VCU opts for remote July courses, sends planning survey to students

Hannah Eason, Managing Editor

VCU announced that July summer courses will be moved online in an email to students on Wednesday. 

The university announced on April 3 that course sessions starting in May and June would be held remotely. Registration deadlines for June and July sessions can be found online.

The release — signed by Gail Hackett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Peter Buckley, interim senior vice president for health sciences — said the decision was made as the university plans for on-campus instruction in the fall.

A survey was sent to VCU students by email on Thursday, which will gauge student opinions on adapting to an “altered” campus environment with additional health and safety guidelines. 

“It remains clear that COVID-19 will be a constant presence and therefore, a return to campus will look and feel different,” said Monal Patel, associate vice provost for institutional research and decision support, in the email. “As the university considers a range of scenarios for the upcoming fall semester, we want to understand your readiness and ability to adapt to an altered campus environment.”

The survey includes questions about comfortability with online and in-person classes, willingness to be on campus and personal access to technology. It is 21 questions long, takes 5-10 minutes to complete and closes on Friday. 

According to VCU’s COVID-19 website, on-campus changes for the fall semester will include:

  • Return kits for students, faculty and staff that include masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment
  • Physical distancing protocols in classrooms, housing, dining halls, libraries, offices, events and other shared spaces
  • Screening, testing and tracing protocols
  • Health support for students and employees
  • Continued deep cleaning of facilities 

VCU President Michael Rao said he is “committed” to an in-person fall semester, either on schedule or with a delayed start. 

“The primary consideration for a start date is when it is safest to do so,” the website states.

Additional updates from VCU concerning COVID-19 can be found at covid-19.vcu.edu.  

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