Spelman College Changes Plans, Will Be 100% Remote In Fall Along With Clark Atlanta And Morehouse

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Atlanta-based HBCUs Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College will offer 100 percent remote instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. Photo: AD – Bus Tour – Spelman College 105

After months of deliberating the best way to move forward with instruction, Atlanta-based historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) Clark Atlanta University (CAU), Morehouse College and Spelman College announced students will attend via 100 percent remote instruction for the Fall 2020 semester.

Citing the continued surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the schools’ respective presidents released individual statements detailing their institutional plans to move forward.

“With the challenging and rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become crystal clear that these plans must evolve again to recognize the newly heightened safety risks associated with COVID-19 in the state of Georgia,” CAU President George T. French said in a statement. “The health and safety needs of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority and have been a reference point for our planning for the fall. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I share we have made the difficult but necessary decision to move to a remote and online learning format for the entire CAU student body in the fall, with faculty and staff continuing to telework.”

“After extensive review of the conditions now surrounding the coronavirus in Atlanta as well as a number of the other states from which we draw a substantial number of our students, we have arrived at the conclusion that this semester upcoming in the fall will be delivered fully online,” Morehouse president Dr. David A. Thomas said in statement released via YouTube. “As much as I wanted to see the men of Morehouse return to campus for classes on Aug. 19, the spike in COVID-19 cases in Georgia and across the nation, warrants us to change course to protect the health and safety of Morehouse students, faculty, and staff.”

The announcements are a pivot from Clark Atlanta and Spelman’s prior plans to resume some in-person classes.

Initially, CAU also planned to open campus for in-person instruction for freshman and sophomore students and Spelman planned to implement a hybrid learning model bringing back 25-30 percent of its population, freshman in particular.

“You may ask why? Why did Spelman change its decision less than three weeks after making the announcement? It was just 19 days ago, on July 1, when we published our plan, fully anticipating that, as summer progressed, the virus would subside. Quite the opposite has been the case. An honest appraisal of the evolving facts compelled us to change course,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said in a statement.

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Adding that the announcement was “of great disappointment” to share, Scmidt also said Spelman “will offer a 10 percent discount on tuition and an average of 40 percent on mandatory fees.”

CAU will also reduce tuition by 10 percent, lower mandatory fees by $325 dollars and provide free laptops to its students.

The Fall semester will last from Aug. 19 to Nov. 20 with no breaks in-between. Decisions about Spring 2021 have yet to be made.