UCLA to reopen with mainly online classes because of the coronavirus, officials say

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A student walks in the courtyard in front of Royce Hall at the UCLA campus in Westwood. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times) The vast majority of classes at UCLA this fall will be virtual, with only a small percentage offered on campus, the university announced Monday. Officials announced the […]

A student walks in the courtyard in front of Royce Hall at the UCLA campus in Westwood. <span class="copyright">(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)</span>
A student walks in the courtyard in front of Royce Hall at the UCLA campus in Westwood. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The vast majority of classes at UCLA this fall will be virtual, with only a small percentage offered on campus, the university announced Monday.

Officials announced the plan in a letter to the community as each university in the 10-campus UC system is likewise preparing to release its own reopening plans. At UCLA, only about 15% to 20% of courses would probably be offered on campus or in a hybrid format, including some that involve laboratory work, performing arts and clinical health fields.

In addition, officials said they will be taking steps to make on-campus housing less dense by prioritizing housing offers based on factors such as financial need and how far away a student’s primary residence is from the Westwood university. Officials said they will also try to “offer housing to as many first-year students as feasible.”

The school will take several other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including requiring face coverings while on campus, physical distancing and daily symptom checks for anyone coming onto campus or living in campus housing.

“We are committed to helping ensure that our enrolled students, regardless of location, can continue making progress toward their degrees,” said Emily A. Carter, executive vice chancellor and provost, adding that students who are “concerned about their access to courses or making timely progress toward their degrees should contact the college or their school or departmental academic advisors for guidance.”

The decision to operate mainly online reflects how universities are grappling with reopening challenges inflicted by the coronavirus crisis — and what campuses will look like when they do decide to reopen.

Several UC campuses have previously released some reopening details. UC Merced has said that classes will be taught remotely, in-person and with a hybrid model, with the goal of 20% to 30% of classes to take place in-person. And UC Irvine officials said that almost all undergraduate courses will be delivered remotely in the fall.

Officials at UC San Diego said they will be announcing their plans for the fall on Friday.

USC said this month that it will bring students back to campus with safety measures that include both online and in-person classes, more spacing in dorms and testing for COVID-19.

California State University, the largest four-year college system in the U.S., was the first major system in the nation to decide to cancel the vast majority of in-person classes in the fall and instead offer instruction primarily online.

Times staff writer Teresa Watanabe contributed to this report.

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