University planners had hoped to offer a hybrid mix of both remote and in-person classes for fall quarter. However, the recent spike in virus cases in both the state and region altered those calculations.
Western President Sabah Randhawa, in a recent message to campus, noted the difficult decision to move most fall classes remote with limited exceptions for some experiential courses, such as applied performance classes and some hands-on labs that can be taught safely in-person. Western now expects to offer 8 to 10 percent of classes in person during the fall quarter.
Western is providing development opportunities for faculty this summer and faculty across many disciplines are finding new and creative ways to re-envision the teaching and learning process, beyond just trying to translate a face-to-face experience to remote instruction.
Staff in student support areas like advising, career counseling, and tutoring are continuing to implement new processes to take their services online.
Campus housing will be available but on a limited basis. Updated occupancy guidelines provide residents the opportunity to remain socially distant in the residence halls, while treating campus apartments as family units and allowing University Residences to address quarantine and isolation space, if needed.
The student engagement experience in the residence halls will provide virtual and in-person programming and meetings with live-in staff and while adhering to safety requirements.
WWU locations outside of the main Bellingham campus will follow the guidance and protocols established by our university partners.
Randhawa acknowledged—and shares—the disappointment that comes with scaling back in-person classes for fall, particularly for new students looking forward to their first year of college life, but promised that the university is committed to providing “the high-quality education that is Western’s hallmark.”