Spring 2021 Similar to Fall 2020 With Mostly Online Classes

November 20, 2020, 10:00 AM HST · Updated November 20, 10:00 AM
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UHMC. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Instruction at the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system will continue to be primarily online for the spring 2021 semester due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

UH moved the 2020 fall semester almost entirely online in early August after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the State of Hawaiʻi. The spring 2020 semester went abruptly online in March at the outset of the pandemic. Students have already begun registering for the spring semester, which begins on January 11.

“I know we all yearn to return to pre-pandemic life, but at this point, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the communities in which we live and work,” said UH President David Lassner in a systemwide message. “We are committed to help every UH student stay on track, safely, for on-time graduation.”

In fall 2020, approximately 85% of courses taught in the UH System were online, 10% hybrid and 5% entirely in-person, although the percentages vary from campus to campus. The mode of course delivery is determined at the unit level with faculty input.

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On-campus instruction is used for those courses or course activities that cannot be taught effectively online, such as labs, clinical experiences, studios and shops. Appropriate physical distancing, facial coverings and sanitization protocols, per the UH COVID-19 guidelines, are strictly followed, according to the university.

The guidelines also require the use of a daily health screen app before coming to campus and face coverings and safe physical distancing while on a campus. The university telework policy that was in effect for employees in the fall 2020 semester will continue in the spring semester, and UH campuses will remain closed to the public.

Lassner said he is optimistic about the fall 2021 semester, saying he hopes for a healthy mix of in-person, hybrid and online instruction.

“Based on what we know today, we hope for a significant return to our campuses for fall, but if there is one thing we have learned through this pandemic, it is that we must continue to be flexible and adapt to changes not under our control.”

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