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Concordia, Mayville State University moving to online instruction over coronavirus concerns

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The Old Main building is seen Friday, April 19, 2019, at Concordia College in Moorhead. Forum file photo
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MOORHEAD — Concordia College in Moorhead as well as Mayville State University in North Dakota announced Friday, March 13, that they are temporarily shifting from face-to-face teaching to online instruction in response to concerns raised by the coronavirus.

In a Friday letter addressed to students, faculty and staff, Concordia President William Craft said in-person classes will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, in order to help students and faculty transition to remote/online instruction only, which will start March 23. In the interim, on-campus classes are canceled for March 18-20.

Concordia suspended all events, except for academic instruction, as of 5 p.m. Friday.

Mayville State University said all on-campus classes will move online effective Saturday, March 14, and continue online through April 5.

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Mayville State University will resume on-campus classes April 6, pending further assessment.

In his letter to the Concordia community, Craft said recent weeks "have been challenging for all as institutions of higher education have responded to the reality of COVID-19.

"In commitment to the health and well-being of the Concordia College community, to our ongoing academic mission, and to the general effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Concordia College is moving to a higher level of response to this global health concern," Craft added.

Concordia, which plans to resume in-person instruction on Monday, April 13, is strongly encouraging students living on campus to leave the residence halls by noon Wednesday, March 18.

Students who have a need to stay on campus may request to do so and efforts will be made to accommodate them, Craft said. Students may return to residence halls April 12, Craft said in his letter.

In the case of Mayville State University, the university said it will continue to fulfill its mission by ensuring students are able to meet their educational requirements and faculty are able to continue their research and scholarship and that all campus facilities will continue to operate.

Effective Saturday, students leaving the MSU campus for spring break (March 16-20) have been asked not to return to campus for an additional period of two weeks (March 21-April 4). Accommodations are being made for those students who are unable to leave, the university said, adding that child development programs will remain open and operate as usual.

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The changes come one day after several local higher education institutions announced their own changes to class schedules.

The list of area colleges that have announced they will suspend in-person classes includes North Dakota State University, which is heading into spring break and will not hold face-to-face classes from March 23 to April 3. Instead, virtual instruction will take place for the two weeks following NDSU's spring break.

Minnesota State colleges and universities, which include Minnesota State University Moorhead, have also moved to limit the spread of coronavirus by extending spring break amid virus concerns.

Class will resume on March 23 for 32 schools in the system currently on spring break. Students at five institutions scheduled to begin their break on Monday, March 16, will return to class on March 30.

In North Dakota, the University of North Dakota, Minot State University, Williston State College and North Dakota State College of Science all plan to move to virtual instruction from March 23 to April 3.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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