Local & State
|Johnson C. Smith University goes virtual for fall semester|
|Increase in COVID-19 infections forces reversal|
|Published Thursday, July 30, 2020 3:37 pm|
|PHOTO | TROY HULL|
|Johnson C. Smith University is going to an online instruction strategy in response to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.|
The university transitioned to online instruction in March due to COVID-19. While they announced their intention to return for in-person instruction on June 26, the increase in cases across the country over the last month caused them to reconsider. This is one of several altered plans for Smith in 2020. The pandemic resulted in the cancelation of commencement in May. Commencement exercises were rescheduled to coincide with homecoming. They intended to celebrate their 271 graduates at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Oct. 28. Then homecoming festivities were canceled on July 7, with the exception of the football game. On July 9, the CIAA canceled fall sports. Today JCSU announced its board of trustees, administration and President Clarence Armbrister decided sticking with remote instruction for fall 2020 would be best.
“As I stated in my letter to the JCSU family in June, the plans we announced then were subject to change and would depend on the prevailing conditions at the time we expect to execute our plan,” Armbrister said in a letter to students and staff. “Unfortunately, under current conditions, the risk of an outbreak on the campus which cannot be contained are considered to be unacceptable if we continue on the path toward face-to-face instruction we announced in June. Not only have cases increased over the last month here in North Carolina, but they have also increased in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia area—all states where a large number of our students live.”
Armbrister encouraged reaching out directly to the university via phone or email if someone has questions about his or her specific department. You can do so by calling (704) 378-1109 or emailing email@example.com. JCSU will continue to update their COVID-19 website at www.jcsu.edu/covid.
“I know how much each of you—especially our freshmen and transfer students—were looking forward to joining us on campus, and I understand your disappointment with this decision,” Armbrister wrote. “I, too, am disappointed. Some of you have expressed that online learning has been challenging. Our administration, faculty and staff will continue to work diligently to ensure that you will receive a high-quality education, while remaining engaged with the University and with each other, even though our interactions will be virtual. We have reimagined the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning where faculty will enhance their skills and will incorporate technology in ways that provide you with a relevant, rigorous learning experience.”
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