Chapman to Begin Fall Semester With Remote Instruction, Continuing Robust Chapman Experience

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Chapman University President Daniele Struppa issued this statement on Tuesday, Aug. 4, explaining the university’s decision to start the fall semester with remote instruction.

Since we began remote instruction in March, we have all eagerly awaited guidance from the state on when we can return to our beloved Chapman campuses. The campus community has worked tirelessly to prepare for our return in the fall, and our students and families have patiently waited for clear guidance and instruction to better plan for what their experience will be at the start of the fall term.

While we continue to operate without guidance from Gov. Newsom, we need to provide as much clarity as we are able. Due to the high unlikelihood that in-person instruction will be allowed beyond the very limited activities for the training of essential healthcare workforce programs at our Rinker campus, we have decided to begin fall with remote instruction for all remaining Chapman graduate and undergraduate programs at both Orange and Rinker campuses. We continue to move forward with limited on-campus housing and will adjust as needed if the state guidance and county approvals require it.

This is not the news we wanted, nor the plan we have been working toward for the past several months. However, as I’ve stated before, we will continue to move forward with our CU Safely Back plan to prepare campus for the return of our students, faculty and staff as soon as we’re able. In the meantime, with the current state of the pandemic across the country, we will always put the health and safety of the Chapman Family first.

As we move into the new academic year remotely, I am heartened by the fact that Chapman is special no matter where we are. We are more than a physical campus, we are a community of scholars, teachers, researchers, students, colleagues, friends and alumni who have come together, albeit from around the world, to keep the Chapman Experience alive through this challenging time.

Rigorous and Engaging Fall Courses

Chapman has invested over $2 million in new technology to enhance remote learning. Virtually every classroom on both campuses will have technology that allows the class to be broadcast via Zoom to students participating from anywhere in the world, and enables active participation by students online. It allows for faculty to share content from their computers or from a whiteboard in the classroom, allowing our students to access the rigorous curriculum Chapman provides our students, and equipping them to interact with our great faculty as they would on campus.

Faculty and support staff are working through the summer to learn even more online tools and methods. Workshops, ask-an-expert office hours and equipment investment are just part of the robust effort to prepare faculty for fall. Similar efforts are underway at the Tutoring and Learning Center. You can read more about the innovations in remote learning in this CU Safely Back article.

The Chapman Experience, Virtually

Even fully remote, students can still enjoy a rich tapestry of experiences beyond the classroom.

We know there is more to the Chapman Experience than going to classes. As stated by Assistant Dean of Students Chris Hutchison, the Chapman experience is a holistic one. In addition to the renowned faculty and the academic excellence, there are a variety of co-curricular opportunities that really help make the educational journey at Chapman as full as it can be. We are working to provide those opportunities no matter where we find ourselves this fall.

Students don’t just expect, but need, to participate in a variety of social and civic activities, and campus leadership wants to ensure that students will still be able to partake of a diverse tapestry of opportunities that makes attending a university so rewarding. You can read more about the virtual student experience in this CU Safely Back article.

I want to thank our leadership team, faculty and staff, students and families, alumni and friends for their work, support, resilience and passion for Chapman. This historic time we are all experiencing brings hardship and challenges, but also a generous spirit like I’ve never seen. As we continue to maneuver through this difficult time, I am grateful for your patience and overwhelming support as we all work to provide the best possible education for Chapman students.