WCU Students Are Virtually Back for the Fall 2020 Semester Today
New Strategies & Tools Help WCU Students Excel Academically & Defy COVID-19
Today is the first day of fall semester classes at West Chester University and students are virtually in full swing. With the latest national data showing a disturbing spike in coronavirus cases around the country, West Chester University was one of the first universities in the region to make the decision in July to adapt to our nation’s new reality by continuing remote instruction for the fall 2020 semester. WCU faculty are delivering high-quality instruction through a variety of remote modes this fall, including Zoom Conferencing; Skype; and D2L, a dynamic Learning Management System by Brightspace that offers a highly personal learning experience that connects faculty and students to collaborative learning tools, activities, resources, and content. A few courses at WCU are being offered in a hybrid format (both in-person and remote) to assist students with clinical placements, student teaching, performance obligations, internship sites, and similar academic responsibilities.
Continuing majority remote instruction for fall 2020 ensures that West Chester University students’ educations will be uninterrupted as they earn credits required for academic degrees. To help students excel despite the sweeping effects of COVID-19, the University has developed a series of new strategies and tools to help WCU students meet academic requirements:
- A technology lending program features laptops, webcams, and mobile hotspots for students without access to Broadband Internet.
- Remote student support has been enhanced through the University’s Student Success Coordinators and Student Success Coaches.
- Online training modules have been created that focus on assisting students with the transition from in-person classes to remote learning.
- All student support services have been transitioned to remote delivery, including additional tutoring and supplemental instruction for specific courses.
- Partnerships have been established with key software providers to ensure home access for students.
- Increased advising outreach by faculty will support student success.
- The University’s library services have been shifted from mostly in-person support to remote delivery, including the mailing of library materials to students’ homes.
To support the University’s goal of all undergraduate students completing at least 30 credits per academic year in pursuit of finishing in four years, WCU has announced that for the fall 2020 semester eligible WCU undergraduate students will now be able to take advantage of 6 “free” fall credits during the upcoming 2020-2021 winter or summer sessions. As full tuition costs are the same for 12 to 18 credits in WCU’s fall and spring semesters, undergraduate students taking 12 credits in the fall will now be able to take an additional 6 credits in the winter or summer session without being charged tuition. Similarly, undergraduate students taking 15 credits in the fall will now be able to take an additional 3 credits in the winter or summer session without being charged tuition.
Although the majority of the courses will be conducted remotely for fall 2020, WCU has made housing accommodations for a small population of students who have extenuating circumstances such as: Promise Program participants; hardships cases; international students; academic program needs requiring performance-based learning that occurs in labs (i.e., nursing students); clinical and student teaching placements; music performance courses; and student success initiatives. These students will be housed on campus in our residential facilities, and will practice active social distancing and adhere to CDC guidelines.
The University is open with student-facing areas (i.e., Admissions, University Libraries, Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, Sykes Student Union, Student Recreation Center, Campus Store, etc.) ready to meet students’ needs via reduced hours and required health protocols. Students are encouraged to check www.wcupa.edu for details.