Oregon State University – Cascades is planning for a fall term focused on student success and public health safety with 80% of courses offered with elements of face-to-face instruction.
In addition, all courses will be offered for remote instruction for students who choose to learn from home for personal or health reasons. New technology being installed in the campus’s 24 classrooms and labs will allow this to happen.
In the 263 courses offered this fall, faculty plan to teach using a variety of formats. These include a combination of in-person and remote instruction; mostly remote teaching with a few significant in-person class activities; or fully remote instruction.
“A key element of our plan is flexibility,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “We need to ensure that we can adapt quickly to provide any level of campus operation for our students and employees, should public health conditions change. This plan provides for that flexibility.”
OSU-Cascades’ plans for fall term are in keeping with OSU’s Pandemic Resumption Plan and include a six-point public health strategy.
The public health strategy was developed in collaboration with the university’s Continuity Management Team. It includes prevention measures such as weekly prevalence testing, physical distancing measures, and a requirement for face coverings; access to individual testing; contact tracing in partnership with Deschutes County Health Services; self-isolation when necessary; containment; and student access to care.
On campus, several measures will support physical distancing, including placing desks six feet apart in classrooms, extending transition time between classes to avoid hallway crowding, and adding new directional signage within buildings.
“With an average class size of 18 students at OSU-Cascades, we’re fortunate that we can provide students the interaction they value with teaching faculty and researchers, and support those who seek remote learning, all while strictly following public health guidelines,” said Andrew Ketsdever, dean of academic affairs.
Single occupancy rooms are being offered to residential students. The residence hall will house up to 150 students this fall. Rooms will also be available should a student need to self-isolate.
To further reduce the potential spread of the virus, campus conference and meeting room rental services are suspended, and dining and coffee operations will be limited to members of the campus community.
“This fall will feel different from others, but we are committed to providing students an excellent academic experience, not delaying their progress as they pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree, and preparing them to contribute to their career fields after they graduate,” said Johnson.
A Fall Term 2020 website provides additional information for students and their families. The website will be updated as OSU-Cascades confirms viable levels of on-site instruction and activity.
About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 35 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.