If you are a college student, there is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected your life in many ways. Your classes have most likely switched to a virtual format, and this may have caused you to reconsider your decisions for the years to come. Maybe you thrive in this online environment, and like the way your school is adapting to this change, and maybe your school didn’t take it the way you expected, and you’d like to explore your options. For the most part, we are unsure as to what colleges will be doing for the fall semester. Some areas with more exposure to the virus or a higher density of people may be more likely to close their campuses than others, but generally, if colleges start to close their physical campus for next year, you should prepare for your school to do the same, and plan accordingly.
The California State University system, which consists of 23 campuses, has officially closed its campuses for in-person learning for the fall semester, with the exception of essential lab courses and clinical classes for nursing students, which will have social distancing restrictions. CSU is the first school in the nation to do this, but, if you’re a student, you can expect many of the larger universities to follow. Just before this announcement, federal health officials stated that it was possible for colleges and schools across the country to reopen in the fall if the US managed to implement widespread testing and maintain proper social distancing until then. CSU enrolls about 480,000 undergraduate students and has been fully online since March. Since CSU has made this announcement early, they will have time to prepare for the virtual semester, and will not leave students wondering if their classes will be online or not.
Anticipating a potential decline in enrollment, CSU assures its students that the faculty, staff, and administrators will be fully prepared to deliver a comprehensive virtual education complete with academic and student support services. If further regulations aren’t set, some schools in less densely populated areas may switch back to in-person learning, while some may try to do some kind of hybrid situation- with a mixture of online and in-person learning. Whatever the situation may be, it is important to closely monitor it when considering your future as a college student. CSU is one of the largest universities in the US in terms of enrollment, so many universities may look to them as a model for a proper response to the virus.