CUNY Planning to Return to In-Person Learning in Fall 2021

by Rachel Zhang and Seon Pollard

CUNY is planning for a return to “mostly” in-person instruction and services for the fall 2021 semester, Chancellor Felix Matos Rodríguez said in an email to the CUNY community on Tuesday.

Thomas Hunter building. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Matos Rodríguez noted that CUNY “fully expect[s] that our digital footprint will remain larger than it was pre-pandemic,” indicating that aspects of digital learning will be integrated into the traditional in-person model where appropriate and beneficial.

In October, CUNY’s board of trustees voted to extend the offering of remote classes and services into the spring 2021 semester, while still leaving open the opportunity for a transition back to in-person learning if there were significant improvements in the public health crisis. Since then, vaccine distribution has begun in New York City and across the country. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio set a goal of administering one million doses of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January.

Matos Rodríguez indicated that spring 2021 courses will be conducted largely through an online format.

Although CUNY anticipates the fall 2021 semester to be mostly in-person, Matos Rodríguez reminded the CUNY community to remain cautious during the ongoing public health crisis. As of now, all visitors must follow established safety guidelines when entering CUNY campuses and facilities, like wearing masks and using the Everbridge screening app prior to admission. 

The chancellor also said that the fall 2021 plans may continually change to reflect the “ever-evolving circumstances” of the pandemic and that CUNY will “prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty and staff above all else.”

CUNY will share additional guidance on the fall 2021 semester in the coming months.

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