Ohio University’s plan for fall semester includes phase-in return to campus


File of Ohio University campus (Photo courtesy of FOX 8 affiliate)

ATHENS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio University announced its plans for the fall semester on Friday. It includes a phased-in return to campus in Athens, as well as a hybrid learning approach at regional campuses.

The fall semester will begin as scheduled on Aug. 24 as the entire academic community adapts to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“In keeping with recommended guidance and recognition of this evolving situation, we are implementing plans that are supported by our public health, state, and medical partners to reduce the density of our students, faculty and staff,” said OU President M. Duane Nellis, in a news release on Friday. “While we remain committed to the highest-quality academic experience for our students, the ultimate goal is to minimize risks to our Bobcats during a time in which COVID-19 cases are on the rise.”

Under Phase 1, a limited number of students in certain academic programs will return to the Athens campus with social distancing and required face coverings. These are programs that require in-person instruction for accreditation. Students will be notified by Aug. 7.

For all other programs, remote instruction will begin on Aug. 24 and continue through at least Sept. 27. Based on information from public health officials and the success of Phase 1, the university said it hopes to increase face-to-face courses in Phase 2.

At the regional campuses, in-person instruction will be limited to clinical, practica or lab-based classes. These will be limited in size to ensure distance and masks will be required.

The university said students on all campuses who would like to arrange a fully online fall semester will have the option to do so, except for medical students in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Related video, below: A look at how a big school district plans to do all learning from home at the beginning of the school year.

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