Distance learning vs. in-person instruction at UC this fall

The University of California's nine undergraduate campuses are all preparing to offer most courses remotely in the fall, while still welcoming back some students, with many restrictions and safety measures in place. There are both similarities and differences among the campuses' plans, which are still evolving, particularly in light of the recent increase in Covid-19 illnesses and deaths. The following table provides an overview of what the campuses are planning. For more details, readers should go to university websites by clicking on campus names in red below. Please let us know at edsource@edsource.org if any updates or clarifications are needed regarding this evolving situation.

CampusUndergraduate instructionStudent housingCampus diningCampus activitiesCovid-19 testing, symptom monitoringFirst day of instructionNotes
UC Berkeley All courses offered remotely to begin the semester, with the goal of resuming face to face instruction later in the semester. Go here for more information.About 1,900 students are living in campus housing. Priority for housing was given to students with housing contracts, students with disabilities, low-income students and student athletes. On-campus dining will be offered on a "to-go" basis.Campus facilities likely cannot be used for events and meetings.Students living on campus were tested upon moving in and will be tested again a week later. The university is also doing surveillance testing for "certain populations" adnd plans to expand testing during the fall semester.Aug. 26Of nearly 1,900 students who were tested as they moved into residence halls, three students tested positive. Initial guidance issued: June 17
UC Davis Courses will be delivered virtually, with the possibility of some exceptions for courses with fewer than 50 students. Chancellor Gary Mary wrote in a message to the campus community that the university is "still evaluating whether a small subset of courses can take place in-person."Campus residence halls to have reduced density and only single- and double-occupancy rooms will be offered. Housing may not be guaranteed to as many students as usual.Most students will get their food "to go" from dining halls, and the university is also exploring online orders with curbside pickup. Facilities will operate in compliance with public health guidance.Students living in resdience halls will be tested for the virus, as will other students and staff who are physically on campus. Sept. 30 Initial guidance issued: June 16.
UCLAThe quarter will begin with remote-only instruction except for a limited number of hands-on courses that train students for essential jobs. Housing is limited to students who have "no alternative housing options," studen-tathletes and students enrolled in the few classes that will be taught in person.Dining facilities open for carry-out meals. No mention in latest guidance.Testing will be required for all students living on campus or participating in classes held in person, as well as for faculty and staff who are physically on campis.Oct. 1UCLA has changed its plans several times, saying early in the summer that it would offer 15 to 20% of classes in person. That number was reduced to 8% in early August, and that number has again been significantly reduced. Initial guidance issued: June 15
UC IrvineAlmost all classes will be held remotely, either entirely virtually or in a hybrid model that will also include an in-person element. It's not yet clear which courses might be available for in-person learning, but the university's deans and department chairs are working to identify which classes should be prioritized for in-person instruction.Housing to be offered as space allows, but cannot be guaranteed.No mention in guidance.The university is still figuring out how it will handle large gatherings, but says it is "safe to assume we will be following physical distancing protocols thoughout" the fall quarter.The university contracted with Quest for "increased testing ability" and tests will be prioritized for students who have symptoms or think they have been exposed to the virus. Those who test positive will be isolated.Oct. 1Administrators noted in a July 10 letter that seven students at UC Irvine have tested positive for Covid-19 in July alone. They added that while they "do not want to reverse the steps we have taken and close down again, we must keep that as a possibility if the spread continues at its current rate." Initial guidance issued: June 11
UC Merced All classes will be online-only for at least the first four weeks of the semester. Go here for more information. Housing is operating at less than 20% of normal capacity to allow for physical distancing. Priority was given to freshmen, housing insecure students, foster and former foster youth and students with disabilities.Will meet dining plan needs for each students, with increased outdoor seating options.No mention in guidance.Students on campus will be subject to testing "as required" and will be expected to self-report symptoms. Students were also tested as they moved in.Aug. 26Initial guidance issued: June 12
UC Riverside All classes will be available remotely. Faculty can request to also teach in -person but would have to provide a virtual option for students who don't want to attend in person. So far, the campus has received 70 proposals for in-person classes, but it's not yet clear whether those will be approved.Housing will be limited and not guaranteed to students.Dining facilities will be open. Seating options will be based on public health orders in Riverside County, and entrance to dining facilities will be controlled to limit crowds. No mention in guidance.Students required to record symptoms on daily basis.Oct. 1Interim Provost Thomas Smith wrote in a message to the campus community that the university will announce on Sept. 1 whether or not the campus will be able to accommodate any in-person classes. Initial guidance issued: June 17
UC San Diego Most courses will be offered remotely, and all classes with more than 50 students; 30% of courses will be offered in person.Housing offered with reduced density. Students eligible for a two-year housing guarantee will be offered a housing contract.Dining facilities will be open, but details are unclear.Student services and programs will be available remotely and, whenever possible, in person.Monthly testing for students, staff and faculty, and contact tracing for those who test positive.Oct. 1Chancellor Pradeep Khosla told EdSource that the university is continuing to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and that the university's plans are subject to change. "If the outside is exploding, at some point you don't want to take the risk," he said. Initial guidance issued: June 25
UC Santa Barbara Most classes offered remotely, while some may have an in-person component.No more than double occupancy in any room and the campus is considering limiting all rooms to single occupancy. Priority given to first-year students but no housing guarantee.No mention in guidance.Pending approval from state and local public health officials, "a range of student and campus life activities" will be offered.Campus is creating a strategy to test community members who display symptoms.Oct. 1"Despite a relatively low COVID-19 infection rate in Santa Barbara to date, we need to plan for the possibility of changing COVID conditions this fall, which could require another rapid transition to fully remote instruction," Chancellor Henry Yang wrote in the guidance. Initial guidance issued: June 18
UC Santa CruzIn-person instruction will be provided only for a small number of course. The university is still reviewing those classes to make sure there is adequate classroom space available.Limited on-campus housing will be offered in singles and doubles only. Students who are taking their classes remotely and have a safe place to stay are encouraged to not live on campus.On-campus dining "will continue to provide services, though services are being modified as conditions change."No mention in guidance.Students who are symptomatic will be tested, and all students will be required to monitor their symptoms. A system for testing asymptomatic individuals is being developed.Oct. 1The campus is already planning for most employees to continue working remotely until at least Jan. 4, 2021. Initial guidance issued: June 17

EdSource / University of California

To get more reports like this one, click here to sign up for EdSource’s no-cost daily email on latest developments in education.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * *

Comments Policy

We welcome your comments. All comments are moderated for civility, relevance and other considerations. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.