Community College of Philadelphia opening fall semester with online classes only

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As colleges and universities work to navigate how to proceed with the fall semester post-pandemic, the Community College of Philadelphia announced that they will be going fully online next semester.

Officials at the college have been studying the data and guidance from health officials.

"It was our thinking that even if it got to green, unless there's a vaccine, it will be very difficult for us to maintain appropriate social distancing and all the mitigation protocols that need to be in place to ensure people's safety," said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of the Community College of Philadelphia.

Generals says running your university strictly online complete with support staff, like counseling and advisory services, does present its challenges.

"This is not new to us, about a third of our students ordinarily take some online courses or hybrid courses, so we do have the infrastructure, we have the means," said Dr. Generals.

Villanova expects to make a decision in the beginning of July. The University of Pennsylvania, Drexel and the 14 Pennsylvania public universities, including West Chester and Cheney have not yet made decisions.

Temple University expects to make a decision by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, LaSalle University has a strong intention to return to face-to-face instruction in the fall semester if allowed by the state.

St. Joseph's University also intends to welcome students back to campus later this summer and start classes as planned on August 24 barring any restrictions.

Dr. Generals says if things open up beyond their September start date, the college could change course as well.

"Things open up by that ten-week or seven-week, we might introduce face-to-face, but right now the plan is to provide solely online courses," he said.

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