University plans to hold more in-person classes for fall semester

University+students+sit+in+a+circle+during+SPAN+308+at+the+Foreign+Language+Building+on+April+16%2C+2019.++The+University+of+Illinois+plans+to+hold+more+in-person+classes+for+the+fall+semester.

Mark Capapas

University students sit in a circle during SPAN 308 at the Foreign Language Building on April 16, 2019. The University of Illinois plans to hold more in-person classes for the fall semester.

By Thomas DeMouy and Neshmia Malik

While priority course registration is set to begin on April 19, the size, location and delivery method for many University courses are yet to be determined.

“(The) goal is to have the semester look more like fall of 2019,” said Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for Public Affairs.

As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available to students, many courses will likely return to an in-person format this coming fall semester. 

“With the availability of vaccines and if case numbers stay low, we can go back to normal,” Kaler said.

According to Kaler, the level of normalcy next fall will likely depend on several factors. In accordance with state guidelines, the University will not hold in-person classes with more than 200 people, and classrooms will be at a reduced capacity to start the semester.

Campus social distancing requirements for next semester will depend on the future availability of vaccines, their effectiveness and how the University decides to document individuals who have been immunized, according to Kaler.

“(Vaccinated individuals) have to let us know and we need to document it,” Kaler said.

Kaler also said that students cannot expect the online format to be offered for all courses, so it may be necessary for some students to plan accordingly.

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines advise people who have been vaccinated to continue to wear masks in public and avoid medium to large sized gatherings, especially those which occur indoors and in which social distancing is impossible.

In a Massmail from March 26, the University announced that campus fees will likely return to pre-pandemic levels after the University adjusted them for fall 2020 and spring 2021 to reflect pandemic challenges.

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