We were very pleased to learn that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to rescind its July 6 guidance. This would have, among other things, required our international students to take in-person classes in order to maintain their visa status.
Following last week’s government directive requiring international students to take at least one in-person class to maintain their visa status, USC immediately began reaching out to bring together some of the leading research institutions, liberal arts colleges, and public universities in the western United States to block the directive from being enforced. Today, our powerful coalition of 20 schools filed its own lawsuit against the federal government.
In the past few days, a cluster of 15 positive cases of COVID-19 among houses located on 28th Street has been identified and is being evaluated. Patients with confirmed positive tests are in self-isolation at home or are in the process of being privately transported to isolation. We have seen a rapid acceleration in community spread in the last three weeks. The current positivity rate for L.A. County is 11%, which is up from 5% about three weeks ago.
In line with local and federal public health guidance, we have updated the delivery method for many fall courses to include hybrid, in-person and online learning. At your earliest convenience, please access Web Registration and check for changes to any of your fall semester courses.
We are deeply troubled by the updated guidance that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released Monday requiring international students to take at least one in-person class to maintain their visa status. Given the broad range of courses being offered, both in person and online, we are optimistic we will be able to support our international students to study in person safely if they wish, but it may take a few days.
The university is requiring all USC students who are living on campus or coming to campus to complete the ‘Health, Hygiene and Safety Training’ module in TrojanLearn (requires flash-compatible browser). In addition, students, employees and visitors are required to complete a daily symptom check prior to entering facilities on our campuses.
USC Housing and Residential Education share the increased health and safety guidelines that all USC Housing residents will be required to follow to ensure a safe and healthy community environment. We are hopeful that this information will allow you to make an informed decision on whether an on-campus living environment or an online experience from your permanent residence is the better choice for you to succeed academically and thrive as an individual during the fall semester.
Charles Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and David Wright, Senior Vice President for Administration, share an update on undergraduate classes for fall 2020, including scheduling, and on-campus housing.
Our decisions for the fall semester require that we remain nimble, especially as COVID-19 cases in Southern California continue to rise. Reducing on-campus density in buildings, outdoors and during activities will be needed to ensure your safety and to comply with L.A. County Department of Health guidelines.
As we prepare for the start of USC’s fall semester, we address various topics that are pertinent to incoming undergraduate international students.