Shippensburg University announced Friday that it would cancel all face-to-face interaction at the university and move courses online until April 11.
SU President Laurie Carter informed the student body of the decision that came in response to the pandemic spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus across the United States.
“We must now do our part to mitigate community spread and ensure the health and safety of our community,” Carter said.
SU will use Desire to Learn (D2L) and Zoom to instruct students on how to access their courses online. Students can fill out a form to sign up for 45-minute time slots beginning Wednesday, March 18, to learn how to use online resources.
“From March 23 through April 10, all academic instruction will be delivered virtually during the normally scheduled class times,” the university’s website reads.
According to the Frequently Asked Questions page, students who remain off campus will receive housing and dining refunds based on the amount of time spent away from the university. SU will release this information at a later date.
Additionally, university officials do not anticipate the changes affecting spring commencement ceremonies, which are set for Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9.
Meanwhile, students must complete a separate form to request access to any residence hall or campus resource during the break.
Earlier this week, SU announced it would extend its spring break by a week to March 23 to prepare for courses to move online.
As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, there were 27 presumptive and six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. As of 5 p.m., the number of presumptive cases jumped to 35, including three in Cumberland County.
The decision follows Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s closing of all K-12 schools in the state earlier Friday. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon, and a travel ban between the U.S. and European nations, excluding the United Kingdom, begins Friday at midnight.
“I am hopeful that the next three weeks of social distancing and community spread containment measures here and across the commonwealth will be an effective mitigation solution,” Carter said. “If they are not effective, we will move forward in [a] way that seeks to ensure the health and safety of our community.”
For more information on how SU is coping with the spread of coronavirus, visit ship.edu/coronavirus. For more information about the coronavirus, including symptoms and how it is spread, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus. For statistics on the disease in the U.S., visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.