Fall courses at Minnesota State Community and Technical College will be offered both on campus and online with a high degree of student flexibility when the semester begins Aug. 24, according to an M State news release. A new option for students will be the choice of 8- or 16-week courses as well as reduced or shortened time on campus.

The fall semester plans could be impacted by any new guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are issued by Minnesota’s governor or federal or state education officials prior to the start of the semester, according to the release.

“Student success is our primary goal while we provide the safest, most accommodating learning environment for students in both our career and transfer programs. We want all communities, no matter their access to technology resources, to be able to access higher education when they want,” said M State President Dr. Carrie Brimhall in the release.

With the options in place for the fall semester, students have maximum flexibility, according to M State vice president of academic and student affairs Dr. John Maduko.

“The commitment and innovation of our faculty and staff during the current situation we’re all living in has allowed us to rethink how we deliver higher education and support services,” Maduko said in the release. “Our ‘new normal’ in August will let students choose their learning environment.”

M State is deep cleaning all of its buildings prior to the start of classes in August and preventive measures to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus will be in place on all four campuses. More details will be shared with students, faculty and staff prior to the reopening of campuses in August, according to the release.

For students who are university-bound and considering a gap year in their education, Brimhall instead suggests they consider a “visiting year” on a local M State campus.

“We understand that many families are uncertain about what the residential college experience may look like for students,” Brimhall said in the release. “No matter which college or university a student went away to last year or plans to attend this year, I’d encourage all students to continue their education."