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Wharton’s ‘Remote Plus’ model gives the potential for classes with fewer than 48 students to be offered in both virtual and in-person formats.  

Credit: Chase Sutton

The Wharton School announced a school-specific hybrid model for fall 2020 classes, inviting students back to campus for in-person and virtual instruction. 

Wharton's fall classes enrolling more than 48 students will be conducted online, with classes of fewer than 48 students potentially offered in a hybrid format. 

Wharton dean Erika James, who began her new role on July 1, announced the school’s 'Remote Plus' fall model in an email sent to the Wharton community on Thursday afternoon. 

Classes with fewer than 48 students may proceed in a hybrid format of remote and in-person instruction if Wharton faculty determine that in-person sessions are viable, according to the email. In these classes, Wharton students will alternate between virtual and in-person learning, with sections of a maximum of 24 students in a classroom at any given time.

“By finding the intersection of viable face-to-face instruction and impactful points of student/faculty connectivity, we commit to prioritizing both our community’s ongoing safety and our steadfast belief in the importance of the Wharton student experience,” James wrote.

Wharton departments are working on developing coursework that can be done in both small group settings and remotely, and program leadership is also adjusting existing programming to create new opportunities for personal and professional engagement. 

Necessary contingency plans will also be developed in case of future restrictions or guidelines, the email read. 

"Though I cannot guarantee an outcome, I can confidently say there is no business school better equipped to survive — and thrive — in these challenging times," James wrote.

Under Penn's hybrid plan for the fall announced on June 25, classes with fewer than 25 students may meet in person if necessary space is provided. Instructors and departments, however, can decide whether or not to teach their smaller courses in person.

On June 29, the School of Nursing announced its decision to hold all lectures, seminars, and discussion groups online, regardless of size. Nursing clinicals and simulation and skill labs will still be held in person.