In-person classes and winter break ‘expected’ for semester

Some previously remote classes will be in person starting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

This shift may also impact the add-drop date (Wednesday, Jan. 20) and winter break (Saturday, Feb. 20 to Monday, March 1) for some students. 

In-person classes resume

If the professor chooses, their class can resume in person or as a hybrid, according to Anne Hitt, associate provost for student success and quality assurance. Roughly 35% of classes will switch to include some in-person learning. 

“If we keep going the way we are, I think we’re going to be able to at least maintain [these] in-person classes, and that’s going to be great,” Hitt said. 

No add-drop after the switch 

The add-drop date for classes is one day after in-person classes begin, but Hitt assures faculty will “find some resolution.” 

While the add-drop date remains firm, no one will be forced to begin attending a class in person. Most classes will offer a live-streamed version of the class in addition to an in-person session. 

If anyone needs live-streaming accommodation, Hitt recommends reaching out to the professor first, and if there are any complications, students should reach out to the department chair next. 

“We don’t want there to be barriers to students being able to complete their courses … because time’s not standing still,” Hitt said. 

Winter break resumes 

In-person classes also means more events can continue normally, including winter break. 

Winter break will remain its usual length — Saturday, Feb. 20 to Monday, March 1. There will also be no quarantine period once students return. 

“I think we’re going to be okay as long as when people go on [winter] break, they don’t bring anything back,” Hitt said. 

Hitt also said COVID-19 testing will be available on campus after winter break. 

The only variable to Oakland’s winter break plans is the Michigan Department of Health. According to Hitt, if the state recommends a quarantine period, OU will shift classes completely online for however long is suggested. 

Although the Department of Health could change plans, Hitt does not “expect” it’ll be necessary because OU has been “staying safe.” 

“I think everybody — all the students — are doing marvelously,” Hitt said. “They’re really doing well — social distancing, wearing marks and staying safe.” 

Spring graduation format 

The spring commencement ceremony format will be officially announced in late January or early February. 

Recently commencement has been virtual in winter 2020, a drive in for spring 2020 and in person in winter 2019. All these options are on the table, depending on what format is deemed safest. 

For anyone planning on graduating this spring, the last day to apply to graduate is Sunday, Jan. 31. Students can complete the process through their MySail. 

“I hope everyone is staying safe and can progress toward graduation,” Hitt said.