Itemizer-Observer staff report
MONMOUTH -- Western Oregon University will hold the majority of its classes online this fall.
Western Oregon University President Rex Fuller announced Tuesday afternoon that in an effort to “Embrace the Now” about 95% of fall courses will be delivered online at both the Monmouth campus and WOU: Salem.
Previously, the university had planned a mix of in-person, hybrid and online offerings.
“We’ve seen in the news that universities that have opened with in-person classes have been forced to reverse course as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks,” Fuller said. “The safety of our students, employees and community is our priority. We’ve done a great deal of work and preparation since spring term, and we are eager to provide students with personalized support while helping them reach their educational goals in our environment as it stands.”
Students have not been billed for fall term costs, so adjustments can be made before charges are billed, helping reduce confusion. Tuition at WOU is the same per credit for all class formats. The 5% of in-person courses are science lab sections and some creative arts classes.
Students are still welcome and encouraged to live on campus; the majority of residence hall rooms have been transitioned to single-occupancy. The dining hall also will be open with physically distanced tables and controlled traffic flow.
“Although most of our classes will be online, we are working to create an on-campus experience for students living on campus and around our community. We anticipate having more activities outdoors, student group meetings in the Werner University Center with physical distancing and face masks, and online events that may include small groups coming together for these events. Now that Polk County is in phase two, we have many more opportunities for student engagement."
For more on this story, see the Sept. 2 edition of the I-O.