Dear LPU Students,
As many of you know, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered indoor business to close again due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The Life Pacific COVID-19 Task Force, along with University officials, are monitoring the developments on a daily basis. While there are currently no outbreaks on the Life Pacific campus, we recognize that the increase of cases in California may make some of you feel hesitant about returning to in-person classes this fall, particularly those of you who fall into high-risk categories. Your safety and well-being is our top priority and we are committed to providing the necessary flexibility for all students to continue receiving education from Life Pacific University this year.
As we mentioned in previous communication about reopening, we have planned for in-person classes but are still evaluating possibilities, keeping in mind the changing landscape in California. At this time LPU is considering three options for the fall:
- Moving forward with in-person classes. The return to campus plan, published earlier this summer, includes safety modifications such as social distancing, increased cleaning and sanitation, and contingencies in case outbreaks occur.
- A hybrid (hyflex) model of learning. Should Life Pacific move forward with in-person classes, university officials are exploring options for students who are in high-risk categories to have the option to opt-out of face-to-face and continue in a virtual format.
- A full online model. Plans and structures are in place should Life Pacific need to move fully online this fall.
Some of you may be wondering why we are attempting to move forward with in-person classes when many larger universities have already announced online-only options for their campuses. For many larger universities, it would be almost impossible and extremely expensive for them to enact social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Our smaller size allows us to have the ability to be more flexible with in-person offerings. For example, our small class sizes allow for adequate social distancing to take place. We also understand that being on campus with the resources provided (meals, technology, housing, and counseling center) is the best option for some of you and we remain sensitive to that. While our goal is to provide in-person educational opportunities for those who want to come to campus, we will need to ensure the health and well-being of our community and compliance with county guidelines.
The governor and LA County Public Health are expected to release specific guidelines for higher education in the next couple of weeks and that will fully reveal the extent of our ability to provide in-person or on-campus experiences. We will move accordingly and make final decisions at that time. In the meantime, we are moving forward preparing for all three educational options listed above. This includes preparing the campus for social distanced instruction, and preparing online modules for hyflex and online options.
As we plan for the fall, your voice matters to us – we would like to hear from you! Please fill out this brief survey regarding your preferences for fall educational options. Additionally, the Office of Student Development will be hosting student forums soon. More information will be forthcoming.
Lastly, we have set up a Wufoo form for questions related to COVID-19. You can find the form here. This form will be received by members of the COVID-19 Task Force, who will provide you with a response within 24 hours. We want you to feel communicated to and supported. Please continue to keep checking your email as more information will be provided in the next couple of weeks.
As mentioned in my July Student Update, this is a year like no other, but through it all, I’ve witnessed your unbelievable resilience. While this year continues to provide challenges and many unknowns, I encourage you to stay focused on God. Lean into yourself, God, and his Word. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
All my love, LPU.
President Angie Richey
July 15, 2020