Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University have released details about how they plan to bring students back to campus for classes in the fall amid the coronavirus outbreak.
ASU said in a press release on Friday that it would offer three main class options for in-person learning when the fall semester begins Aug. 20.
In Flagstaff, NAU President Rita Cheng said the university will shorten the semester, starting classes on Aug. 12 and ending before Thanksgiving.
Both schools will also beef up their online learning opportunities in light of the ongoing pandemic.
The first of ASU’s options calls for on-campus, in-person instruction with an emphasis on enhanced technology learning.
A second option, called ASU Sync, is a hybrid of in-person instruction and Zoom lectures that relies on interactive learning and social distancing in classrooms.
Out-of-state or international students unable to make it to campus for the start of the semester will be able to participate in ASU Sync classes for up to the entire semester.
NAU will run its classes through NAU Flex, which is similar to ASU Sync in offering in-person instruction in conjunction with virtual lessons.
ASU will also offer entirely online courses.
Students and employees will be required to wear face masks while in ASU buildings and in outdoor community spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.
Cheng said NAU is working to adopt more policies that focus on physical distancing, testing availability and increased sanitation.
A partnership between ASU and Mayo Clinic will provide COVID-19 testing for students and employees.
Fall break, scheduled for Oct. 12 and 13, was canceled at ASU to lessen possible travel risk.
Plans to return to on-campus instruction in the fall could change for both schools based on the trajectory of the COVID-19 outbreak.
University of Arizona President Robert Robbins has previously said he is optimistic about reopening the campus for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 24.
All three state universities shifted to online instruction in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.