PORTLAND, Ore. — For colleges like Reed College in southeast Portland, school starts August 31 and the school says students are already showing up on campus.
Staff at Reed College say half of the students will live in dorms and undergo COVID-19 screening. Every faculty and staff member working on campus had to be tested.
Much like the way the previous school year ended, the fall semester will start pretty much the same by attending classes online. A small majority will have the opportunity to attend in-person.
"They will be participating in a program of instruction that really falls into about three parts," Hugh Porter, Reed's Vice President of College Relations and Planning says. "25% of classes will be in person, about the next 50% will be in person and online and about 25% will be online only."
Other universities have stated they will follow similar learning models. Oregon State University posted on its website saying 90% of classes will be held online, but some classes will be held in person.
"Courses offered on-site will primarily be those that have a heavy experiential learning component, such as labs and field courses," a letter from the school to staff and faculty reads.
The University of Oregon hasn't released a plan yet, but says on its website, "We are planning for a responsible and safe return to in-person instruction, following federal, state, and local orders and guidance. Additional information coming on August 26."
School doesn't start for Oregon or Oregon State until late September.
Portland State University will conduct nearly all classes online and the University of Portland will conduct classes completely online, with hopes of returning to in-person learning for spring classes.
Higher education learning institutions must adhere to state guidelines to have any in-person, face-to-face learning. Face coverings must be worn and social distance guidelines must be followed.
Porter says Reed College staff were given a choice of how they wanted to teach their classes.
"Some of the folks are really looking forward to being back on campus," said Porter. "Some people are not able to be back on campus because their health and circumstances don't allow."
Porter also says the school's plans are fluid and will need to adjust if things change with the spread of the virus.
"We of course need to be realistic that we may need to be online only if the virus moves in that direction," he said. "But right now we're thankful that things in Oregon aren't terrible and we have enough protections in place to give it a try."