HSU to Offer Some Face-to-Face Instruction in Fall

June 12, 2020 - 3:03pm

The California State University system has approved Humboldt State University offering limited face-to-face courses this fall. The courses will be a subset of scheduled labs, activities, or field-based experiences that the University faculty have determined cannot be taught fully virtual. 

While all campuses in the CSU system will be offering courses primarily in a virtual format this fall, the option to offer some face-to-face instruction was especially important at HSU. The University’s academic program has perhaps the highest proportion of courses with a hands-on component in the CSU. 

Fully 25 percent of all HSU courses have labs, activities, and field-based experiences, and up to about half of those course sections can now be offered with face-to-face instruction in the Fall. The courses range from Art and Forestry to Social Work and Zoology, and were included in the request based on a number of factors related to pedagogy, learning objectives, and accreditation requirements. 

As is the case at other CSU campuses, all of HSU’s lecture-based, seminar, and independent study course sections will remain virtual.

“Learning by doing is a key element of Humboldt State University’s educational approach, and we’re grateful to the CSU for allowing us to move forward with those courses that really need to be taught face-to-face,” says HSU President Tom Jackson. “At the same time, we’ll be offering a full schedule of courses this Fall. We’re working hard to enhance the learning experience in courses that will be taught virtually, and to expand our virtual support for students.”

A full list of Fall courses and their planned modality—face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid—can be found in the fall course schedule. This list will be continuously updated as campus implements the approval for face-to-face instruction. Faculty with questions about instructional modality should consult with their department chair or program lead.

Now that HSU’s proposal for a Fall semester with both face-to-face and virtual courses has been accepted, an extensive planning process will continue throughout the summer. There is much work to be done. In addition to the mix of face-to-face and virtual courses, HSU is planning for in-person and virtual student support and engagement, and for changes needed to maintain campus operations. The University is also preparing plans to return to full virtual instruction if necessary due to health and safety, and will continue to collaborate closely with Humboldt County Public Health and other local partners. 

Elements of HSU’s approach for the Fall semester include:

  • Health and Safety: HSU is developing strategies to address the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff, such as limiting the number of people on campus, maintaining social distancing, requiring face coverings, and discouraging travel outside Humboldt County on weekends and breaks. Some faculty and staff will not be able to come to campus, or may only be able to for limited hours. Courses that are envisioned for face-to-face instruction will only be taught in that modality if it can be done safely.

  • Social Responsibility: Establishing standards and expectations for students, faculty, and staff returning to campus with the understanding that all will remain socially responsible, help protect the community and others from spreading COVID-19, and take individual responsibility to remain safe. Individuals will be expected to limit their traveling to and from Humboldt County to continue to help reduce the spread of the virus.

  • Schedule: HSU is planning for a full Fall semester. Courses will be taught in a variety of modalities, including fully virtual, hybrid, and face-to-face. Those with a face-to-face component will begin and end with virtual teaching and learning, and all face-to-face portions will end by November 6. This schedule will allow students traveling to campus to quarantine if necessary and provides the University with greater overall flexibility.

  • Housing: HSU’s residence halls will house up to 1,000 students—half of capacity—in single-occupancy rooms. Move-in times and days will be staggered.

  • Dining: Dining services will be limited based on the most current Humboldt County Public Health expectations. There will be several grab-n-go or takeout options, and food delivery will be available to students who are quarantined or otherwise isolated. Buffet-style and self-serve food and self-serve beverage stations will not be operated.

  • Faculty and Staff: To reduce the number of people on campus at any one time, most employees will continue telecommuting. Those who are essential to support operations will be identified and will be assigned to work on campus for some or all of the workweek. Those with increased risk of severe illness or over the age of 65 will continue working remotely. To remain consistent with Humboldt County Public Health, large events or meetings, or other situations of potential exposure including travel, will be avoided.

  • Athletics and Recreational Activities: While the California Collegiate Athletic Association has suspended Fall sports competition, HSU will continue supporting student athletes as they train and prepare. Strict health and sanitation policies and procedures will be in place. The University also has a four-stage plan, which includes workout schedules, for student-athletes and Athletics staff to return to campus. Recreational activities will become available as the county begins to also have more recreational activities.

Visit the Covid-19 Information website for information on HSU’s pandemic response and planning.

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