BREAKING: San Diego State moves to mostly virtual instruction for fall 2020 semester

The decision follows a similar announcement pertaining to all 23 CSU campuses

by Kaitlyn Little, News Editor

San Diego State has announced it’s moving forward with virtual instruction through SDSU Flex, with some exceptions, for the fall 2020 semester in a university-wide email on May 12. 

SDSU Flex is the model the university will follow, according to the email. It is focused on lecture-based instruction to occur online for the fall. The school said this is intended to provide flexibility for faculty to reduce the number of courses to transition to virtual and extensive time to prepare and modify courses for the fall. 

As we continue to develop SDSU Flex, our priority will continue to be to share information in a timely and transparent manner,” university officials said. “We know that our current students and their families need to make personal decisions soon, which will require decisions to be made about individual courses by our faculty and colleges.”

This decision comes after an announcement from the California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White that instruction on all 23 CSU campuses will be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term. 

These hybrid approaches will span the CSU system with limited exceptions for in-person teaching such as “learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare,” according to the CSU press release. 

It is wise to plan now and over the next several months for enriched training and virtual learning environments and to be able to pull back again in the fall as in-person circumstances might be further allowed,” White said in the SDSU email. “It would be irresponsible to approach it the other way around.” 

SDSU’s virutal learning model is being updated as time goes on and following the guidance from the CSU. The email listed that through the SDSU Flex model, the campus will: 

  • Offer certain lab, art studio, clinical offerings and performance-based courses in person. Lecture-based instruction will occur virtually.
  • Expand online teaching training for faculty members, with a focus on accessibility and inclusivity, through a virtual training institute.
  • Significantly expand online activities and student support service, including financial aid.
  • Carefully open the campus in phases based on the criteria released last week. This will include collaborating with local government officials to bring students and faculty back to campus as soon as it’s safe.

“Ultimately, we cannot gamble that testing and treatment will be so substantially improved by August that we may return to full or majority in-person classes, and therefore position ourselves for another large and emergency move away from campus, if required by the county or state,” according to the email.

The school said these challenges will not stop them from fully investing “in the classroom, technology, testing, and health and safety infrastructure necessary to ensure we can deliver in-person courses and experiences in fall for those areas that most need it.”