COVID-19 and Higher Ed: Biweekly Update
Updates from New England Institutions
Check out NEBHE's COVID-19 updated dashboard for complete data
Note: There will be no updates to the tracking dashboard this week. Information displayed is current as of September 11, 2020. Regular updates will resume next week.
Peeking Around the Corner: Announcements About the Spring 2021 Semester Begin to Trickle In
As the fall 2020 semester gets under way and campuses across New England adjust to the "new normal," many are wondering what the near future holds for higher education.

The first announcements about campus plans for the spring 2021 semester have already been made — giving us a possible sneak peek at what higher education may look like in the new year.

In terms of course modalities, spring 2021 is shaping up to look very similar to fall 2020: institutions are largely sticking to their current modality in the spring. The biggest changes will be to academic calendars.
In New England:
  • The University of Connecticut became the first New England institution to announce a tentative plan for the spring semester: UConn officials are planning to continue a mix in-person, online, and hybrid classes in the spring. As UConn did with the fall semester, they are again providing the option for faculty and other instructors to provide their course in the modality of their choice. Modality changes will be allowed until October 19. After that time, modality changes will be considered on a very limited basis and will require department head, dean, and provost approval. No announcement has been made regarding changes to UConn's academic calendar in the spring.

  • Massachusetts Bay Community College announced on September 16 that it will offer its spring 2021 courses exclusively online or remote, except for a handful that involve laboratory work. This format mirrors how courses are currently being delivered to students in fall 2020.
Outside the Region:

  • Carnegie Mellon University is pursuing a similar, but slightly different plan: It is pushing back its spring semester start date to Februrary 1. It will condense the semester to 14 weeks with a shortened exam period, and spring break week will be replaced by two spring break days.

  • Davidson College, in North Carolina, is replacing spring break with two two-day, midweek breaks throughout the term.


  • Staying the Course on Course Delivery Modalities
  • Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania became among the first institutions to say that it would conduct almost all instruction online throughout the spring 2021 term.



  • Changes to Housing
  • To encourage individuals to sign off-campus leases, East Carolina University is allowing students to be released from their housing contracts in the spring.

Has your institution made plans for the spring term? Let us know!
Email smurphy@nebhe.org.

For more, visit NEBHE's COVID-19 Resource Page
Was this forwarded to you? You can sign up here to receive your own copy. 

Want to see previous weeks' newsletters? They're archived here.

Additional questions on what you see here? Send an email to policy@nebhe.org and we will get back to you ASAP.