Fresno State announces plan for 2020 fall semester

(Courtesy of Fresno State)

Fresno State announced its plan for the fall 2020 semester Friday morning, including the number of students that will be allowed on campus, testing protocols and class scheduling.

The plan allows for 2,200 students, faculty and staff on campus daily when instruction resumes on Aug. 19.

The university said that approximately 1,340 will be enrolled in 128 on-campus courses, compared to the 4000-plus courses offered to over 24,000 students during the fall 2019 semester.

These courses include clinical labs, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) labs and select performance courses.

More than 700 faculty will participate during the summer in training programs offered by the Center for Faculty Excellence to enhance virtual teaching and learning.

Fresno State will offer and encourage students to participate in optional baseline testing for the COVID-19 virus. Daily health screenings and temperature checks will also be offered.

The university is in the process of finalizing an online daily screening app that those who are on campus daily will complete before they arrive on campus.

“For those that will be on campus for the fall, it will be each person’s responsibility to adhere to all public health protocols to reduce the risk of infection among our campus community members and their families,” Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro said in an online news conference with reporters.

Castro said that this includes wearing face masks, practicing good hygiene and maintaining appropriate social distance. Face masks or coverings are required to be worn in public spaces on campus and during in-person classes, consistent with the governor’s order and updated state public-health guidelines, the university said on its website.

Classroom space will be reduced by 70 to 80% to allow for proper physical distancing. This will include spacing desks at least six feet apart and seats will be removed or taped off in lecture halls.

Henry Madden Library’s first floor will be open for students that are on campus for in-person instruction, providing access to the service desk and controlled study area.

Dorm room capacity will be reduced and rooms will be assigned as single occupancy for an estimated 560 students, a 42% decrease compared to fall 2019.

Priority will be provided to students that are part of the Renaissance Scholars Program, the Educational Opportunity Program and those who are housing insecure.

The university dining hall will be open for residents only. There will be limited dining options open to students, faculty and staff, but not the general public.

All in-person university events are postponed or canceled until Aug. 1, at which point a reevaluation will occur.

“This plan upholds our ability to provide high-quality educational experiences and steady academic progression for our talented students while also mitigating the risk of infection among our campus community members and their families,” said President Joseph Castro. “We very much look forward to another strong academic year, as we continue to boldly educate and empower our students for success.”

Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.