NORTHRIDGE, Calif .– Cal State University students are returning to campus for the fall semester of 2021.
However, about half of the classes will have some form of on-campus component and everyone on campus is due to be vaccinated by the end of next month.
Cal-Northridge State University (CSUN) is primarily a suburban school, but there would typically be around 3,000 students moving into the dorms, of course due to the pandemic the university has reduced this number to just over 2,000 residential students.
On the freshman orientation day at CSUN, Kimberly Jimenez was thrilled to be moving to campus.
She said: “Just because we are still in a pandemic, I just hope I get the full experience and enjoy my time here at CSUN.”
Her family drove two hours from the deserts of Hesperia for a moment she describes as unreal.
When Jimenez joined CSUN last spring, it was not clear whether she would be starting her freshman semester on campus or online, but students received the good news in July when Cal State announced that the 23 campuses will return in person, requiring staff and students to access campus facilities to get vaccinated.
Jimenez has already received both doses because for her the campus experience was a top priority and that is why she chose CSUN.
CSUN’s communications director Carmen Chandler said the university expects enrollment numbers to reach 38,000 students.
She believes students continue to enroll at pre-pandemic rates because they feel safe when they return to a vaccinated campus.
This semester, 500 face-to-face lessons are planned, masks compulsory. Another 400 courses will be hybrid, which means a combination of in-person and distance courses. Next, nearly 2,000 courses are taught mainly online.
Chandler said, “It really depends on the class and the type of training and education required by the field.” She added: “Nursing is one thing compared to getting a degree in English, you can understand the different dynamics.”
For Jimenez, who has a degree in film and television arts, she will spend most of her days on campus, in lecture halls and in the library.
“I think it will be really exciting,” she said. “I meet new people, I get to know the teachers physically. I think it will also help me concentrate in the writing classes because I need help with that and in math too. It’s going to be awesome.”
Classes start next Monday and all students must be vaccinated or provide medical or religious exemption by September 30.