The start date for the spring 2021 semester has been changed. The spring semester will start not on Jan. 25 as originally scheduled, but on Feb. 8. This change was proposed by the administration and approved by the faculty at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. See the revised academic calendar.
With the current COVID-19 surge expected to continue and perhaps peak following the holidays, this delay provides a longer window between the holidays and the time students return to campus. It also will offer the benefit of warmer spring weather and outdoor activities that promote social distancing for more of the term. A number of other schools both locally and nationwide are taking a similar approach.
In addition, the revised calendar eliminates spring break, replacing it with a two-day break and a one-day break over the course of the semester. This will reduce opportunities for students to travel back and forth from campus. The last day of classes will be May 19, and the final exam period will run May 22-29. Commencement plans will be announced in January.
While we recognize that this change may require adjustments in the plans of individual students, faculty, and staff, the College believes that a later start will make for a smoother start to the spring semester. Mike Summers, associate vice president of career services, has expressed confidence that employers will be flexible about job start dates. Students concerned about job or internship opportunities should be in touch with Gateway Career Center.
There will be another town hall for students and families before winter break to answer questions and give more details about spring plans, including the date for a planned in-person Commencement.