COVID-19 has required universities to adjust their usual order of things. It's even lead to some schools stopping in-person classes altogether, moving to online learning until things blow over. The University of South Carolina in Columbia is no exception, and the Fall semester will be a bit different than usual.
"Our best current modelling predicts a spike in cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of December, which also will likely coincide with traditional flu season," the university's president, Bob Caslen, told students and faculty.
In an attempt to get ahead of the potential second wave, USC made an announcement on Monday, May 18, that in-person classes will be cut short this upcoming semester.
Classes start on August 20 and will be turned over to remote instruction following Thanksgiving, with face to face classes ending on November 24. Additionally, a portion of in-person classes that students have already registered for will need to be rescheduled for the Summer.
Other adjustments to the semester were also made. Fall break was originally set to take place on October 15 and 16; however, it has since been canceled outright amid concerns of further spread of the virus.
Labor Day and Election Day classes will also be moved to remote class days, along with all learning, scheduled evaluations, and exams.
Graduates will not be walking the stage at commencement this August either. The ceremony will be done virtually, with more details regarding what students and their families can expect to be released at a later date.
"These changes are part of the new normal that all of us must embrace as we return to campus for work and study, and they are necessary for us to successfully resume in-person instruction." writes Caslen, "Most importantly, they reflect our top priority: your health, safety, and wellbeing."
So far, there's no word of what's to come during the Spring semester of 2021, as well as no current plans currently announced for the university's athletic programs.