Cal U announces plan for fall semester reopening


Cal U Communications

Old Main at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal U Communications

Students at California University of Pennsylvania will start the fall semester one week earlier than planned, returning to a campus where masks and social distancing will be components of everyday college life.

After weeks of planning, Cal U today released its Guide to Fall Reopening, which summarizes changes and expectations for the university’s students and employees.

“At this critical moment, the actions of one individual can ripple outward to affect the entire community,” University President Geraldine Jones said in an email to Cal U students, faculty and staff. “Our reopening plan assumes that you, and every member of our Cal U community, are committed to its success.”

Highlights of the plan include:

A revised calendar. Classes will start Aug. 17 and end before Thanksgiving. Students will be at home for much of the traditional “flu season,” returning in January for the spring semester.

New options for learning. As often as possible, on-campus classes will be taught in person, utilizing technology that also allows students to participate in real time from a remote location. To achieve social distancing in some larger classes, students may alternate between attending in person and participating via Zoom or a similar platform. Some very large classes may be delivered online.

A return to residence life. On-campus residence halls will be open. Roommates will operate as a “family unit,” acting in ways that protect each other’s health.

In her email, President Jones urged students and employees to “consider your own role in making our fall semester a safe and constructive experience for all.” That includes wearing a mask or face covering in classrooms, public areas, sports venues and performance spaces – nearly everywhere on campus, with the exception of private offices and residence hall rooms.

Signs and other visual cues, such as floor decals, will serve as reminders that social distancing – staying 6 feet apart – also is expected.

“We are acutely aware that COVID-19 remains a threat, especially to vulnerable populations,” Jones said. “At the same time, we believe that Cal U – with your active participation – can safely resume face-to-face classes and campus life.”

A link to California University’s Fall Reopening Guide is online at