As communicated prior to the Christmas break, the College has been closely monitoring regional, state and national conditions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, we have paid attention to the 929 student survey responses that were received, as well as the communications sent directly to the President’s Office, indicating a strong desire for in-person instruction as early as is safely possible. Unfortunately, though, based on the current situation, as well as projections made by health experts, we believe it is prudent to delay the start of the spring semester by two weeks to provide an environment that is as safe as possible for all members of the campus community.
Therefore, the first day of instruction for undergraduate courses will be Monday, Feb. 8. Students living on campus will receive a separate email from Campus Life instructing them on how to request a date/time for their arrival – the dates will fall between Friday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 7 in most cases. Along with this, all students will receive more information about the Covid testing plan for the semester, including the required pre-arrival Covid test.
Graduate programs in Physician Assistant Studies, Occupational Therapy, Education Leadership, Nursing, Executive Leadership, and the new MBA programs in Analytics and Leadership will begin classes as currently scheduled. Instruction for all other graduate programs will begin on Monday, Feb. 8.
The delayed start date necessitates other changes to the spring semester academic calendar. The last day of classes for the semester will be Monday, May 17 and final exams will conclude on Tuesday, May 25. As announced previously, there will not be a mid-semester break as we try to minimize risks that accompany traveling away from campus. And, at this point, we have not made a decision as it relates to the dates and venue for our commencement ceremonies.
As in the fall semester, all students living on campus or attending in-person classes will be required to present a negative Covid test upon arrival to campus and prior to beginning classes. This test must be a viral test or rapid antigen test, and not an antibody test. Specific details about the testing protocols will be posted on the College’s Covid resource page. All protocols followed in the fall will continue for the spring semester, including the use of face coverings, social distancing, regular surveillance testing, hybrid instruction and reduced density in campus facilities.
Joseph Marina, S.J.