UCLA will further curtail its plans for in-person instruction for the fall quarter and greatly reduce the amount of student housing offered, in accordance with directives issued last week by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, campus leaders announced today.
UCLA will be moving to remote-only instruction, with the exception of a limited number of in-person or hybrid courses necessary to train students for essential workforce positions. On-campus housing will be restricted primarily to those students who have no alternative housing options and are affected by other difficulties. The changes, based on the new county health guidance and the recommendations of UCLA’s COVID-19 Future Planning Task Force, replace the plans for fall that were announced on Aug. 3.
“I am sure you share in my disappointment at our inability to bring more students back to campus,” Emily Carter, executive vice chancellor and provost, wrote in an Aug. 21 email to the UCLA community. “At the same time, the virus continues to pose a significant threat and mitigating health risks to our community must always be our overriding concern in any decision we make. We knew that this outcome was a possibility and have been preparing for it: Across the institution, we will continue to ensure that our students can make progress towards their degrees and that we provide the highest quality educational and co-curricular experience we can during a fall term unlike any other.”
Per county guidelines, in-person and hybrid instruction now will be restricted to required, advanced courses that provide training for students preparing for essential workforce jobs, and which cannot be conducted remotely. These include certain classes in health and medicine, emergency services, social work, the sciences and engineering. All other courses will be delivered remotely.
UCLA offers several programs that can help with purchasing or borrowing laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other devices, which can be found at Bruin Resources and Tools. Any student facing financial hardship can reach out to UCLA’s Economic Crisis Response Team for assistance.
Under the new county health directives, universities including UCLA must limit on-campus housing to:
- Students who have no alternative housing options and whose current housing does not provide a safe and appropriate environment or does not provide sufficient ADA accommodations;
- Student-athletes participating in on-campus training and conditioning; and
- Students enrolled in the aforementioned in-person or hybrid courses who do not have alternative local housing options.
Students with current housing contracts soon will be receiving letters from housing staff to assess whether they fall into any of those categories; those who do not will be notified of the cancellation of their contract and receive a refund of fees paid. Further information is available on UCLA Housing’s COVID-19 information page.
Campus health and safety
For those students who will be on campus, guidelines and procedures are in place to help reduce the spread of the virus. Infection control measures include physical distancing, de-densifying campus spaces, and frequent cleaning of residence halls and other facilities. Protocols on face coverings (PDF), symptom monitoring, and COVID-19 testing and contact tracing will remain as outlined in our August 3 planning letter. Beginning this quarter, UCLA will have public health ambassadors on campus to educate and remind students of these protocols.
In addition, the campus is currently closed to the general public, pursuant to public health orders. Only individuals who are engaged in essential campus operations, are attending approved in-person courses or living on campus, or are receiving care at UCLA hospitals and clinics are permitted at this time.
Under current government visa rules, newly admitted international students are permitted to come to UCLA for the fall term only if they are enrolled in at least one on-campus course. With the new, tighter restrictions on in-person instruction, however, most of these students will not meet the legal criteria for travel to the U.S nor have the ability to lawfully remain in the country.
For this reason, UCLA recommends that unless international students are required by their major or field of study to enroll in one of the aforementioned courses that must be offered in person, they should stay in their home countries. These students will still be able to enroll for fall quarter remote instruction and make progress toward their degrees.
The UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars will be reaching out to newly admitted international students in the coming days to offer further guidance on travel, visas, and enrollment.
Heading into fall
With the beginning of the academic quarter just over a month away, UCLA does not foresee further changes to these fall instructional or housing plans, though it is still possible additional restrictions may need to be implemented.
County and state health officials will be reassessing the situation at regular intervals, and campus leaders will work with them to determine whether UCLA may be able to increase in-person offerings and welcome more students back to campus for winter quarter.
“In the meantime, each of us must do what we can to help mitigate the spread of the virus by adhering to public health guidance — for the good of ourselves, our families, our communities, and indeed the world,” Carter wrote. “I want to thank you all once again for your resilience and understanding in the face of these shifting circumstances. Despite the challenges, I remain confident that together we can make this fall term a robust, rewarding, and intellectually stimulating experience that brings out the best in our Bruin community.”