Temple announces plan to de-densify campus

The university will reduce its in-person classroom capacity and create classrooms in non-traditional spaces like Charles Library to reduce the number of students on campus during the fall semester.

Temple University will convert some spaces inside Charles Library on 13th Street near Polett Walk into classrooms to allow for more social distancing among students. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / FILE PHOTO

Temple University outlined its plan to de-densify classrooms when students return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester in an email from President Richard Englert and Provost JoAnne Epps Wednesday morning. 

As part of its plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, Temple will reduce its in-person classroom capacity from more than 15,600 available seats to roughly 3,300 so that classrooms can accommodate six feet of distance between students, according to the email. The university plans to establish new classrooms in non-traditional spaces, including Charles Library, Mitten Hall and the Paley Building.

The university also said that it has adjusted students’ schedules over the past several weeks to reflect the three course formats for the fall semester: in-person courses, hybrid courses and online courses. 

In-person courses will be taught in classroom spaces with six feet of distance between students, according to the email. 

Hybrid courses will be taught both in person and online, such as through a mix of online lectures and in-person recitations. Students may alternate between virtual and in-person meetings so that the university can reduce the number of people in classrooms, according to the email.  

Online courses will be fully virtual, with some conducted asynchronously and others requiring students to meet at a scheduled time, according to the email. The university is prepared to change all classes to online courses if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens.

Many courses will be offered in more than one format and the university will continue to allow students to add or drop courses through the first two weeks of the semester without academic responsibility, according to the email. 

Englert and Epps reminded students that the deadline to withdraw from on-campus housing and have their deposits refunded has been extended to July 31.

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