowed to live in each room.

More information on EWU’s plans to hold classes in the fall can be found on their coronavirus website.

Whitworth University

Whitworth University previously announced plans to reopen the school this fall, saying their goal was to hold classes in-person.

"There are still many unanswered questions, but Whitworth’s goal is to begin the fall semester in a residential, in-person format," Whitworth President Beck Taylor wrote in the plan. "That means that residence halls will be open, classes will be hosted on the main campus and in the University District, and our mind-and-heart education will resume in many of the familiar ways that contribute to the intellectual and spiritual formation of our students."

Taylor also said that going back to full normalcy may not be possible, but that he’s convinced students can continue with on-campus instruction with the proper safeguards in place.

The university’s faculty and administration are also working to develop alternatives for students who may need them when classes resume.

More information about Whitworth University’s plan for fall course can be found on their coronavirus FAQ website.