Several colleges in Atlanta, including Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta, have recently backed out of their plans to reopen for in-class instruction this fall. Officials announced Monday that students will continue learning online, due to the significant threat of COVID-19 in Georgia.
What We Know:
- As of Sunday, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported over 143,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and more than 3,000 deaths since the outbreak began. Fulton County has the second-highest number of confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak, with over 13,000.
- Morehouse was one of the first to call off in-person classes and switch back to online. School officials advised that they have invested in improving technology which includes working on expanding student access to new computers. Residential housing will also close except for international or other students that are in critical need of housing.
“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,” Morehouse President David A. Thomas said.
- Clark has created a Laptop Gifting Initiative, similar to Morehouse’s move back in late April, in order to give all enrolled undergraduate and graduate CAU students a free Dell Latitude 3400 laptop. These new laptops will be shipped directly to students in order to aid with the digital transition.
- Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell added to the disappointment of presidents’ having to switch back to online learning after many institutions shut down the latter half of the spring semester, but stated that “an honest appraisal of the evolving facts compelled us to change course”.
- Spelman officials, along with other schools, will ultimately determine if conditions are suitable enough to return. All residences will be closed and students will be not permitted to live on campus.
- According to FOX 5 Atlanta, students who attend these three schools will also receive a 10% discount on tuition for the semester due to the shift to digital learning.
Overall, many college presidents stated that their decision to postpone reopening campuses again isn’t just because of the surge in Georgia, but many other states where students come from. There has been no word whether schools will open for the spring 2021 semester of as late.