Oregon Tech still planning for in-person learning this fall
While schools across Oregon are announcing plans to spend much of the fall fully online, The Oregon Institute of Technology — which has locations in Wilsonville and Klamath Falls — is still planning to keep its campuses at least partially open.
In a press release Tuesday, July 28, the school announced that its Board of Trustees had unanimously approved a reopening plan during a meeting July 24. The formal vote followed an announcement in June that Oregon Tech was planning for in-person learning this fall.
"The overriding goal of the plan is to not close any campus completely, but to have plans in place to address issues as they may arise, such as modification to the program delivery," the press release said, noting the plan was "inclusive of state and federal guidance including collaboration with health agencies, the Governor's Office and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC)."
When Oregon Tech first announced it would resume in-person classes, officials cited the school's low student-to-teacher ratio (15-1) as a factor that would make the plan more feasible, though they did note adjustments would be needed if Clackamas County remained in Phase 1 of reopening.
"We definitely have to do a lot of rearrangements. The larger classes we have to split into two and make sure the seating arrangements are within the 6-foot distance and that is maintained," Oregon Tech Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Diane Saunders said in a prior interview with the Spokesman.
In the Tuesday release, Oregon Tech Provost Dr. Joanna Mott noted that in-person learning is particularly important for students at the polytechnic university.
"Many students need access to labs and specialized equipment in order to gain necessary knowledge and experience in their field of study," the release read. "If conditions are such that a more hybrid approach with remote learning is warranted, Oregon Tech will try to continue in-person labs, using necessary precautions, in allied health care, engineering areas and other relevant degree programs."
The school will provide students with masks and will place signs on campuses reminding people to maintain their distance.
Oregon Tech will start classes one week earlier (Sept. 21) than normal and allow students to finish the last week of fall term after Thanksgiving, remotely.
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