DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > DePaul's plans for spring, summer and fall
By A. Gabriel Esteban, Salma Ghanem and Sherri Sidler /
January 22, 2021 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
DePaul will soon reach the previously unimaginable milestone of a full year with almost all classes online and most operations conducted remotely.
While the year has brought many challenges, we are facing them together, learning from them and celebrating good news when we can, including welcoming the largest and most diverse first-year class in the university's history. In the fall 2021, our plan is to mark another milestone: we intend to offer a full complement of in-person courses. We will make the journey to fall with spring quarter courses remaining primarily online and more in-person classes being added for summer quarter.
DePaul's current plan for spring quarter calls for a very limited number of in-person classes, similar to fall and winter quarters, and maintaining the current levels of residence hall occupancy. We are making these difficult choices to maintain a healthy campus and to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As we have done in previous quarters, both the student activity fee and the Athletics fee will not be assessed, and the student U-Pass will be optional for eligible students.
The year 2020 ended with hope on the horizon: vaccines that have been proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19. A limited vaccine supply, to this point, has slowed the vaccine's rollout. We are staying in touch with the city as vaccination plans develop and are exploring ways to help our faculty, staff and students access the vaccine. Vaccination is one among many tools that will help us build a path away from the pandemic. We encourage you to be vaccinated when it is your turn. Equally important will be the measures of disease prevention and health and wellness promotion that we began putting in place last spring.
We are optimistic that the following months—with growing numbers of vaccinations—will bring a turnaround in our country's fight against COVID-19. With a new normal on the way, DePaul is planning to increase the percentage of on-campus classes in the summer and, finally, to welcome our students to campus in fall 2021 with the majority of classes returning to in-person learning. A coordinated, phased return to campus for employees will begin in the summer.
DePaul will launch a surveillance COVID-19 testing program in early February with limited groups of students. The university will work with our colleges and schools to identify groups of students with on-campus courses who are at higher-risk for COVID-19 exposure. These students will be contacted through their academic programs with more information on the testing, which will be performed on campus by an outside vendor and billed to the students' insurance providers. Following Chicago Department of Public Health guidelines, we plan to expand testing to additional students in the future taking into account whether it would result in additional frequent travel to our campuses. Starting with limited groups will allow DePaul the opportunity to refine our processes before a larger rollout.
The city's vaccination rollout and local and state COVID-19 restrictions are constantly evolving. As we have done since the start of the pandemic, DePaul will engage our medical partners at AMITA Health and stakeholders across the university as we develop processes and guidance for safe campus operations in the fall.
We will continue to provide updates as we receive information and reach decisions on the many aspects of our fall operations.