ear Quinnipiac community,
I am tremendously proud of the resilience, adaptability and mutual support our students, faculty and staff have shown for each other this fall semester. Just three months into my role as the new provost at Quinnipiac, I noticed there is a very special bond that unites this community. And our community now begins looking forward to our winter session and spring semester.
We are planning to continue in-classroom instruction and an on-campus residential experience using our Q-Flex model for Spring 2021, delivering most courses using a combination of in-person and remote instruction. Our faculty and staff made significant investments in technology, training and curriculum design to create a robust Q-Flex platform, and we continue enhancing the model based on our fall experience and students’ feedback.
We will increase our ability to facilitate on-ground instruction for the spring, including by meaningfully reducing the rotation schedules for students to be in the classroom. We also are poised to better match course size with the capacity of our de-densified spaces and the modality of instruction being used in a particular course. We will release further details next week about spring academic plans and course registration, including information for students electing remote learning.
As always, our plans and the below timelines are subject to change based on the changing environment and latest guidance from the state of Connecticut and public health officials. But we feel confident that we are well positioned for students’ return for the spring semester based on all we have learned from students and faculty about our Q-Flex model and COVID-19 mitigation efforts this fall.
We once again will require all undergraduate and graduate students to complete a pre-arrival COVID-19 test before returning to campus — this proved to be a significant factor in helping start the first several weeks of the fall COVID-free. And we will conduct the same on-campus retesting after students’ return and weekly sample testing throughout the semester. There will be slight modifications to our academic calendar for both the J-Term (January session) and Spring 2021 semester, as follows:
Monday, January 4: Undergraduate and graduate classes begin. Most will be online, with some on-campus instruction possible. The J-Term has been extended by one week to be a 3-week session.
Friday, January 22: Classes end
Monday, January 11: Law and medical school classes begin online
Tuesday, January 19: Move-in starts for residential students; law and medical school classes begin in-person instruction
Residential students will be assigned a move-in date and timeframe for Jan. 19–Jan. 24 to ensure a staggered return to campus and to minimize crowds. Law and medical school students will begin in-person classes on Jan. 19.
Monday, January 25: Undergraduate classes begin (online for first week)
The spring semester will begin one week later than what was noted in the original 2020–21 academic calendar. The first week of undergraduate classes start on Jan. 25 and will be remote for all students, as the university completes its on-campus retesting of all students before in-person instruction begins.
Monday, February 1: In-person instruction begins for all students
In-person classes begin for undergraduate and graduate students. Students will be required to have two negative COVID-19 tests on file before returning to the classroom, as we did during the fall semester: a pre-arrival test (completed at home and cost covered by the student), and an on-campus retest shortly after returning. Additional details about pre-arrival testing are forthcoming.
There will be no spring break during the Spring 2021 semester.
By eliminating spring break in 2021 and having students remain within our campus community, we can minimize the opportunity for COVID-19 to be brought into our campuses and classrooms and better protect our community’s health and safety. Our students’ continued physical and mental wellbeing is important, and in place of the traditional week-long spring break, Quinnipiac plans to offer several “self-care days” throughout the spring semester on which classes will not be held.
Saturday, May 1: Undergraduate and graduate classes end
Friday and Saturday, May 7-8: Graduate School, School of Medicine and School of Law Commencement
Saturday and Sunday, May 15-16: Undergraduate Commencement
A decision to host in-person or virtual commencement ceremonies has not yet been made and will be determined once the spring semester is under way. Students who have Commencement-related suggestions can email QUEvents@qu.edu.
Based on how well our Quinnipiac community has responded to the pandemic so far, we will extend all health measures and policies in place this fall into the spring semester. These include previously announced rules concerning visitors, events and gatherings, participation in weekly testing and contact tracing, and logging symptoms daily using the QU Symptom Checker app. We continue to monitor developments with rapid testing, vaccines and treatments and other factors that could influence our plans for the spring.
We will be communicating with you throughout the fall semester and over winter break with additional details about COVID-related testing requirements, move-in processes and any updates to the academic calendar. Questions about the spring academic calendar should be emailed to our online Support Center at COVID19SupportCenter@qu.edu
Thank you again for showing the characteristic compassion and support of the Bobcat community. Our students indeed earned their ability to remain on campus throughout the fall semester, and I look forward to our spring semester together.