May 27, 2020
Community College of Philadelphia is the first area college to officially say its classes in the fall all will be held online, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic linger.
The decision was made based on the state and local stay-at-home orders. There were also concerns about being able to offer classes in a safe environment, the school tweeted.
"Given the continuing uncertainty regarding long-term COVID-19 forecasts, Community College of Philadelphia has decided that online classes are the safest and best educational option for the fall semester," President Donald Guy Generals said in a statement. "We are making this decision now to allow faculty adequate time to develop the best remote-learning strategies and to allow students to begin making plans for the fall semester."
About 1/3 of CCP's 19,500 students already take hybrid or online classes, Generals said to 6ABC. The number of virtual offerings makes the school better prepared to go completely online.
The school said some classes that can only exist face-to-face may take place later in the semester. This includes labs, clinicals, and other hands-on instruction. The school will re-evaluate the situation surrounding the coronavirus to decide if these classes can move forward, Generals said.
Other universities in the area will make decisions in the coming weeks whether to hold classes on online or in-person for the fall semester. Local colleges like Thomas Jefferson University, Drexel University, Temple University, and St. Joseph’s University are hopeful students will be able to return to campuses.
The schools are evaluating the situation in accordance to state and city guidelines, and no college has formally announced a plan to return to campus in the fall yet.
Some universities still plan to expand their virtual classes, regardless of whether in-person instruction resumes. Drexel will continue remote learning and expand its hybrid learning options in order to decrease how many students are on campus. Jefferson is broadeniong its remote learning options for students who would prefer to take classes online. Temple and St. Joe’s will also expand their online courses for the fall semester.
All colleges made decisions to move classes online in March following the rapid outbreak of COVID-19. Students were asked to leave campus and move back home to mitigate the spread of the disease. Classes for the summer semester were moved online, as well.