HANOVER COUNTY, Va., -- Sloan Minor should be packing to drive from her Hanover home back to Virginia Tech on Sunday.
Instead, university leaders in Blacksburg extended her spring break for a week in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Virginia Tech is among multiple schools who announced their plans to switch to online classes and encourage students to stay home.
“I came home from spring break with no reason to think I wouldn’t be returning on Sunday,” Minor said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if students are fearful to step on campus.”
Minor said she understands and supports the school’s efforts to help curb the spread of infection.
But, she questioned how her more hands-on classes required to complete her communication degree could be completed online.
“In order for me to really do this class I have to be on campus,” Minor explained. Her digital newsroom class requires students to check out cameras and microphones to conduct reports.
Professors across Virginia are now forced to adapt their classroom instruction to an online format. Many will conduct instruction via video conference with students hundreds of miles away.
“We are canceling all Virginia Tech-sponsored events at any location that are scheduled prior to April 30 and that are expected to draw crowds larger than 100 people,” according to school officials.
Minor planned to graduate in May. She wondered if the ceremonies that typically draw in thousands of people will still be held.
“I’m just afraid of what I now won’t get to experience as a senior that I otherwise would have,” she explained.
The following schools have canceled on-campus classes and events "for the foreseeable future:"
Virginia Commonwealth University
Monroe Park Campus’s spring break has been extended an additional week, March 16-20. All students are strongly encouraged to return and remain at home, if possible. For students who must remain on campus, information about availability of on-campus housing will be forthcoming.
When the semester resumes March 23, classes will be taught remotely for the foreseeable future using digital resources such as Blackboard, videoconferencing, online programs, etc. Faculty should note that a resource-heavy website, Keep on Teaching, launched recently to aid in preparing and planning for their courses. This resource site will be continually updated.
Clinical placements will proceed as planned.
Professors will reach out to their students with further details and instructions specific to their classes, labs, and studios.
Other, more-specific details will be shared soon. In the meantime, please contact your dean’s office if you need further information or have questions specific to your programs or courses.
The University of Virginia
If you are currently away on Spring Break, we strongly encourage you to stay home or return to your home. Those who need to return briefly to collect crucial belongings, such as computers or books, will be permitted to do so, and details about how to do so will be forthcoming.
If you are currently in Charlottesville, we strongly encourage you to return home.
This strong request applies to all students regardless of where you are living – whether on Grounds or off.
We recognize that some students cannot go home, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the fact that their hometowns or countries are not safe to the fact that their only homes are in Charlottesville. We will continue to provide housing for students living on Grounds who genuinely cannot return home, and we will continue to provide dining services, though they will be modified. We will also offer assistance to students on financial aid who need help in returning to their homes.
With the help and creativity of faculty and staff, we will make sure you are able to meet your academic requirements remotely, and we will pay special attention to graduating students. You will be hearing from deans and professors over the next week with details about your classes, including any clinical, experiential, performance-based, or studio learning that may require alternative arrangements.
The College of William and Mary
Starting tomorrow, March 12, through April 3, we will implement interim policies for events and travel. Over the next week we will move to online and remote modes of instruction.
All in-person classes are suspended. Classes will resume online starting Monday, March 23. Courses that are already online will continue as scheduled.
Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home. For those for whom this is not a realistic option, you are welcome on campus as detailed below
University travel and events are suspended.
Employees are expected to continue working during this period, observing proper health protocols and with modifications as needed and approved by supervisors.
We will continue to meet daily to evaluate the circumstances and decide no later than April 1 whether to continue these changes further.
We are transitioning to online and remote instruction (Zoom, video, and other forms of delivery) for all undergraduate and graduate students at all Virginia Tech locations for the remainder of the spring semester.
In order to provide time for students and faculty to make this transition, spring break will be extended to Sunday, March 22, and classes will resume on Monday, March 23.
The Blacksburg campus remains open now and will remain open after spring break ends. However, starting March 23, students will take their courses online.
We are canceling all Virginia Tech-sponsored events at any location that are scheduled prior to April 30 and that are expected to draw crowds larger than 100 people.
Virginia Tech is canceling all summer 2020 international travel programs.
Students are asked not to return to campus during the extended spring break, March 16-20.
James Madison University
JMU students will not be required to return to class in favor of online courses until April 5.
Online classes will begin March 23
The university will cancel or postpone all events hosted at JMU facilities until at least April 5.
Dining facilities will continue to operate.
Starting March 23, Radford University will begin online classes
Spring break will be extended through March 20 to allow time to transition to online classes
The school will reevaluate its plans on April 17
On-campus residence halls and off-campus apartments will remain closed
Beginning Match 16, large scale gatherings or meetings with more than 75 attendees will not be allowed.
University of Richmond
U of R is suspending classes next week, March 16–20
Students who are currently out of town for spring break are asked to not return to campus.
Faculty will prepare for the transition to remote instruction beginning March 23.
A student at Longwood University has tested positive for COVID-19
Campus events and in-person classes are canceled through March 18.
The University will remain open.
Faculty and staff should consider the next five days as similar to a weather-related closing and engage in their duties and responsibilities as they customarily would in that circumstance. Faculty and staff can access their offices.
Virginia Union University
Spring Break will be extended, for students, through Saturday, March 21. Students are encouraged to take the extra week to prepare for the return to coursework.
Faculty and Staff are to report back to work as regularly scheduled on Monday, March 16.
Course instruction will begin on Monday, March 23 via remote course delivery using Microsoft TEAMS and My.VUU.
Reynolds Community College
Effective Monday, March 23, Reynolds will move most instruction to online/remote classes through at least Saturday, April 4 and longer if necessary.
Reynolds strongly encourages students to limit personal travel outside the area during spring break (March 16 -21) and heed health precautions offered by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health.
The college will continue to follow a normal work schedule and ensure the availability of services such as libraries, tutoring, testing centers, and food pantries.
Effective immediately, college events with more than 50 people are canceled through April 4.