An empty hallway inside SF State’s Gymnasium on Nov. 7, 2019. The number of in-person classes being offered in the Fall 2021 semester is dependent on the student demand for them. (Samantha Laurey / Golden Gate Xpress) (Samantha Laurey)
An empty hallway inside SF State’s Gymnasium on Nov. 7, 2019. The number of in-person classes being offered in the Fall 2021 semester is dependent on the student demand for them. (Samantha Laurey / Golden Gate Xpress)

Samantha Laurey

Why the Fall 2021 course list wasn’t published

The university postponed the fall list’s May 10 publishing date until May 17 to allow for more instructors to request face-to-face class sections

May 10, 2021

SF State’s Office of Academic Affairs has postponed its publishing of the list of all courses being offered in the fall.

In an email sent to students on Monday, the Registrar’s Office announced that the list’s release has been pushed to May 17. According to Provost Jennifer Summit, the delay comes in an effort to allow instructors more time to switch their Fall 2021 courses to in-person models, following President Lynn Mahoney’s email to faculty urging them to meet the need for in-person classes.

Academic Affairs decided to delay the list’s publication on Friday, said Lori Beth Way, dean of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Planning. Currently, departments are internally assessing which courses they would like to switch to be in person. Once those assessments are completed, they will be directed toward Academic Affairs.

“Because we’re trying to give them as much time as possible, we’re only going to know a few hours before you do,” Way said.

The delay doesn’t change the enrollment period for students, which begins May 24. It does, however, allow the university to offer more options for students to choose from. Once enrollment begins, courses are not able to switch from online to in-person, but in-person courses may switch to online, based on the severity of the pandemic.

The amount of in-person courses offered depends on student demand, and these courses can be added up until the first day of instruction. 

In short, the goal is to offer as many in-person classes as necessary. Way explained that while incoming freshmen are being surveyed through May 15 on their preference for either in-person, online or hybrid learning, it is less clear what returning students want.

Former Student Life and Dean of Students Associate Vice President Danny Glassman administered a survey in February to the campus community. Of the roughly 25,000-member student body, 2,210 students responded — 52% said they wanted fully online courses; 27% said they wanted in-person instruction; and 20% said they wanted hybrid learning.

Way said that current student sentiment is hard to gauge due to changing health guidelines. These changes come as the San Francisco Department of Public Health continues to adapt to the severity of the pandemic. 

Factors such as the California State University system’s decision to require vaccines in order to return to campus; San Francisco’s entrance into the yellow tier; and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to reopen the state on June 15, effectively eradicating the tier-system, all come into play in loosening SFDPH’s guidelines. 

“That’s why we just felt we needed one more week, and then that way we’re hoping to create a schedule that reflects the balance of in-person and hybrid and remote classes that the students are looking for,” Way said.

About the Contributors
Photo of Chris Ramirez
Chris Ramirez, Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-chief for SF State’s Golden Gate Xpress. LA native, SF transplant. Journalism and German majors, polisci minor. Interested in national politics,...

Photo of Samantha Laurey
Samantha Laurey, Visuals Editor

Writer, Photographer, Photojournalist. Samantha started journalism at Diablo Valley College where she started writing and photographing breaking news and...

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Why the Fall 2021 course list wasn’t published