UM-Dearborn announces plan for a mostly remote Winter 2021 semester

September 21, 2020

With a resolution to the pandemic nowhere in sight, UM-Dearborn is opting for a winter semester that looks a lot like fall.

A student shows the daily heath check "green" screen on her cell phone to a public safety officer at a building entrance.
A student shows the daily heath check "green" screen on her cell phone to a public safety officer at a building entrance.
A student shows her daily health screening status to a public safety officer at a building entrance. Additional health and safety measures like this will remain in effect for the Winter 2021 term.

Cases of COVID-19 in Michigan have continued to rise gradually since July, and there’s no clarity yet on when a vaccine will be widely available. Because of this, the university announced late last week that plans for the Winter 2021 semester will be modeled closely after Fall 2020’s “remote-first” strategy. That means the vast majority of classes will be delivered remotely, with only about 12 percent of classes meeting in person. The same health and safety measures, including mask wearing, social distancing and daily health screenings, will continue to be the M.O. for the limited number of faculty, staff and students who do come to campus. Beyond the classroom, staff who can work remotely will continue to do so, and student services and student life activities will be mostly virtual. 

To further minimize the spread of the virus during the coldest winter months, when experts warn there could be a surge, the university is also making some changes to the academic calendar. The semester will start on January 13 and all courses will be taught online through February 26. Depending on the state of the pandemic, classes scheduled for in-person instruction will switch to that modality on March 1. Classes end on April 20, and final exams will be held the week of April 22 in a mostly remote format. There will be no spring break this year. 

A few details are still coming into focus. A decision about spring commencement will be shared in January. And the university will also announce any changes regarding the Mardigian Library, University Center, food service, the Bookstore, Credit Union and university events as we get closer to the start of the winter semester. Decisions about winter athletics will also be shared at a later date. 

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Check out the full Winter 2021 plan announcement.

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