PULLMAN — Washington State University will deliver undergraduate education at a distance, with very limited exceptions, during the fall 2020 semester, though each campus may take slightly different approaches taking into account issues specific to their communities.
Plans for graduate-level coursework and instructional delivery methods will be announced on Aug. 1, according to a message from President Kirk Schulz, Provost Elizabeth Chilton, and Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales.
“We make this decision with the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff foremost in our minds, and that principle will continue to guide us going forward,” WSU leaders wrote in a system-wide communication July 23.
The message was specifically directed to the WSU Pullman campus. The university system’s four other physical campuses have announced similar approaches.
“Given the alarming rise in the number of covid‑19 cases regionally and nationally, all undergraduate courses at WSU Pullman will be delivered at a distance and will be completed remotely, with extremely limited exceptions for in‑person instruction. Information regarding WSU Pullman graduate coursework and instructional delivery methods will be announced by Aug. 1,” the WSU Pullman officials wrote.
Additional points covered by the officials include:
• “To our first‑year Cougs, who have lost any semblance of a traditional senior year of high school and their first university experience; transfer students, who were eager to continue their education as Cougs; and our returning Cougs, who have worked hard to keep their community and peer relationships intact after a disrupted spring semester; we hear and see you.
• “Nationally, institutions of higher education are making similar decisions. In the state of Washington and other locations where our students reside, there recently have been significant increases in the number of covid‑19 infections and related deaths. In response to the growing number of cases in our state, Gov. Jay Inslee tightened Phase III reopening guidelines on July 16.”
• “Students, if you can stay at your permanent residence during this current phase of the covid‑19 outbreak, please continue progressing toward your degree from home.”
• “Our University-owned apartments will open as planned. University-owned residence halls will open Aug. 15, but only for those students who have a demonstrated institutional need and are approved to live on campus.”