The Western Community College Area Board of Governors Wednesday approved a change to the spring calendar that will keep students closer to campus for the entire semester due to the virus pandemic.
Under the changes approved on a vote of 9-0 with one abstention, classes would start Jan. 18, a week later than previously scheduled.
WNCC President Dr. Carmen Simone told the board staff would return on the 4th, with faculty beginning in-service days on the 11th ahead of the students’ return.
In addition, the new calendar eliminates 2021 Spring break, an annual rite for students, in favor of a full week of instruction. “We cannot risk having widespread travel during the spring, especially as we navigate the complexities of on-campus housing,” said Simone. “This new calendar keeps the same number of instructional days, and while it shifts contract days for faculty, it does not reduce them in any way.”
The current fall semester calendar will have students in a remote learning mode after Thanksgiving break, and the modifications would not change the end date for the semester, still scheduled for May 8.
Simone said while the recommendations were supported by many during discussions, they would be undoubtedly controversial for some. “We are impacting lives, and we do not take that lightly.”