ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Pacific University (APU) will begin the 2020-2021 school year with the majority of classes delivered by distance learning, University President Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson announced today.
APU originally planned to hold fall classes in person with thorough physical distancing and safety measures in place, but as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to affect Alaska, particularly the Municipality of Anchorage, the University has determined that distance delivery will be the safest approach for students, faculty, staff and the community at large.
“We hoped and planned for a fall semester that would strike a balance between the importance of social distancing and the very real benefits of being together for in-person learning,” Davidson said. “As the virus spread over the summer, it became clear to us that we needed to reassess our original Campus Reopening Plan and approach the start of the academic year with an even greater measure of caution.”
With the exception of a handful of classes that require in-person instruction or fieldwork, APU courses will be offered by distance delivery for the fall semester. All fall-semester instruction will move to distance delivery after the Thanksgiving break. Campus housing, dining services and computer labs will be available for students who need them, and campus offices will operate with a combination of distance delivery and on-campus staffing. Anyone who uses the APU campus will be asked to observe preventive protocols including wearing masks in indoor spaces, maintaining distance from other people, and following thorough cleaning guidelines.
“As much as we want to return to some form of normalcy, nothing is more important than the safety of every member of our University community,” said APU Provost Hilton Hallock. “APU is an institution committed to the wellbeing of all Alaska communities, and we are very cognizant of the role we can play in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. Each of us shares in that responsibility.”