UCO Temporarily Shifts to Online Classes
Classes will move to a virtual format at the University of Central Oklahoma until Feb. 1, officials stated today. A continuing rise in coronavirus cases has pushed the University of Central Oklahoma to make this decision.
Some classes, such as labs or clinical trials, will still be held on campus. Instructors will begin emailing their classes to explain what specific changes to expect to the syllabus as the start of the semester approaches on Jan. 19.
Often-used campus facilities like the library, campus housing, and wellness center will remain open. Enrollment and financial aid services will continue to operate on campus. Campus activities containing 25 people or less may continue with approval from campus leadership, and athletic events will continue as scheduled while following MIAA health and safety guidelines. Spectators will not be allowed while the university operates in this capacity.
Oklahoma is averaging nearly 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day, and there are almost 40,000 active cases in the state as of Jan. 13, according to the State Department of Health. 44 new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, and 380,000 Americans have died from the virus. As a vaccine continues to roll out across the country, Oklahoma has administered 99,373 doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
UPDATE on 1/15:
When asked what these changes to the schedule would mean for Professional Media students, Assistant Professor and Mass Communications Department Chair Dr. Mary Carver explains that, “Students and faculty have learned a great deal about remote learning the past year. We are now much more familiar with tools, technology and techniques that will aid in the learning process.”
“I know many students may be frustrated by this last minute change, but I hope they know that we are still enthusiastic for the upcoming semester,” Carver added.
Adrienne Nobles, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at UCO provided a statement on how she thinks this change in learning environment will effect enrollment numbers.
“We hope students will continue to enroll in classes for spring 2021, encouraged with the understanding that the shift to virtual instruction for many in-person classes is temporary and that the university prioritizes the health and safety of our community. It is our intent to return to in-person instruction this semester,” Nobles said.