‘Majority’ Of Fall 2021 Classes To Be Held In Person

As Penn State continues planning its phased return to in-person learning, the university has scheduled “a majority” of its fall 2021 classes to be held in person.

According to a news release published Monday, nearly 96% of fall course sections at University Park — 14,109 out of 14,714 — will be delivered in person. In a traditional, non-pandemic semester, Penn State would offer about 15,200 in-person sections (~97%).

The university expects to deliver 83% of Commonwealth Campus course sections — 6,901 out of 8,309 — in person this fall, too. Traditionally, 9,600 Commonwealth Campus sections (~87%) would feature in-person instruction.

About 8% of fall Commonwealth Campus courses will be web-based, while around 6.7% will feature hybrid instruction.

Madlyn Hanes, senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor, said employing a lower rate of in-person classes compared to University Park was “a strategic decision.”

“At the campuses, we typically schedule a larger percentage of courses as web-based or hybrid to allow classes to be shared across multiple campuses and provide students with greater access to courses and programs,” she said in a release. “We learned during the pandemic how web-based and hybrid courses provided increased opportunities to students, especially at the Commonwealth Campuses, and have adjusted some of our planning going forward to continuing these opportunities.”

Although Penn State appears to be on track to get students back in classrooms this fall, administrators reiterated that plans are subject to change based on the pandemic’s trajectory. In a statement, Penn State said it’s able to “quickly respond” if student, employee, and community safety is at risk.

All semester long, Penn State has worked to expand on-campus programming and reintroduce in-person events. The university already announced plans to honor graduates with in-person ceremonies at Beaver Stadium come May, for example.

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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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