Everett Community College. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Everett Community College. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Expect a mix of in-person and online college classes in fall

Class schedules and vaccination policies at Snohomish County’s higher-ed institutions will vary.

What will classes at Snohomish County’s colleges and universities look like this fall?

Cascadia College anticipates a 43% return to face-to-face classes. Everett Community College puts the percentage of in-person instruction at 35% to 40%, while Washington State University Everett is gearing up for a fully in-person schedule.

Cathy Leaker, vice president of instruction at EvCC, said the college will continue offering a large number of hybrid and online classes and expand weekend and evening course offerings.

“We’re trying to not lose the lessons of the pandemic,” Leaker said. “Our students need flexibility.

During the pandemic, students with children, full-time jobs and other commitments discovered the convenience of remote learning, Leaker said. “Students are flocking to our online sections. I don’t imagine a time when we go back to 100% in person — that’s not going to meet students’ needs.”

Under the state’s new COVID-19 higher education guidelines, all colleges and universities are required to collect information about a student’s vaccine status. As a result, vaccinations, masks and social distancing policies at each institution may vary this fall.

So before you pack your book bag, check each college’s or university’s websites for updates.

Everett Community College

Everett Community College will offer four types of classes this fall:

Fully face-to-face classes with safety precautions, masks and social distancing; hybrid classes, a combination of in-person instruction with safety precautions and online coursework; livestream classes with scheduled login times; and online classes that don’t require specific login times unless requested by their instructor.

Still, the fall schedule is preliminary. EvCC may add more face-to-face or hybrid classes when the final fall class schedule appears in late July, so check the college’s website.

STEM classes and courses with labs or a hands-on component are expected to make a full return, vice-president of instruction Leaker said.

Expect class size to be smaller. Instead of a 30-student cap for most classes, the fall cap will be closer to 17 or 18, Leaker said.

Based on the new state guidelines, EvCC expects to require vaccinations this fall, with exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons.

As of this writing, masks are required and students and faculty must maintain three feet of physical distance, although some programs, such as nursing, may be exempt. However, EvCC is still drafting its fall policies, so check the school’s website for updates.

Washington State University Everett

The university plans to hold mostly in-person classes this fall. “In-person learning is back,” said Randy Bolerjack, WSU Everett spokesman.

“We are so excited to see our students for in-person classes. There will be ongoing guidance from the governor and our friends at Snohomish Health District, but we’re gearing up for a full go,” Bolerjack said.

Vaccinations will be required, with exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons. Those who are unwilling to confirm their vaccination status must wear a facial covering unless they’re alone in a room and must maintain six feet of physical distance at all times. WSU will accept a CDC vaccination card, a photo of a CDC card, documentation from a health care provider or a state immunization record as proof of vaccination.

Edmonds College

More than half of fall classes at Edmonds College in Lynnwood will either be in-person or hybrid, a mix of in-person and online. The remainder will be online. Student support services will be in-person. The library, Learning Support Center and Learning Resource Center will be open, but appointments may be required for some services.

“We will also continue to offer virtual appointments and opportunities for students,” said Laura Daniali, associate director of marketing and public information at the college.

“Our decisions regarding social distancing will be based on health guidance from the state and Gov. Inslee’s specific plan for institutions of higher education,” Daniali said.

“Currently, we are observing the six-foot social distancing guidance and requiring face coverings while on campus through summer quarter,” Daniali said. “We will reevaluate as we get closer to fall quarter.”

Cascadia College

Some 43% of the college courses will be in-person or hybrid classes with an in-person component, said Meagan Walker, vice president for external. Most in-person classes will be held Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 pm.

“We are focusing on offering our hands-on classes such as computer and sciences labs in person. Many of our math courses will also be in person,” Walker said. The balance of the college’s classes will be held virtually.

Cascadia College, in Bothell, will require vaccine documentation from students but will allow exceptions for medical, religious and philosophical reasons, Walker said. The college is still drafting a proof-of-vaccination policy. “We are currently working with our employee unions around vaccine requirements,” Walker said.

Cascadia may enact a mask requirement. “If we do decide to require masks, it is out of caution given the rise of highly contagious and dangerous variants,” Walker said.

Social distancing is not required.

University of Washington Bothell

UW Bothell plans for a return to largely in-person instruction in the fall.

The university’s current masking, distancing, capacity and other requirements for “Healthy Washington” Phase 3 guidelines remain in effect. The University of Washington system is working to update policies listed at uw.edu/coronavirus based on formal guidance from the governor’s office concerning higher education reopening, UW Bothell spokeswoman Maria Lamarca Anderson said.

Students, faculty and staff will need to verify they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of autumn quarter, unless they claim a medical, religious or philosophical exemption. “We will be making an announcement with more details later this month,” Lamarca Anderson said.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097: Twitter: JanicePods

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