Penn State, the largest university in Pennsylvania, is planning for a full on-campus learning experience in fall 2021.
President Eric Barron wrote in a message to the University community on Feb. 24 that Penn State will conduct a phased return over the summer with expanded in-person course offerings. The fall semester will closely resemble a traditional instructional experience with a full range of online classes available as well.
Students enrolled in summer classes will follow the school's COVID-19 Instructional Modes which include in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction as the University transitions to an in-person learning environment for the fall. Penn State will increase in-person offerings by using non-traditional spaces such as outdoor tents and event spaces.
Barron wrote that the University is able to begin planning for a more traditional semester in part due to the increased availability of vaccines.
Administrators are also preparing for a variety of scenarios if guidance from government or public health officials require the university to reassess its plan before the start of the summer or fall semesters.
"We are fully prepared, as we have been in the past, to pivot in response to changing pandemic conditions; however, we are excited at the prospect of coming back together again, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing our vibrant community of students, faculty and staff fully engaged once again in on-campus life,” Barron wrote.
Penn has yet to release any plans detailing modes of instruction for the fall 2021 semester.