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University of Arizona takes 3-stage approach to in-person instruction
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University of Arizona takes 3-stage approach to in-person instruction

In-person instruction at the University of Arizona this fall will be done in three stages, starting with essential in-person courses and courses outdoors.

The University of Arizona is on track to begin the fall semester Aug. 24, but there will be less activity around campus to start than one may think.

Provost Liesl Folks told all faculty and staff that in-person instruction will be done in three stages beginning with only essential in-person courses and courses outdoors.

These classes are those working in “laboratory classes, studios and performer courses, as well as medicine, veterinary medicine and pharmacy courses, and some specialized small-cohort courses,” Folks said.

Stage two includes smaller in-person or flex courses, where students can attend in person and also remotely, with 30 or fewer students in each class. All other classes not meeting the previous requirements will remain online.

Stage three includes larger in-person classes only after no complications are found during the previous stage.

There are no guarantees the UA reaches the final stage for in-person operations. A response from UA regarding tuition reimbursements if the UA doesn’t reach stage three was not given by the Arizona Daily Star’s deadline.

Folks said operations will slowly ramp up over a few weeks, if possible.

“The duration of each stage will be informed by the epidemiology of COVID-19 in the regions surrounding our campuses, local health-care capacity, and our ability to respond effectively to possible transmission on campus,” Folks said.

The class styles available this semester are: in-person with enhanced health protections; a flex of in-person and online instruction; live online classes; and iCourses that students complete at their pace.

Students should check their schedule of classes for more information on specific courses.

Shifts between these stages will be announced with at least one-week notice, Folks said.

While Folks did tell employees on July 11 that this decision could happen, there were no hints of stages being implemented in the latest reentry discussions with campus administration.

Areas around campus will be in operation including designated library spaces and services, the Student Union’s food services and the campus bookstore.

Student support services such as advising and counseling, tutoring and cultural centers must continue operations remotely, folks said.

The campus recreation center will also be open with increased cleaning protocols.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1.

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