Mississippi College Releases Fall Semester Calendar
Mississippi College officials released details of the university’s fall 2020 semester calendar with changes made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Task force leaders studied the best approach to help the university safely resume campus operations and welcome back thousands of students in August. Classes will begin August 17, a week earlier than usual, with the semester to end before Thanksgiving.
“The health and safety of our students, as well as of our dedicated faculty and staff, will continue to be our priority as we move forward,” President Blake Thompson said. “We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments during the summer months as we prepare for the start of the fall semester.”
The MC president thanked key university leaders for recommending significant fall calendar adjustments to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Other key dates include the August 8 move-in at university residence halls, and an August 11-16 orientation/welcome week. Labor Day and fall break holidays were cancelled. Final exams are set for November 18-24.
MC School of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jonathan Randle says the task force grappled with challenges as they hammered out the fall calendar.
“We’re trying to prepare for a future that we don’t even clearly see yet,” Randle said. “We’re making recommendations that try to prepare with an eye toward health and safety, but with the least amount of disruption.”
Randle co-chaired the MC fall opening task force with administrator Jonathan Ambrose. He serves as the associate vice president for the student experience and dean of students. The group received valuable input from faculty, staff and students.
Other dates noted on the new fall calendar are August 8, the start of meal plans in the MC cafeteria on the Clinton campus. The last day of fall classes will be November 17. Students must move out of residence halls by November 28. Fall commencement was postponed. There will be a Spring 2021 graduation ceremony.
While the semester wraps up in November rather than December, students will spend nearly the same time in classes as previous years.
More details about this fall’s classroom capacities, online and traditional instruction models, technical support and other topics will be released at a later date.
Randle appreciates the support from all sectors of the MC family to prepare the calendar recommendations. That includes President Thompson, newly elected SGA President Michael Washington, Jr. and School of Education Dean Cindy Melton. Many people contributed, including Interim Provost Debbie Norris and incoming Provost Keith Elder, who goes to work July 1.
“There are an awful lot of crucial parts being played by lots of different people,” Randle said. “Each role is essential in making the fall semester a success.”
One major event happening on the Clinton campus will be the traditional August 1 graduation. The MC Law School graduation is set for August 7 at First Baptist Church Jackson.