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Academic calendar survey proposes spring 2021 calendar alternatives

July 22, 2020
<p>Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.</p>

Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State University's Academic Calendar Task Force has created a survey to gain community input regarding the calendar for the spring 2021 semester. Take the survey here until July 26.

"The reason for the survey is to gather community input on the different calendar options for the spring semester," student member of the task force and Associated Students of Michigan State University Vice President for Academic Affairs Brianna Aiello said. "Given COVID-19, we cannot operate as usual and have to make some changes."

The data from the survey will be collected and used by the task force to form a calendar recommendation for the president and provost.

The survey gives respondents two alternative spring semester scenarios to compare with the original calendar, as well as each other.

The task force reports back to the MSU Academic Governance.

Original Calendar

Although the exact original calendar may end up taking place, the survey wants respondents to compare their scenarios with the original plan.

The original spring 2021 academic calendar was set to begin on Jan. 11, with the traditional Martin Luther King Jr. Day off.

Then spring break occurs from March 8 to 12. Classes were set to end on April 30, and exams the week of May 3.

Commencements were to take place May 7 to 9.

This schedule has a total of 74 instruction days.

Alternative A

The first alternative, "Alternative A," proposes a spring semester beginning as it was originally scheduled, but with only online instruction for the first week.

After Martin Luther King Jr. Day, certain classes may switch to in-person or hybrid instruction Jan. 19.

The remainder of the semester will continue for 13 straight weeks without a spring break and end on April 16, two weeks earlier than planned.

This alternative also hopes for an in-person commencement April 23 through 25 if public health safety guidelines allow it.

This alternative has 69 instruction days.

Alternative B

The second alternative, "Alternative B," proposes in-person, hybrid and online instruction from the beginning, starting on Jan. 11.

Rather than a traditional spring break, this alternative has "spring recess days" April 1 and 2, where there will be no classes.

On April 5, classes will be moved online for the remainder of the semester. This also includes final exam study days April 22 and 23, followed by a virtual final exam week.

In this alternative, spring commencements will be virtual.

This alternative has 70 instruction days.

This article has been updated to state that the original calendar is still a possibility. It has also been updated to state that the force reports to MSU Academic Governance and that it is not one of the 21 subcommittees under the COVID-19 Reopening Campus Task Force.

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