HBCUs Taking Action to Protect Students, Faculty and Staff From COVID-19

Colleges and universities across the United States are taking extended spring breaks and using that time to transition instruction online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a summary of what is happening at a group of HBCUs. Note, that the situation is very fluid and changes are likely to occur.

Howard University in Washington, D.C., is planning to move all classes to an online format beginning on March 23. However, students are permitted to remain living on campus.

Students at the four historically Black state universities in Maryland – Coppin State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Bowie State University, and Morgan State University – closed early this week for spring break. The universities are going to hold all instruction online for at least two weeks after the end of spring break. Students are not expected to return to campus before April 6.

All institutions in the University of North Carolina System – including its HBCUs – will transition from in-person instruction to a system of alternative course delivery, where possible and practical, no later than March 20. Alternative course delivery will begin on March 23 and last indefinitely.

After initially deciding to remain open and continue face-to-face classroom instruction, the University of Georgia System reversed its decision a few hours later and decided to close all universities in the University of Georgia System for two weeks. This includes the historically Black institutions: Albany State University, Fort Valley State University, and Savannah State University. During this period, the universities will assess their capabilities to move all instruction online.

Hampton University in Virginia is canceling all in-person classes effective Friday, March 13 through Friday, April 3. All instruction will move online for that time period.

Norfolk State University in Virginia will extend its spring break until March 23. Afterward, all classes will be held online for two weeks.

Claflin University in South Carolina has extended spring break for a week but plans to resume classroom instruction when students return to campus.

All of Mississippi’s state-operated HBCUs will extend their spring break and transition to online instruction on March 23. Students are asked to remain at home.

Delaware State University has asked students who are on spring break not to return to campus until April 6. Those students who remained on campus have been asked to leave. Instruction will continue online beginning March 18.

Morehouse College in Atlanta has extended spring break and asked all students who remained on campus to leave. The college plans to continue instruction only online for the remainder of the spring semester.


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  1. Alma Carten says:

    Is there a special role for the Schools of Social Work housed in the HBCUs,
    Thank you!

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