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October 16, 2020

Dear Students,

It’s great to have you back in the classroom! You made it through mid-terms. Before you know it, finals week will be upon us and it will be time for a well-deserved winter break. Take care of yourself, both emotionally and physically, and continue to see the good in each day.

This communication outlines changes to the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this information will aid you as you work with your adviser to schedule classes and plan for the spring semester.

  1. Spring Semester Classes Resume January 18
  2. Phased-in Return to Campus
  3. Classes in Session January 18
  4. Classes in Session March 8 – 12
  5. Classes in Session April 2
  6. Final Exam, ILT and Commencement Dates
  7. Campus Reminders

Spring Semester Classes to Begin Monday, January 18
The start of the spring semester has been pushed back to Monday, January 18. The extended winter holiday break will allow for students who enjoy time with family and friends and those who may be traveling to have the extra week to monitor their health before returning to campus.

Phased-in Return to Campus After Winter Break, January 13 – 17
To minimize the number of people on campus and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during students’ return to campus after the winter break, residential students will select a return date between January 13 – 17. The Office of Student Engagement will lead the return-to-campus process, including a sign-up system similar to what took place in August. Watch for more information and sign up details in future communications.

Classes in Session January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
To ensure the number of required academic days due to the change in the academic calendar, classes will be in session and the College will be open on Monday, January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Classes in Session March 8 – 12
With the extended winter break and spring semester classes starting a week later, it is necessary for classes to be in session the week of March 8 – 12, what any other year would be our spring break week. We regret having to make this decision; it was not easy.

  • After much discussion, the Pandemic Response Team and the President’s Executive Council decided to extend the winter break to allow students time to monitor their health after being home with family and friends over the holidays and lessen time on campus during the flu season.
  • This change is in line with what other colleges and universities are doing this academic year to meet classroom requirements and to mitigate a spike in the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Office of Student Engagement is planning unique activities to offer students a fun “stay-cation” experience outside of class time the week of March 8.

Classes in Session April 2, Good Friday
To ensure the number of required academic days due to the change in the academic calendar, classes will be in session and the College will be open on Good Friday, April 2.

Final Exam, ILT or Commencement Dates
The last day of classes will be April 23, with final exams taking place April 26 – 29. Spring ILT is scheduled for May 3 – 21. Commencement will take place on May 22.

Campus Reminders
Whether you are on campus or need to be off campus at any time, please take precautions to keep yourself and your OC family safe. Think about how your actions may impact your friends, classmates, faculty and staff.

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Physically distance at least six feet from others, even when outside.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Complete your daily temperature and health check.

We’ve all been under a great deal of pressure and stress the past months. It will take our continued kindness toward one another, patience, perseverance and teamwork to succeed during this unusual academic year. Thank you for all you are doing to make this possible and for your continued shared responsibility to keep our OC family safe and healthy. We know we can count on you in the months ahead.

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