[Updated] Boston Area Colleges’ Plans for Reopening this Fall
This article will be updated periodically. Last updated: Jun 3
An updated survey of 14 Greater Boston colleges and universities, representing tens of thousands of undergrad and grad students, shows that — at this point — half of these schools are planning to be holding at least some in-person classes in the fall.
The survey, done by checking school websites, also reveals that the universities have left themselves plenty of wiggle room for either going ahead with in-person classes, or going online, depending on the course of the coronavirus epidemic.
Many colleges remain undecided
Since our last update, two more schools have decided to provide in-person classes in the Fall. The seven schools that plan to conduct at least some in-person teaching are: Bentley University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston University, MIT, Northeastern University, and Tufts University.
Most of these colleges are considering offering multiple formats of teaching, including a hybrid model where students can choose in-person or online courses.
Seven other colleges are still hedging on their plans. These include: Berklee College of Music, Emerson College, Harvard University, MIT, Simmons University, Suffolk University, UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, and Wellesley College.
Although all of the schools said they hope to reopen campuses this fall, they are also leaving a possibility for continuing online teaching entirely. In late April, Harvard provost Alan Garber wrote in a public message addressed to “members of the Harvard community” that they “will need to prepare for a scenario in which much or all learning will be conducted remotely.”
Out of 14 schools and programs in Harvard, four have announced that they plan to start their teaching fully remotely in the fall.
With Massachusetts’ phased reopening, universities such as MIT and Northeastern have announced their gradual plans to bring back students on campus, starting with reopening research and lab facilities. Many undecided schools intend to make the final decision by the end of June.
There have been multiple concerns, especially among international students, that they can not obtain student visas soon enough to enroll in the Fall semester as U.S. embassies worldwide have ceased to issue new visas. Others may still feel unsafe leaving their home and attending classes in September. Remote learning is likely to remain the main way of learning at most universities and colleges in the Boston area.
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