Local Universities Finalizing Plans for On-Campus Instruction This Fall

Multiple schools will require face coverings inside of all campus buildings

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Many colleges and universities across the country are still working on their plans for how to safely bring students back to campus for the upcoming fall semester during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Fort Worth, Texas Christian University will begin its fall semester on August 17, a week earlier than it usually would, and it will end the on-campus portion of the fall semester when students leave for Thanksgiving break.

Currently, faculty and staff at TCU are required to wear masks or face coverings when they are inside a campus building unless they are working in their private office. The school has not yet said whether face coverings will be required of students in the fall semester, but a spokesperson noted that further details are expected to be announced later this month.

A recent statement from Southern Methodist University President R. Gerald Turner confirmed that classroom instruction will resume on campus beginning on August 24.

One notable exception to the SMU plan is that large lecture courses may be offered online only.

Like the situation at TCU, SMU will end its on-campus instruction immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The remainder of the fall semester will shift to online-only following Thanksgiving, according to President Turner.
All final exams for the fall semester at SMU will be conducted online.

SMU has not yet indicated whether masks or facial coverings will be required for students, faculty or staff this fall.

The University of Texas at Arlington will require facial coverings for all students, faculty and staff for the upcoming semester.

More specific information for how the university will handle on-campus instruction is expected to be released prior to the beginning of classes, according to the UTA website.

In Denton, the University of North Texas expects to hold “as many classes as possible on-campus, in person,” according to a university spokesperson.
Social distancing will be enforced in its on-campus courses, which means that class sizes will be limited.

Masks or facial coverings will be encouraged, but not required, according to a UNT spokesperson, who noted that it may be four to six weeks before plans are finalized.

The University of Texas at Dallas will require masks for all students, faculty and staff inside of campus buildings, according to the university website. In addition, UT Dallas will offer students a large amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing their courses of study, whether to attend class in-person or online.

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