What to Know
- Most La Salle University courses will be offered online with no in-person teaching this fall
- Campus housing at the Philly school will be closed except to students with special circumstances or coming from abroad
- Case trends and gatherings at other institutions played a part in La Salle's decision
La Salle University will deliver its fall courses almost entirely online, following a few other big names in the city that made the shift in recent weeks.
In a statement to the university community Thursday, President Colleen Hanycz said trends did not show the coronavirus pandemic waning - noting that the virus continues to spread, particularly in young people.
She was also aware of outbreaks and large gatherings at other institutions that welcomed students back to campus.
"These outbreaks have forced some institutions to abandon their in-person experiences within the first days of their semesters, causing significant disruption to their academic terms. We would be naive to think that we might be able to avoid this fate," Hanycz said.
At La Salle, some students are already in conduct proceedings for violating coronavirus guidelines.
"We understand that our students, like their peers across the nation, have been separated from their friends, their sports, their jobs, and their communities for several months now and they are very keen to reconnect. However, this has led to behaviors that threaten our entire community," Hanycz said.
Further complicating matters, part of the university's contact tracing plans fell through because "a key on-campus health professional" can no longer provide that service, the letter says.
Classes that were going to be in-person will be moved to a synchronous online model (meeting online at the same time). On-campus housing will mostly be closed, but international students or those with special circumstances can stay.
More information is coming on how the fall semester will work given the news. Students were previously told they would have some in-person experience this fall before La Salle said that was no longer tenable.
Drexel announced an all-online decision yesterday. Penn made its decision Aug. 11 after previously planning to test all students for the virus at least twice in their return to campus.