The fall semester is arriving fast and North Texas colleges are navigating whether in-person classes during a pandemic is the safest path for students. Paul Quinn College announced Thursday that classes for the upcoming fall semester will be conducted entirely online and tuition will be reduced by $2,325. The University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Southern Methodist University all currently plan to follow a hybrid approach, which provides options for remote and in-person learning at a reduced capacity.
Dr. Michael Sorrell, the president of Paul Quinn College, said the school’s decision prioritizes the health and safety of the Paul Quinn community. He said guidance from medical experts was clear and the difficulty of enforcing social distancing standards in a college environment meant distance learning was the best option until the spread of the coronavirus is under control.
“I think that if other institutions feel as if they have the ability to restrict the behavior of 18 to 22-year-olds, particularly on a 24-hours-a-day 7-days-a-week basis for 15 weeks, and they can do that in a manner which allows them to keep everyone on their campus safe, God bless them,” Sorrell said.
The University of North Texas at Dallas has taken a similar approach, announcing on July 1 that the fall semester would be primarily online with some exceptions for courses like science labs. Most of its students are locals and few live on campus.
But for universities with nearly 40,000 students, like UNT in Denton, another semester online would mean losing multiple streams of revenue, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars each month. Retail shops remain closed, housing gets refunded, and students may choose to transfer. SMU and UTD, with over 11,000 and 29,000 students respectively, face similar potential losses. For all colleges, the question of how to preserve a high quality of education while keeping students and staff safe doesn’t have an easy answer.Read More