Classes for Summer Session A, and concurrent sessions C, D and E, will be conducted remotely, according to a COVID-19 FAQ posted on the Summer Sessions website.
Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced the transition in an email to the student body on Monday afternoon, writing that the decision was made in consultation with students, staff and faculty and with the agreement of the Academic Senate.
The Summer Sessions staff previously told students in a campus-wide email on April 4 that a final decision regarding Summer Session A, which is scheduled to begin on June 22 and end on August 1, would be announced by April 17.
The university has not made a decision on how it will conduct Summer Session B, which is scheduled to begin on August 3 and end on September 12, and concurrent sessions F and G, but said in the FAQ that a decision would be made by June 15.
Yang said in his email that it was likely that the later sessions would also be moved to remote instruction “if the State and County orders promoting physical distancing have not been revised.”
On the FAQ website, the university noted that specific lab and studio courses do not have remote alternatives, and that “it is critical that students who need these courses be given the opportunity to continue making degree progress in Summer if at all possible.”
“Session B is also when we host our transition programs for incoming freshmen and transfer students, which have a strong community-building component that can best be delivered in person,” the FAQ website reads.
“Given the volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the many unknowns, we would like to give the situation sufficient time to develop so that if there is any chance of safely hosting Session B in person, we can do so.”
If the university does switch to remote instruction for Session B, when programs such as the Freshman Summer Start Program and Transfer Edge are typically held, UCSB is “preparing to transition the programs to the virtual space.”
“We are committed to providing a strong academic experience, access to helpful workshops and resources, and social and community-building activities for our incoming students,” the FAQ website reads.
Courses for Session A and concurrent sessions C, D and E will be held during their scheduled time slots, according to the FAQ. Currently, the university is moving forward as if all courses in Session B, F and G will be held in-person, but is preparing to switch to remote instruction if necessary.
Some summer courses are traditionally held online each summer, but with the transition to fully remote instruction, courses designed to be taught in-person will now have to be adjusted to online as well.
In the FAQ, the university emphasized differences between online classes and remote instruction, describing online courses as ones that “have been specifically vetted, approved, and optimized for online learning,” while remote instruction is being used to describe classes that “were designed for in-person instruction, and are being adapted for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Due to the transition to remote instruction for Session A, the university will not be offering campus housing to new students in June and July, according to the FAQ, but students currently living in campus housing will be allowed to stay during the summer.
The FAQ also pointed students toward residences in Isla Vista, where hundreds of students are currently subleasing their rooms after moving home for the quarter.
For Session B, Housing & Residential Services is planning on offering its usual services, but is waiting on a final decision.
Students who sign up for summer housing will be able to cancel their contracts with no penalty if the university switches to remote instruction for Session B, according to the FAQ.
UCSB will still be virtually putting on its three pre-college programs, the Research Mentorship Program, the Summer Research Academies and the Summer Scholars Program, for high school students.