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Penn State To Announce Fate Of Fall 2020 Semester By June 15

Penn State will announce its plans for the fall semester by June 15, if not earlier, the university announced Wednesday.

As the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing and developing across the country, university leaders remain optimistic Penn State could be able to return to in-person instruction should federal and state health guidelines allow it to.

“At this time, the University remains optimistic for a fall return to on-campus learning in line with the latest directives and guidelines from the governor and other government and public health authorities,” President Eric Barron said. “We will continue to keep the University and local community informed and plan to provide additional updates and information by June 15, if not earlier. As the pandemic unfolds by the hour and day, our top priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and broader community.”

Although Penn State’s current plan is to reopen in the fall, administrators are also planning for a variety of alternative scenarios. These could include another semester of online learning, a “hybrid” model combining in-person and virtual instruction, and even a delayed opening of campus.

To help plan for the future, Penn State’s leaders have formed three groups — one focused on public health, one centered on bringing staff back to work, and another aimed at reopening campus — to inform decision-making. These task forces will closely work with the other 12 Penn State formed earlier this spring.

“While we wish there was a simple return to normal, there isn’t; however, as we proceed forward we must account for the ever-changing health dynamics at play and consider that a one-size-fits-all approach might not make sense for every program, college and campus across our institution,” Provost Nick Jones said. “This is a complex task with short-term questions and long-term challenges to work through, not just for Penn State, but for all of higher education and our nation.”

Other universities around the country, including Purdue, Oklahoma, and Idaho, have already announced their intentions to fully return to in-person instruction this fall.

On April 16, Penn State announced it would move summer session courses online but remained optimistic it could revert to in-person instruction later on if guidelines allowed.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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