Traditional undergraduate students at Trevecca will start the Fall 2020 semester early and wrap up classes before Thanksgiving, officials announced in a letter to current and prospective students today.
Classes are now set to begin on Monday, Aug. 17 and end on Tuesday, Nov. 24, just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, with no fall break. Originally, traditional undergraduate classes were scheduled to start Sept. 1.
“Knowing that it is important to minimize travel to and from campus once the semester begins and understanding a second wave of COVID-19 is predicted for the late fall, we will start the Fall 2020 semester early for our traditional undergraduate students,” officials stated in the letter. The plan maintains the required number of instruction days, while also allowing students to return to their homes before the peak flu season and predicted surge of the virus.
By canceling fall break and ending the traditional undergraduate semester prior to Thanksgiving, the plan also helps to limit students traveling off campus and returning, decreasing the potential for exposure to the virus, officials say.
All graduate and degree completion face-to-face cohorts will be conducted online through June. After July 1, the program director will make and communicate a decision on when the program will be moved back to an in-person format.
“Our intention is to offer our students the residential college experience,” said Dr. Tom Middendorf, University provost. “That’s our desire, and we know it’s our students’ hope, too. But we’ll also be ready to pivot to online instruction if the virus forces us to do so. Every class is being designed for in-person instruction as well as online delivery.”
This flexibility and desire to provide students with a top-notch educational experience in a variety of formats is an example of the University’s know-how, Middendorf says, as well as Trevecca’s “innovative spirit.”
“Trevecca has been a leader in online education in the Middle Tennessee region for more than a decade,” Middendorf said. “We know what strong, quality online education looks like, and we’re making plans now to ensure our students experience that should we need to shift to digital learning mid-semester. It’s our hope that we never have to use those plans, but we want to be ready just in case we do.”
Officials noted that while much is “unknown about how COVID-19 may affect our Fall 2020 semester,” Trevecca will work to maintain its strong community while taking precautions to keep it safe for all community members. Committees focused on topics such as public spaces, social distancing, dining halls, residential life, classrooms and more are currently working to outline specific guidelines.
In addition, the University is working with an advisory team of medical professionals, virologists, cleaning specialists, and food service vendors to establish best practices for students’ return.
“We long to be back on campus together, to see friends and experience all the relationships, events and activities that make up the holistic Trevecca experience,” said Dr. Dan Boone, Trevecca president. “We realize that this fall semester may look a little different from previous years, but we also know that the Trevecca community is strong, resilient and committed. We expect this to be one of the best years in our 100-plus year history!”
More information regarding students return to campus will be available at www.Trevecca.edu/BackHometotheHill. This site will be continually updated as more information becomes available.