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Education

San Diego Colleges Move To Online Learning Over Coronavirus Concerns

The Geisel Library is seen from the UC San Diego campus in this undated photo.
Milan Kovacevic
The Geisel Library is seen from the UC San Diego campus in this undated photo.

San Diego Unified granted Superintendent Cindy Marten emergency powers to response to coronavirus outbreak

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m., March 11, 2020:

Universities and colleges are taking drastic measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Also, the San Diego Unified School District board has given its superintendent emergency powers.
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Universities and colleges in San Diego are increasingly moving classes online in the coming weeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

UC San Diego and San Diego State University made their decisions just a day apart, each detailing specific recommendations for student gatherings. UCSD announced Monday that most classes will be online during its spring quarter, which starts March 25. On Tuesday, SDSU said virtual classes will start April 6 when students return from spring break.

The University of San Diego announced on Wednesday that it will decide whether to require moving classes online by March 23. The administration has asked all faculty to prepare for the transition in the meantime. Southwestern College said it would move all classes online for the week of March 16 and return to face-to-face classes on March 30 after spring break.

“As this is a swiftly changing environment, several teams are assessing the local, national and global COVID-19 situation daily to inform additional decisions we may need to make as a campus,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre in a statement on Tuesday. This decision comes about a week after SDSU canceled all study abroad programs.

The order UCSD and SDSU make exceptions for labs and more hands-on classes. But some students said all classes should be in-person.

“I actually enjoy going to class because it keeps me motivated to take notes,” said Arianna Cuvillan, a cognitive science major at UC San Diego. “When you’re at home because you’re in the environment of being at home, you don’t really associate that with studying, so it’s hard to be in that headspace.”

Neither university has said whether tuition costs will stay the same.

UCSD Moves Classes Online, Due To Coronavirus

“It’s definitely interesting paying full-tuition for an online college experience, but it’s happening at so many colleges across the country,” said Christyn Jackson, a second-year linguistics major at UC San Diego. “It seems like we’re all kind of missing out on our college experience.”

UCSD spokeswoman Christine Clark said the university would release more information as soon as possible. Dorms at UCSD will remain open.

Also, late on Tuesday, the San Diego Unified School District board voted to give Superintendent Cindy Marten emergency powers to respond swiftly to coronavirus impacts. The resolution makes it possible for Marten to relocate students and staff, issue additional sick leave for staff and enter into contracts without a bidding process.

It was not clear as of Tuesday evening that Marten would take any significant immediate action.

SDSU, UCSD Move To Online Learning Over Coronavirus Concerns
Listen to this story by Joe Hong.