MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan University announced Monday that the school will start and end its fall semester early because of the coronavirus (COVID).
New CMU fall semester start date: Aug. 17, 2020
New CMU fall semester end date: Nov. 25, 2020
CMU President Bob Davies said the semester will now begin Aug. 17, two weeks earlier than previously scheduled. Classes will conclude Nov. 25.
The changes are being made to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and influenza, Davies said.
“By moving up the start and conclusion of our fall semester, we seek to significantly reduce the number of students, faculty and staff returning to and from campus for the Thanksgiving holiday and through December,” Davies said. “This reduces the likelihood of potential spread of infectious diseases like the flu and COVID-19 on our campus and in our community.”
More key dates
- Aug. 21: Deadline for dropping or adding courses
- Nov. 1: Deadline for deferred tuition and housing payments. Students and families in financial difficulties, particularly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, have the option this year of deferring payments.
- Final exams: Final exams are scheduled for Nov. 19-20 and Nov. 23-25.
- Dec. 4: Semester grades are due for posting.
- Satellite and online courses: Satellite and online course offerings for fall 2020 will not change schedules. Eight-week courses for the Fall I session will begin Aug. 31 and end Oct. 23. Fall I 12-week courses will begin Sept. 21 and end Dec. 11. Fall II eight-week courses will begin Oct. 26 and end Dec. 18.
- Move-in: Move-in for residence halls and Northwest Apartments will be scheduled by appointment Thursday, Aug. 13, through Sunday, Aug. 16. Residents will receive an email with sign-up instructions the first week of August.
- Restaurants: Residential restaurants will be ready when students arrive, beginning with breakfast Thursday, Aug. 13.
Reasoning behind changes
Officials said the new schedule will help Central Michigan avoid peak flu season and a possible second wave of COVID-19 cases in the colder winter months.
A phased move-in for residence halls and on-campus apartments will begin Aug. 13. Students will move back in waves to allow for maximum social distancing, according to university officials.
Fall events, such as homecoming and commencement, are being reviewed, the school announced. Dates and details are likely to change.
CMU Provost Mary C. Schutten said a new model for class delivery will help students who might struggle to move back to Mount Pleasant early.
“We have implemented hybrid-flexible, or HyFlex, which provides students the option to attend classes face-to-face or online in a synchronous model, or both, to ensure less density in the classroom,” Schutten said.
Davies said CMU leadership is reviewing the spring 2021 schedule but has not yet made any changes.
“Our plans are aligned with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s phased plan for reopening the state of Michigan and incorporating public health guidance from both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our state and local health departments," Davies said. “Central Michigan University will continue to adhere to this guidance closely. We are thrilled to have our students returning to Mount Pleasant for the fall semester, and we will ensure we do it as safely as possible."