May 12, 2020 - Health

Largest 4-year public university in U.S. pivots to online learning

Animated gif of a wifi signal with an apple at its base

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largest four-year public university in the U.S. will primarily teach classes online this fall, California State University Chancellor Timothy White said Tuesday in a statement.

Why it matters: The decision, which affects almost half a million students, could precede a wider pivot to online learning as American universities figure out how to safely open for the new semester.

  • Cal State is the first major university to keep the majority of its students from returning to campus and in-person classes in the fall, the New York Times reports.
  • Some exceptions will be made for nursing students, art students or those who need to work in labs, White said Tuesday.

The big picture: Colleges around the U.S. are afraid they'll be headed for financial ruin if they remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Axios' Erica Pandey reported earlier this month.

What they're saying: "This planning approach is necessary because a course that might begin in a face-to-face modality would likely have to be switched to a virtual format during the term if a serious second wave of the pandemic occurs, as forecast," White said.

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