UPDATE: WVUP to continue technology-enhanced learning for Spring 2021 semester

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 10/30/2020

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia University at Parkersburg will continue technology-enhanced learning for the Spring 2021 semester, President Chris Gilmer announced on October 29.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration of the most current public health information and future public health predictions and consultation with the leadership of the WVU Parkersburg Board of Governors and Executive Team,” Gilmer explained.

As with the current semester, limited in-person classes will continue for technical programs, labs, clinicals and field placements, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding the current semester, all classes, including face-to-face instruction, will be online from November 23 to December 11. This means students will not physically return to campus after Thanksgiving break. However, campus facilities will remain open during this time to register, advise and serve students as they prepare for the Spring 2021 semester.

“Perhaps you might grow tired of hearing it, but I do not grow tired of repeating that I feel my first and most solemn duty is to do everything I can to keep this community safe and healthy. All other considerations, important as they may be, are secondary,” Gilmer said. “I long for the day when this moment in time is behind us, and I pledge to you that we will emerge from it stronger and even more WVUP Proud than we have ever been before.”

Spring 2021 classes begin Monday, January 11. Priority registration for current students begins Monday, November 2, and open registration begins Monday, November 9.

For support resources to help students participate in online courses, visit

ORIGINAL STORY: 10/27/2020

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia University Parkersburg announced Monday that in-person classes have been suspected for two weeks because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

In a letter posted on the school’s website, President Chris Gilmer said there have been eight confirmed cases among students, faculty and staff during the past week.

“A large residential university might consider this a more expected report, but at a community-based college of our profile where we are very close-knit and familial, this news distresses me greatly as I am sure it will distress you,” Gilmer said in the letter. “There are defining moments in leadership, and I believe this is one of those moments for me. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we get it wrong. Often, we don’t know the verdict until the passage of time. Always, a leader shares credit for the good and takes responsibility for the bad, and I will model this behavior with this decision.”

Gilmer said he made the decision after consulting with the university’s board of governors and other members of the school’s leadership.

“Face-to-face clinical placements for our healthcare students are suspended for the same period,” he said. “We will evaluate a return to the limited face-to-face instruction which we have been doing this semester to begin Monday, November 9, with updates prior to that date and further decisions based on the trajectory of the pandemic.”

Instruction at the university will continue, but for at least two weeks, it will be technology-enabled. Further instruction will be provided about registering for spring-semester courses.

“While technology-enabled instruction at the expense of face-to-face instruction is not an optimal longterm situation, we are doing our best in the short term to ensure the quality of the experience and to prepare you to shift back face-to-face as soon as it is safe to do so. Better days will come again, and please do not give up on your education or your dreams,” Gilmer said.

During the next two weeks, all facilities will be deeply cleaned and health and safety protocols will be evaluated.

Click here to read the full letter from President Gilmer. This is a developing story. We will have updates online and during WTAP News.

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