CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – State colleges and universities face the real possibility of returning to remote learning.

UNC Chapel Hill and N.C. State made the decision to drop in-person classes after seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. Appalachian State and East Carolina have also reported cases.

"We're all trying to figure out what's the best practice. What's the safest way. How can we do what we do and be safe," UNC music education professor Evan Feldman says.

State health leaders say 18 to 24 year olds make up 14 percent of  COVID-19 cases. Feldman says colleges are going to have to adapt and embrace the wave of digital learning.

"The optimist in me says that this is another opporunity for us to do that as a profession, as a field," he says.

Gov. Roy Cooper says an executive order isn't out of the question to stop the coronavirus spread among campuses.