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Millersville, Edinboro universities go online-only because of coronavirus outbreak

Patriot-News - 3/11/2020

Millersville University and Edinboro University announced on Wednesday they will suspend face-to-face classroom instruction for a limited time period due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bloomsburg University, meanwhile, has extended its spring break happening this week for another week.

This comes on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement by West Chester University leaders that they are moving to remote instruction for the remainder of this semester.

More: Pa. coronavirus update: Here are the colleges and schools that are closing, moving instruction online

None of these campuses has had a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are taking these measures as a precautionary moves.

In a letter to his nearly 6,800-student university community, Millersville University’s President Daniel Wubah said in a letter on the school’s website this step is necessary to ensure the safety of students and faculty who attend the university in Lancaster County.

Wubah said next week’s spring break will go on as scheduled for students and will be extended for them by a week through March 27.

Meanwhile, faculty will spend the week of March 21 preparing to deliver their courses remotely, starting on March 30. Students are not to report back to campus until instructed otherwise.

This decision does not affect current online courses or internships for credit, clinical and student teaching assignments provided the host employer or institution remains open for business, Wubah said.

“The university will reassess these interim measures on a weekly basis," Wubah wrote. “We are focused on ensuring our students finish the semester successfully with as little interruption as possible while safeguarding everyone’s health, safety and welfare.”

At Edinboro University, this 6,200-student Erie County university announced it is extending this week’s spring break through next week. This will give professors time to prepare to teach online. Classes there will then resume through remote forms of instruction during the weeks of March 23 and 30.

“It is our expectation that in-person classes will resume in their face-to-face format beginning Monday, April 6. Between now and then, we will continue to monitor the situation to determine next steps. We will keep you informed as decisions are made,” according to a statement on the university’s website.

At Bloomsburg University, this week’s spring break will be extended for its nearly 8,300 students through next week to give faculty time to prepare to teach using online course delivery methods in the event that becomes necessary. Classes currently are scheduled to resume with face-to-face instruction on March 23.

In the meantime, this university in Columbia County has cancelled all university-sponsored travel as well as all university-sponsored non-athletic events for the time being. Furthermore, it is restricting visitors to campus during this time period.

Outside of the State System universities, Bucknell University canceled classes through today and plans to resume with online courses on Thursday.

Jan Murphy may be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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