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September 10, 2020 – For the academic term beginning January 2021, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will continue with coursework primarily delivered virtually, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White announced in a message to the university community today.

“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing,” said White. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students.”

The desire to give students and their families appropriate time to plan, the need to publish and promote course offerings in campus academic plans, and accreditation requirements for courses delivered virtually were cited by White as three primary reasons for the timing for the announcement.

In the coming weeks, campuses will publish their lists of course offerings allowing students to select courses and then campuses can appropriately allocate resources to meet student demand.

Additionally, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, the accrediting body for all CSU campuses, requires each campus to seek authorization for courses currently approved for on-site instruction to be offered in distance learning modalities. In order to meet this requirement, campuses will need to commit to their January academic schedules in September and October. The requirement was temporarily waived by the Department of Education for fall 2020; however, the waiver will expire at the end of December and will not be renewed. 

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All CSU campuses crafted detailed plans to address repopulation for the fall term and will continue to follow the protocols established in these plans for the academic terms beginning in January 2021. This will allow the flexibility to potentially offer additional in-person coursework should the situation in the campus’ respective region warrant that or, conversely, to further limit such offerings as needed. Campus plans vary depending on factors such student enrollment, programmatic offerings and facilities and comport with local, state and federal guidance. Campuses will develop and communicate their commencement plans during the course of the academic term beginning in January.

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU’s students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.