Online, In-Person or Hybrid Classes? At UT Dallas, It’s the Student’s Choice for Fall 2020
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated periodically with new information.
The University of Texas at Dallas will provide flexibility in class options for students this fall semester, beginning Aug. 17.
The University will allow students to choose the educational experience that best fits their needs for fall 2020, whether living on campus and taking face-to-face, online and hybrid classes or living at home and taking a full course load online.
“Many students are eager to live on campus, but we recognize some may want to limit their exposure, stay home this fall and take classes online due to concerns related to COVID-19,” said Dr. Richard C. Benson, UT Dallas president and Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. “By offering these choices, students and their families have maximum flexibility in their decision-making when enrolling at UT Dallas and planning for the future.”
Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost, vice president for academic affairs and the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership, noted that students may opt to begin their college careers online this fall and then transition to more traditional in-person courses, while still being on track for timely graduation. She further stated that students should expect hybrid classes, which combine elements of face-to-face and online instruction, to make up a significant proportion of classes in the fall and beyond.
“During the initial stages of the pandemic in March, our campus was able to make a swift transition to online learning,” Musselman said. “For the fall semester, I have asked our faculty who choose to teach face-to-face classes to prepare their classes such that they can deliver course material both in-person and online, so each student will be able to choose how they engage with the course. Investments in our classroom technology and online learning infrastructure are already underway to make this possible.”
The University’s strengths in project-based learning and experiential learning will return as an option for students as well. In-person classes and labs will remain in place with safety considerations, allowing students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
“So whatever option you choose, you can study at UT Dallas and graduate regardless of circumstances,” Musselman said.
“Many students are eager to live on campus, but we recognize some may want to limit their exposure, stay home this fall and take classes online due to concerns related to COVID-19. By offering these choices, students and their families have maximum flexibility in their decision-making when enrolling at UT Dallas and planning for the future.”
UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson
UT Dallas also will open its residence halls and dining options on campus this fall, said Dr. Gene Fitch, vice president for student affairs. In addition, the University will offer a variety of student services and amenities, including recreation/fitness facilities, and health and counseling services.
“Essentially, all of our traditional campus student services will be offered, and athletics also will resume on campus,” Fitch said. “We certainly look forward to seeing our students return and their taking full advantage of the educational opportunities, social life and beauty of UT Dallas.”
In keeping with health and safety guidelines, UT Dallas plans to modify a number of practices associated with in-person classes and activities to mitigate risks.
“Our University team is committed to providing services that promote the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and we will prepare our campus throughout the summer with this commitment in mind,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for facilities and economic development.
The following steps are part of the University’s commitment to its community:
- Faculty, staff and students will be required to wear a mask or face covering in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
- Seating capacity for classrooms and common areas will be reduced to conform to social distancing guidelines.
- Facilities Management will sanitize classrooms regularly.
- Bus passengers will be required to wear a mask or face covering before entering the bus, and each bus will be emptied and sanitized upon completion of one route cycle.
- Hand-sanitizer stations will be installed across campus, including in residence halls and high-traffic areas of other buildings.
- Signage will be strategically located throughout campus to remind Comets of the importance of hand-sanitizing and social distancing.
- The Comets United campaign will encourage all Comets to help one another keep UT Dallas and each other safe and healthy.
“These past few months have been extremely disruptive for many families, but we are committed to using what we have learned to ensure our students and their families have the best choices available for a great fall semester,” Benson said.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].