Students in front of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at San Diego State University. Photo courtesy SDSU.

The California State University system, which includes San Diego State and CSU San Marcos,  is planning for an anticipated return primarily to in-person courses starting next fall, it was announced Wednesday.

“While we are currently going through a very difficult surge in the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the promising progress on vaccines,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a statement.

He noted that it was critical to provide as much advance notice as possible to students and their families, as the CSU had done in announcing its moves toward primarily virtual instruction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

CSU officials announced in mid-March that its nearly two dozen campuses would immediately transition in-person operations to a virtual mode, with the chancellor saying then that “the health and well-being of our students and employees is always a foremost priority.”

In September, White announced that the CSU — which held primarily virtual courses during the fall term — would continue with predominantly online instruction for the academic term beginning in January.

“We are approaching planning for the 2021 fall term with the goal of having the majority of our on-campus experiences returning,” said CSU Chancellor-select Joseph I. Castro, who will replace White in January.

Officials have not yet determined “what the science will allow” for next summer’s term, noting that determination will be made closer to the deadlines for summer 2021 student registration.

The CSU system is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 students.

— City News Service