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What BYU and other CES institutions plan to do for the fall semester

by | Jun. 23, 2020

As the fall semester approaches, several of the institutions in the Church Educational System (CES) are making announcements regarding plans for the fall semester. Plans vary from entirely remote learning at BYU-Hawaii to a hybrid of in-person and remote classes at BYU in Provo.

BYU

On June 23, BYU announced plans for an in-person fall semester but also said that the semester would look different than previous semesters. Adjustments include a phased return of students to on-campus housing, hybrid classes that combine in-person and remote learning, an expanded number of online courses, the required use of face coverings by students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and remote instruction after Thanksgiving.

“For this to succeed, we all have to play our part,” President Kevin J. Worthen wrote in the announcement. “The BYU mission statement says that all relationships within the BYU community should reflect ‘a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor.’ Certainly that can be our motivation for wearing a face covering, washing our hands often, and staying home when we're sick. We can react with empathy when someone we know tests positive for COVID-19. We can fight the virus of contempt with kindness even as we debate how to best respond as a society to the pandemic.”

Find more information from BYU.

BYU–Idaho

In a June 17 article, BYU–Idaho noted an official decision has not been made for fall semester, but the university is working to make a variety of course delivery options available, including face-to-face, a hybrid of remote and in-person classes, a HyFlex option allowing for in-person or remote instruction, exclusively remote, and online classes.

BYU-Idaho explained guidelines for the campus may include things such as classrooms arranged for social-distancing and designated routes to enter and exit buildings. 

“BYU-Idaho looks forward to welcoming back students for fall semester but remains flexible with these options and the need to adjust them, depending on the status of COVID-19,” the article states. “As students plan for fall semester, they should consider their personal situations.”

Read the full press release from BYU–Idaho.

BYU–Hawaii

In a press release issued on June 10, BYU–Hawaii announced that the fall semester would be held remotely.

“We recognize that this news may be disappointing to those who have anticipated joining us on campus this fall,” the press release states. “The administration, staff, and faculty of BYU–Hawaii share that disappointment and look forward to the day when we can safely gather face-to-face. The decision to invite students back to campus will be made very carefully and as soon as it becomes clear that departure from homelands, travel to Hawaii, and facilities are sufficiently safe and able to accommodate the majority of our diverse student population.”

Read the full press release from BYU–Hawaii.

Ensign College (LDSBC)

LDS Business College will formally transition to its new name, Ensign College, on September 1, 2020. On June 11, the college announced plans to offer both on-campus and remote classes for fall.

“We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus this fall,” President Bruce C. Kusch said. “As we begin our first semester as Ensign College, gathering on campus will be a blessing. We recognize that not everyone may feel comfortable returning to face-to-face classes, so the College has worked diligently to provide a variety of instructional options all focused on keeping our students and employees safe.”

Ensign College will offer hybrid courses with rotating on-campus and remote student attendance. These classes will alternate days on campus and have smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing in classrooms. According to the press release, it is estimated that a maximum of 20% of the student body will be on campus at any given time.

Read the full press release from Ensign College.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide

Though BYU-Pathway Worldwide classes are all online, a central part of the PathwayConnect curriculum is a weekly gathering. When the pandemic hit in March, BYU-Pathway Worldwide switched from doing a combination of in-person and virtual gatherings to doing exclusively virtual gatherings temporarily.

On March 25, BYU-Pathway announced virtual gatherings would continue in the spring semester but noted that “it is possible that we will return to in-person gatherings at some point during the [spring] semester. This decision will only happen if there is significant change in local governmental guidelines and upon the resumption of weekly services for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU-Pathway will communicate in a timely manner should anything change.”

Information for the fall semester has not been released. 

Find more information from BYU-Pathway Worldwide.

Seminaries and Institutes

A March press release from the Church notes, “Daily seminary and stake institute programs will follow the gathering decisions of local congregations. Release-time seminary and campus institutes will follow the gathering decisions of the local high schools or college campuses. When classes need to be canceled, seminary and institute classes may consider remote delivery options. Gatherings for local devotionals and graduations will follow the guidelines provided by the Area Presidency.”

Find more information at Church Newsroom.

Lead image from BYU News
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