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Concordia University announced this week that in-person classes after Thanksgiving break will be optional for students. In addition, all final exams for the fall semester will be held online.

The option was made available in order to give each student the autonomy to make the best decision for their education and health, according to an email sent by University Provost Dr. William Cario. If a student decides to go online for the remainder of the semester after the Thanksgiving break, they will be doing so through the online medium, Zoom. 

“The goal of giving the student the choice was to lower the number of people on campus after a longer holiday,” Cario said. “We are hoping to minimize the spread of COVID by this measure.” 

Finals will also be shifting, with delivery moved to online formats for the majority of students. “With very rare exceptions, we found that final experiences could be delivered virtually,” added Cario. 

Reducing the amount of students in person may help mitigate the potential spread of COVID, but it will introduce a new demand from a technological perspective. 

“Concordia’s IT Office, led by Mr. Thom Phillip, has been able to assure us that we will have the classroom technology in all classrooms to make this work,” said Cario. 

Cario noted that students at Concordia have been flexible in their efforts to obtain an education in very uncertain times. 

“I have been very impressed by the flexibility and the commitment that Concordia students have shown this fall as we transitioned to a blended face-to-face/virtual learning environment,” said Cario. “Those qualities will serve students well in the future no matter where they find themselves in terms of their vocations.” 

For more information regarding the university’s COVID-19 response, visit  

—This story is written by CUW student Tyler Schellinger 

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