Lake Superior College plans for in-person options this fall

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College also expects to offer limited in-person instruction.

Lake Superior College
Lake Superior College in Duluth. (File / News Tribune)

Lake Superior College in Duluth plans to resume some in-person instruction this fall semester.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System is allowing campuses in its system to have in-person classes that cap off at 25 people as a general rule. It's a number that has continued to change, said Daniel Fanning, vice president of institutional advancement and external relations at LSC.

"For us, that's a great number because a lot of our classes are around that anyway," Fanning said. "That gives us a lot more flexibility to move forward this fall with a lot more confidence."

Campuses within the Minnesota State system have more jurisdiction over their fall plans than they did in the spring, when the system and state government set most of the guidelines regarding what could and could not take place in-person. To get approval from the system, Fanning said campuses need to have the proper safety steps and physical distancing measures in place.

About half of the courses at LSC will be delivered using a combination of remote and in-person instruction, Fanning said. Technical classes probably will be done for the most part on-campus with liberal arts classes either occurring all online or a combination of both, though that's largely up to the college's appropriate academic dean.


To keep classes capped at 25, including the instructor, Fanning said a few more classes will be offered, particularly general education classes.

"For the most part, the registration really won't change," he said. "If you're supposed to be in a class, you're still going to be in that class. It's just a matter of once you actually meet, you might find out you're not going to meet every day."

He added: "Even between now and then, that's still three months away. So things could change."

Higher education institutions around the nation are opting to start the fall semester early in order to complete in-person instruction by Thanksgiving and limit travel ahead of a potential spike in COVID-19 cases, which some public health experts expect. The current plan at LSC is to begin fall semester as originally scheduled Aug. 24.

Fanning said guidance from the Minnesota state system has been to maintain the regular academic calendar while being ready to adapt if needed.

LSC received a total of $1,757,152 in CARES Act funding, otherwise known as COVID-19 bailout money. Half of that was distributed directly to students in the form of emergency relief grants per the guidelines. The other $878,576 will help recover the cost from lost revenue and prepare for the fall semester.

Those preparations will include protective measures such as renovating rooms to accommodate social distancing and installing plastic guards to serve as a shield between face-to-face contact at certain sites, Fanning said. Any remaining institutional aid will be used for additional emergency grants for students.


Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.jpg
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet. (File / News Tribune
File / Duluth News Tribune

Cloquet's Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, which is also part of the Minnesota state system, is planning for courses related to essential workforce careers to resume in-person instruction for fall semester if they can maintain the necessary safety protocols.

A statement to students said that it's quite likely all other courses will be delivered remotely, at least at the beginning of the semester.

"Make no mistake — the safety, security and health of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our top priority. To that end, we are making plans to bring students back to campus in as safe an environment as possible," the statement read. "We will be mindful of proper social distancing across the campus and residence halls and continue to appropriately clean and sanitize FDLTCC, while working closely within the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines."

The college's plans will adapt as the situation evolves.

What To Read Next
Get Local