ASU extends online learning for duration of Spring semester

The announcement was made on the first day of University-wide online learning

ASU is extending online instruction from the initial two-week period to the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester amid concerns of COVID-19, or the new coronavirus. 

President Michael Crow announced the transition on March 16, the first day of online learning following ASU's initial announcement. 

The extended transition to online courses is the latest development in a string of events being postponed, rescheduled or canceled. ASU’s switch means that all three public universities in Arizona have switched to online for the duration of the academic year. 

In the announcement, Crow said that initial plans to keep University resources open, such as campus dining, computer labs, libraries, health clinics, counseling services, research labs and "all other aspects of the University," remain in place. 

The University previously canceled all public events on campus that "are not directly related to the teaching and research mission of the university," the announcement said.

The decision also comes after President Donald Trump and his administration announced at a press conference on March 16 that gatherings should be restricted to fewer than 10 people and that people should try to avoid discretionary travel, bars and restaurants. 

As of Monday morning, Arizona has 18 confirmed cases of the virus. There are 63 tests pending results and 200 people who have been tested. Of those, 125 have tested negatively for the virus.

The change comes after the University initially planned to implement online-only classes, when possible, for two weeks. ASU said in its statement today that the decision to cancel in-person courses for the rest of the semester was made after considering new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

Those guidelines include recommendations that for at least the next 8 weeks, organizers should cancel or postpone any events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. 

That recommendation prompted Gov. Doug Ducey to announce on Sunday that all Arizona schools will be closed through March 27, starting this week. 

The University is one of over 100 public and private institutions around the country that have canceled in-person classes either temporarily or for the rest of the semester. 

It is still unknown whether or not spring commencement ceremonies will take place at the end of the semester.


Reach the reporters at adunn11@asu.edu and Vandana.Ravikumar@asu.edu and follow @adrienne_dunn and @vandana_rav on Twitter. 

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