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Alcorn State University announces fall calendar



(Photo courtesy Alcorn State University)
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As part of its preparations for the upcoming fall 2020 semester, Alcorn State University, announced a modified fall academic calendar Thursday, prioritizing the health of the campus community and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

The modified calendar reflects the potential impact of the coronavirus during the late fall months, should a possible peak occur. Alcorn will begin the semester Monday, Aug. 17, and end regular instruction Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Final exams will be administered remotely so that students do not have to return to campus after Nov. 24, 2020.

“We are using the knowledge and experience we have gained since the beginning of the pandemic to leverage our response and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread as much as possible,” said Keith A. McGee, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, in a statement. “We have worked diligently across all departments to identify strategies that support new health measures, strengthen our online instructional methods and incorporate changes to our academic calendar that uphold the integrity and continuity of our academic mission.”

To reduce potential exposure to COVID-19, the calendar replaces fall break and ends face-to-face instruction Nov. 24. With the addition of two online review days for students Nov. 30, and Dec. 1, the university will administer final exams remotely Dec. 2 through 4. Contingent on existing health and safety guidelines, plans pertaining to the fall commencement ceremonies will be announced at a later date. The university is adopting this plan based on current public health guidance regarding possible risks associated with traveling to and from campus and is subject to change as the conditions change.

Key dates for the semester include:

  • Aug. 17: Classes begin
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day
  • Nov. 24: Last day for face-to-face instruction
  • Nov. 30 to Dec. 1: Student reading/review days
  • Dec. 2 through 4: Final exams delivered remotely

“Although the fall semester will be different, our modified calendar presents new opportunities for our campus to demonstrate its instructional innovation and commitment to our mission as together we prepare for the known and the unknown challenges,” McGee said.

The calendar adjustments are part of a comprehensive strategy the university is developing to facilitate a successful and uninterrupted academic year for students, faculty and staff. Public health protocols, including symptom monitoring, enhanced cleaning protocols, hand-sanitizer stations and social distancing will be in place to support the health and safety of the Alcorn community. The university will announce additional fall semester information and plans, including operations, student affairs, athletics and academics, as details are finalized in the coming weeks.

Alcorn is encouraging students to re-enter campus with confidence and excitement. The guidelines will provide safe alternatives to long-standing traditions, encouraging students and families to participate in meaningful events with the whole community’s best interest in mind.

“We want students to know Alcorn is still home, but home has changed,” said university President Dr. Felecia M. Nave.

The complete, modified fall 2020 academic calendar is posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

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