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Sunday December 4th

UNC to offer five modes of instruction, single-occupancy housing for spring semester

A group of students wearing masks study together at the quad, Polk Place, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020
Buy Photos A group of students wearing masks study together at the quad, Polk Place, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020

The University will offer five modes of academic instruction, single-occupancy on-campus housing, regular COVID-19 evaluation testing and mandatory reentry testing in the spring 2021 semester, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Bob Blouin said in an email Friday.

The email lists five modes of instruction that courses may fall under. There are two in-person modes and three remote modes. In-person modes will be mainly reserved for courses with less than 35 students, however a course with a maximum of 50 students has the opportunity to be taught in-person.

Courses prioritized for in-person instruction will be those made for first-year students to learn about specific academic disciplines, those which enable seniors to take capstone and seminar courses and any additional courses which are particularly hands-on. 

Details regarding the mode of each course will be indicated at the beginning of November on ConnectCarolina, in time for registration appointments to start Nov. 30. 

"Our decisions on in-person and remote courses for the spring are fundamentally linked with our choices regarding on-campus residency and testing," Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email.

According to the email, regular COVID-19 evaluation testing, as well as mandatory reentry testing will be required for students, faculty and staff.

This decision is based off of the success of saliva-based evaluation testing for students, administered in the Carolina Union, Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email.

"We are still actively evaluating options for frequency, administration and processing of the tests," Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email. "We will share more details with you in the coming weeks."

There are currently 1500 students living on-campus this fall, a number that will increase in the spring. According to the email, there will be anticipated housing for approximately 3500 students, a 2000 student increase. Only single-occupancy rooms will be offered in on-campus housing.

Blouin told The Daily Tar Heel that the Campus & Community Advisory Committee has weighed in on decisions regarding reopening in the spring.

"They have indicated the support if we were to bring students back, it should be in single residence, so individual dorm living," Blouin said. "So that means the students would be more spread out."

Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email that the University plans to expand isolation and quarantine spaces for COVID-19 as well.

"They also indicated we needed to do better in regards to quarantine and isolation, not only in terms of the number of beds we would have for that, but also to improve the conditions in quarantine and isolation, because many students expressed concerns, you know, about life in isolation," Blouin said.

Students who are currently living on-campus, as well as those who previously held housing contracts, should expect more information from Carolina Housing by Oct. 27, Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email.

"This virus continues to impact the lives of everyone in our community in so many ways," Guskiewicz and Blouin said in the email. "We will continue to monitor its path over the coming months, and the compounding effect of the annual flu season, as we finalize plans for the spring semester."

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