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CNY universities starting to address fall semesters

Syracuse University

The academic year at many colleges just came to a close but faculty at several central New York institutions are already making decisions that will affect the fall semester as they wrestle with the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Syracuse University students return to campus later this year, it will be on an "accelerated" schedule. Officials announced last week that classes will end as of Thanksgiving Break. Some classes may meet on Fridays or even on weekends to accommodate the shorter timeline. Additionally, most of SU's in-person classes will be offered in an online format simultaneously to accommodate any students who become ill.

Binghamton University's president said that students will return to campus this fall as well, but more details are forthcoming. 

SUNY Oswego officials have yet to make any formal changes to the fall semester, but the college is offering all first-year students the opportunity to get a jump start by taking an online class this summer. SUNY Oswego Provost Scott Furlong said while the decision to make the course available was not motivated by the pandemic, it will give many of their incoming students a chance to prepare for what classes may be like if the virus resurges.

"Particularly for students who have never taken an online course, if we are in a situation where we have to do a major transition like we did this past spring, I think taking the online course will have a little bit more practice with that shift than those who might not have had that," Furlong said. 

He said the class will also give students who would normally be working the summer before college but cannot now because of the statewide shutdown a chance to get their feet wet with the collegiate experience and engage with the college's faculty.

Schools and colleges are in the last phase of New York's region-by-region reopening.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.