State universities announce temporary shift to online classes, amid coronavirus fears

Florida State University. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Students at schools within the State University System (SUS) will take off-campus online classes for at least two weeks as the deadly coronavirus pandemic stifles more activities throughout the state.

After spring break, Florida State University students will begin the remote instruction, according to a university alert Wednesday. Florida A&M University, and the University of Florida issued the same notice that day.

And Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed the system-wide alert on Wednesday regarding colleges switching to distance learning.

What’s not clear is how it will all play out. Will professors and instructors be trained? Will online classes be at the same time as the traditional classes?

Will faculty be on campus or can they teach from home?

A press release by Florida State stated that officials said they have “a robust emergency plan in place and fully prepared to provide instruction online or by other methods.”

In addition, “Guidance for faculty and staff regarding working from home and other policies will be provided soon.”

Spring break for both universities is from March 16 -20 and remote classes will start March 23 for two weeks. Students who leave campus are encouraged to take any devices, textbooks and other materials they will need to continue their studies remotely, according to the press release from FSU.

FSU and FAMU officials said it will remain open for business, and expects in-person classes will resume April 6.

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.