Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta move to online classes in response to the coronavirus

Clark Atlanta Univeresity, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman are taking their classes online starting later this month.
Clark Atlanta Univeresity, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman are taking their classes online starting later this month.

Credit: KENT D. JOHNSON/AJC

Credit: KENT D. JOHNSON/AJC

The AUC schools join Emory in closing their campuses over safety concerns

The Atlanta University Center colleges will shut down after an extended spring break and move classes online in response to the rising threat from the coronavirus.

According to a statement released today, “Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman are taking the proactive step of moving to a virtual academic environment for the remainder of the semester.”

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

The AUC schools join Emory, which last night became the first higher education institution in Georgia to announce it would cease face-to-face classes and switch to virtual classes.

There is no word yet from the University System of Georgia on whether it will shutter the public campuses and embrace online classes.

Effective immediately, AUC said:

Spring Break Extension. Spring Break for Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, and Spelman has been extended through Sunday, March 22.

Spring Break for Morehouse School of Medicine will run from March 21 – 30 as previously scheduled.

During this time, faculty will be finalizing a transition to a virtual course delivery model and classes will no longer be offered on campus. In-person classes have been suspended through the end of the academic year at CLark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Most classes will instead proceed through an online format beginning on Monday, March 23. (Additional information on accessing online instruction will be provided to students by their faculty members and the academic affairs division of their respective institution.)

Residence Life. We are making significant changes to our residential experiences to encourage "social distancing" – a key preventative measure which limits interactions that would advance the spread of the virus. In some cases, this means asking students to vacate residence halls during the extended Spring Break period and return home for their virtual learning for the balance of the semester.

Policies differ by AUC institution, and you should reference the communication from your institution for guidance. Specific information about move out schedules, as well as additional information about ongoing residence hall policies will be provided by the residential life offices and student affairs divisions of each institution.

Events, Meetings, and Travel Cancelations. Consistent with "social distancing," events have been canceled on AUC campuses through the end of April. We also understand that Commencement and end-of-year activities are a special time for our graduates and their families.

While no decision has been made regarding the status of events after April, discussions are ongoing and we will have more information in the coming weeks.

AUC institutions are also significantly limiting non-essential travel. Please review institutional communication regarding specific policies related to meetings and travel.

Working from Home. Though in-person classes have been suspended, employees should refer to specific institutional communication for guidance regarding reporting to campus for work.