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Texas Christian University shortens fall semester during coronavirus pandemic

The university has released its fall campus plan, which includes a semester that ends before Thanksgiving.
Credit: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Classes at Texas Christian University will begin Aug. 17 and end before Thanksgiving, minimizing time spent on campus during flu and cold season, according to fall semester plans at the school. 

The compressed fall calendar also takes away a fall break and holds classes on some Saturdays. 

Life on campus will appear different. Face coverings are required inside classrooms and in spaces on campus were physical distancing is not possible, the school said. Classrooms will be set up to allow for 6 feet of space between students. On-campus dining will be limited to 50% capacity and takeout will be available to limit crowding.  

Orientation will be held online, and fraternities and sororities will primarily conduct virtual meetings and gatherings. 

And, study abroad programs have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Students will have an option to take only online classes in some cases. Those classes, school officials say, will be streamed 80% of the time, so that students aren't learning "by email [or] prerecorded lectures of online discussion threads." 

"Should the pandemic require TCU to move courses online, these classes will continue uninterrupted," the fall plan says. 

Students can still live on campus even if they plan to only take online coursework. The university says there will be study spaces across the campus for virtual learning or group work.

For those living on campus, move-in times will be preassigned to "minimize crowds." Common areas, restrooms and laundry areas will be cleaned more frequently and regularly disinfected, the school says. 

Full fall semester guidelines: