Washington State University’s Pullman, Vancouver, Everett and Tri-Cities campuses will teach almost all undergraduate classes remotely this fall, with a few limited exceptions, the university announced Thursday.
The University of Washington expects to teach as few as 10% of its classes in person, and will announce by Aug. 7 whether it, too, will move nearly all courses online for undergraduates on the Seattle campus.
And on Thursday, Seattle University announced its academic courses will be “primarily virtual, with some in-person and hybrid instruction for performance-based, clinical and laboratory courses and for students living on campus.” The campus will reopen early, on Sept. 9, and will end the fall quarter early as well, on Nov. 24.
The decision comes as the number of COVID-19 infections and related deaths has been on the rise across the state. WSU will open its apartments as planned, and university-owned residence halls will open Aug. 15, but only for those students who have a demonstrated institutional need and are approved to live on campus. WSU is on the semester system, and the first day of classes is Aug. 24.
“Students, if you can stay at your permanent residence during this current phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, please continue progressing toward your degree from home,” wrote WSU President Kirk Schulz and two other senior administrators in the announcement posted Thursday afternoon.
Eastern Washington University has also announced plans to teach all of its fall term online. No changes have been announced yet at Washington’s other public four-year universities, although most are on the quarter system, which does not start until the end of September.
Earlier this summer, UW President Ana Mari Cauce said the university would only teach about 2,000 of its 7,000 courses in person, and that all classes would have an online option, so that it would not be necessary to go to campus — or even come to Washington state at all — to pursue a degree. On a Wednesday post to her blog, she suggested the number of in-person classes might be even smaller.
“Our planning for autumn quarter is contingent upon our county, state and nation continuing to manage the COVID-19 outbreak,” Cauce wrote Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the current news is not good.” This summer, about 150 students living on UW’s Greek Row have tested positive for COVID-19, although none became seriously ill.