Amended Academic Calendar for 2020-2021

June 3, 2020

On Thursday May 28, the Allegheny College faculty voted to change the academic calendar for 2020-2021. You can see the full calendar at this link. Some of the details surrounding deadlines remain to be worked out, but we wanted you to have as much information as we could give you, as early as we can give it to you.

Fall 2020: The fall 2020 semester will begin on August 31 with 12 weeks of on-campus instruction until November 20, when most students will leave campus. The semester will resume on November 23 with a short period of strategically planned remote instruction followed by remote final exams. Classes will end on December 4 and exams will end on December 11. Students will complete the courses for which they are currently registered (typically four courses, 16 credits). There is no fall break and Thanksgiving Break will be as originally scheduled. The Dean of Students Office is planning for a rolling move-in beginning mid-August to allow for small numbers of students moving into each residence hall each day with the goal of all students moved in before August 31. We will be back in touch with more details about move-in as our plans develop.

Spring 2021: The spring 2021 semester will begin January 19 remotely with a three-week Module 1 (plus final exams) with one course taken (4 credits) followed by a 12-week on-campus Module 2 that begins February 22 during which the typical student will take three courses (12 credits). Classes will end on May 7 and exams will end on May 17. Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 22. Registration for both modules will take place before the end of the Fall semester, as usual.

Most students will leave campus after November 20 and will return in time for Module 2 classes to start in the Spring on February 22.

This revised calendar has the advantage of having as few students as possible on campus during peak flu season (mid-November through early February). The spring semester calendar introduces the opportunity for an innovative and creative three-week intensive course in January and reduces the student course load at one time.

This plan was developed by the Curriculum Committee with significant input from additional faculty, staff, and students. The Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the College and includes members of the administration, faculty, staff, and students. Members of Allegheny Student Government were consulted in the planning process and a Zoom call was held for continuing students on Tuesday 26 May to gather feedback before the Faculty voted on the proposal.

We know you will have questions about the ramifications of this change — about billing for room and board, waivers for students to remain on campus after Thanksgiving or during the Module 1 classes, about move-in, and a whole host of other things. These questions are important and we will be providing answers as we finalize details over the next few weeks. Please look out for additional e-mails, posts to My Allegheny, and Q&A webinar opportunities like those held for continuing students on Tuesday 26 May and for new first-year and transfer students on Sunday 31 May. There will be other such opportunities as the summer progresses.

If you have questions about the academic calendar revisions, please contact registrar@allegheny.edu.

Ian Binnington, Ph.D.
Dean of Curriculum & Registrar
Associate Professor of History & Black Studies