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UMBC plans to ‘maximize’ in-person learning for students in fall 2021

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County plans to “maximize” a return to in-person learning for students in the fall.

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous announced the tentative goal Friday, stating that officials have begun working on an implementation strategy and creating a fall schedule that significantly increases in-person instruction while balancing flexibility. The process will include some online course options and an exception process for community members with health concerns.

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UMBC allowed some in-person and hybrid classes in the spring, but most instruction has continued remotely.

College deans, UMBC’s registrar, facilities management, and the Division of Information Technology are partnering with departments and faculty to develop course-specific approaches based on goals, class enrollment and facilities available, the announcement states.

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The university’s COVID-19 planning coordinating committee will also focus on “creating a robust on-campus community for teaching, learning, student support, research, and social connection this fall,” the announcement states.

University leaders urged community members to seek a COVID-19 vaccine, but said they also expect to require mask-wearing, physical distancing, symptom tracking, and testing. Officials said they will release more information about reopening plans in coming weeks.

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