Primarily face-to-face instruction will return to all Fresno Pacific University campuses for the fall of 2021.
The university is committed to serving students with confidence, said FPU President Joseph Jones, Ph.D. “Our campuses have felt empty since in-person instruction ended in March 2020 and we look forward to meeting face-to-face again this fall as much as is safely possible. Progress with vaccines has made us more optimistic than ever about prospects for bringing this community physically back together to provide the education we know is most effective.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, FPU has acted in accordance with the latest health information as well as shelter-in-place orders from the State of California and the City of Fresno and guidelines from the County of Fresno Department of Public Health. The university will continue to take all necessary precautions to protect students, faculty, administrators and staff, some of whom may not be able to return to campus right away.
While instruction has been online, the university completed a $2M plan to improve the online experience and to ensure safety. Social-distancing standards were put in place; spaces in classrooms, residences and other areas were modified for social distancing; classrooms were equipped with cameras and other equipment for hybrid instruction; plexiglass shields and signage were installed throughout the five campuses; cleaning services were increased; and personal protection equipment, such as masks and hand sanitizer, was made available.
As details for implementing in-person instruction are worked out in the coming months at FPU’s five campuses—Merced, North Fresno, the main campus in southeast Fresno (also home to Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary), Visalia and Bakersfield—updates will be posted on the university COVID-19 website: fresno.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-news-and-information. Students and employees will also receive emails with pertinent information.
A decision about instruction for summer classes in the graduate, degree completion and traditional undergraduate programs is expected in March. Moving forward, leaders affirm a renewed commitment to challenging academics, integrating faith and learning, fostering relationships between faculty and students, strengthening a supportive learning environment and encouraging a Christ-centered focus in our work and relationships.
Difficult as the challenges of this spring’s pandemic have been, they have brought out the best in Fresno Pacific. “In all areas our community has shown flexibility and resilience, whether it be faculty and students moving to entirely online instruction with the support of the Center of Online Learning, the Campus Life Division assisting students who could not go home or other service areas at all campuses continuing their work after facilities were closed,” Jones said. “As we thank God for all his blessings, we especially thank him for bringing together this dedicated and caring group of servant-leaders.”