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LHU plans ‘mostly’ remote learning

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University recently announced the decision to move to a mostly remote learning environment for the fall 2020 semester with limited exceptions and limited on-campus residency. This is a revision of earlier announced plans, which relied more on face-to-face instruction and a semi-traditional on campus experience.

Looking at the recent rapid rise in COVID-19 infections across the country, Dr. Robert Pignatello, LHU president, said LHU has reached the consensus that bringing the entire campus community — about 3,500 students, faculty and staff — back is “too risky to undertake.”

“We are not winning the battle against COVID-19,” Pignatello argued, according to a news release. “Our students come from all parts of Pennsylvania, many from areas where the virus is now surging; they also come from 11 states and seven countries. This reality is of great concern and requires major changes to our operational plan.” “We can do a lot to mitigate the risk, and our original plan did so, but we have concluded that with the entire campus back, we cannot do enough to reduce the risk to our students, faculty and staff and their families, making these revisions necessary.”

While the majority of LHU’s courses will transition to remote delivery, some hands-on and experience-based courses will include face-to-face instruction. Studio art, labs, clinicals and some first-year-experience courses are among those that will be taught face-to-face with a limited number of students enrolled in these courses. International students, students experiencing hardship and students enrolled in face-to-face courses will be able to apply for on-campus residence by completing a housing exemption form.

“We expect up to 85% of classes now to be remote and on campus residency to be two-thirds below the typical level,” Pignatello said, according to a news release.

Any face-to-face activities and instruction will still end before Thanksgiving on Nov. 20 as previously planned.

Pignatello urged students to continue their studies despite the shift in modalities. The university is taking multiple measures to ensure a successful semester for students and to keep them connected and engaged. Students will receive assistance with access to technology, with any related hardships, increased mentorship and advisement and a reduction in the cost of attendance.

LHU students who will be transitioning to a fully on-line course delivery this fall will receive an approximate reduction in fees of $300 depending on course modality and campus location. “Starting, continuing and completing your degree is more important than ever, and we intend to help our students do that,” Pignatello stressed.

More information will be provided to students through their LHU email. A hotline has been established for questions at 570-484-3700 and will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Questions also may be sent to update@lockhaven.edu.

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