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WCU to delay start of spring semester

Western Carolina University has announced plans for the 2021 spring semester that include delaying the start of classes by two weeks, eliminating the traditional weeklong spring break and providing an abbreviated midterm break.

Instruction for spring 2021 will continue to be offered through a blend of face-to-face, online and hybrid course delivery, said WCU Interim Provost Richard Starnes.

“In response to COVID-19 and based on broad feedback from faculty, students, staff and others, the spring 2021 academic calendar has been modified to move the start of classes back by two weeks, to Monday, Jan. 25,” Starnes said. “As was the case in setting up the current fall academic schedule, we are making these changes in an effort to lessen the risk of exposure to our campus community to COVID-19 by minimizing travel during the semester.”

An abbreviated midsemester break has been scheduled to coincide with the Easter holiday, with no classes to be held Thursday, April 1, through Monday, April 5. The last day of classes for the spring semester is Friday, May 7, followed by final exams Saturday, May 8, through Friday, May 14.

Spring commencement ceremonies are tentatively set for Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15, although those dates are subject to change, Starnes said.

The spring 2021 semester schedule:

* First day of classes: Monday, Jan. 25

* Reading Day: Wednesday, Feb. 24 (no classes)

* Advising Day: Tuesday, March 9 (no classes)

* Last day to withdraw from a class with a “W”: Friday, March 19

* Midsemester break (no classes): Thursday, April 1; Friday, April 2; Monday, April 5

* Last day of classes: Friday, May 7

* Final exams: Saturday, May 8 – Friday, May 14

* Commencement (tentative dates; subject to change): Friday, May 14, for graduate students; and Saturday, May 15, for undergraduates

The full spring semester calendar is available at the Office of the Registrar website at the Academic Calendar page.

With the spring academic calendar now set, university leaders are working on related operational details, including plans for residential living, dining, student move-in, large campus gatherings and athletics events. Future updates will be posted online at the Spring 2021 Operations and Procedures website, currently in development.

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