Wilson College joins the virtual class movement this fall in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
President Wesley R. Fugate, Ph.D., made the announcement last week, citing “the health and safety” of students, faculty and staff.
The decision was made “in light of the increased spread of the COVID-19 virus nationwide, new guidance and restrictions from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the NCAA, and the limited availability of testing.“
So instead of in-person classes, students will get “robust online, remote instruction“ this fall.
“This decision is an incredibly difficult one to make,“ Fugate said.
New guidelines and restrictions and limited availability of testing would have significantly restricted the on-campus experience for students, he said.
The shift to remote learning for the entire semester provides students and their families with clarity and certainty, Fugate said. It also avoids the disruption that could happen if classes started, then had to be converted to a virtual format.
Bonus: Free spring class
Wilson is offering each student who completes the fall semester one January term course at no additional tuition charge.
The college has purchased the requisite technology and provided faculty and staff with enhanced training.
Student development and academic support services teams will be available and ready to serve every student and help each individual navigate the semester.
“The Wilson experience will be different,” Fugate said. ”But we hope to create memorable and lasting moments virtually, in addition to the necessary support to help [students] succeed.”
Wilson may provide limited housing for students who cannot live at home because doing so would cause them hardship or because their home environment could not support remote learning.
On campus students must abide by all COVID-19 health and safety protocols. They will have to wear face coverings, except when eating or in their rooms. Dining services will be limited. Group and face-to-face meetings, including extra-curricular activities, will be banned in adherence to social distancing guidelines.
Fugate and the college leadership are hopeful that the situation around the virus will improve so face-to-face instruction can resume in January.
The college will provide updates as details of new opportunities for students become available.