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Articles / Applying to College / Colleges Continue to Change Post-Thanksgiving Plans

Colleges Continue to Change Post-Thanksgiving Plans

Dave Berry
Written by Dave Berry | Nov. 17, 2020
Colleges Continue to Change Post-Thanksgiving Plans

Sasha Prasastika/Pexels

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse, especially for colleges. The current nationwide surge in coronavirus infections is causing states and their colleges to reinstitute dramatic evasive measures. I reviewed the latest news releases and will post some highlights below.

Missouri Shifts Plans to All Online After Thanksgiving

The University of Missouri has shifted its plans and will no longer offer in-person classes after Thanksgiving, The Kansas City Star reported.

Students are being asked to go home for Thanksgiving and not return until January.

"We believe these actions will support our community, and will provide the best path forward for our university's return to in-person learning in the spring semester," Mun Choi, the Columbia campus's chancellor and president of the University of Missouri's four-campus system, said in a letter. … More details below.

King's College Will Go All Online

King's College, in Pennsylvania, will go all online after today's [November 13] classes. The college also suspended National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics and intramurals ...

Ivy League Calls off Winter Sports Season

The Ivy League said late Thursday [November 12] that it would cancel its winter sports season because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the first conference that plays Division I men's and women's basketball to make that call ...

The league was the first major conference to call off its fall sports season as well. Ivy officials also said Thursday that the conference will not conduct competition for fall sports during the upcoming spring semester, as it had said it might. The league also said that its members would postpone any spring sports at least until the end of February ...

Assumption Locks Down Campus

Assumption University locked down its campus this morning [October 30] and will remain locked down for at least one week, CBS Boston reported.

Assumption cited a rise in COVID-19 cases.

All classes will be online. Students will only be allowed to leave their residence hall, floor or apartment to pick up meals, for medical emergencies or twice-per-week COVID-19 testing ...

Duquesne Suspends All Greek Activities

[October 29] … Duquesne University has suspended all Greek activity on the campus because of "repeated and egregious" violations of COVID-19 rulesA letter to Greek organizations said that members held gatherings over the 25-person indoor limit and threw parties that violated both coronavirus policies and "more typical conduct standards." It also said that members of sororities and fraternities were deliberately misleading in an attempt to limit contact tracing. "At a time when the university and, indeed, our region needed you most to live the values you espouse, as a system you failed to do so. Furthermore, you deliberately persisted in behaviors known to endanger people," the letter said ...

The above highlights are just a few from IHE's long article about how dramatically COVID-19 has changed college plans for the remaining fall semester and beyond. As I was writing this, two additional high-profile news items appeared, both of which have direct implications on higher (and other levels of) education.

Michigan, Utah Shift Schedules

First, from Michigan:

New 3-week COVID-19 restrictions to shut down Michigan colleges, high schools, casinos

In-person classes at high schools and colleges statewide will be suspended for three weeks along with eat-in dining at restaurants and bars under sweeping new restrictions aimed at reining in the exponential growth of coronavirus cases in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Sunday.

The new public health order is to take effect Wednesday, and includes the cancellation of organized sports and group exercise classes, though gyms may remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures, and professional and college athletics may continue …

… The announcement comes as Michigan marked its worst seven-day stretch yet in the pandemic last week, when 44,019 people were newly diagnosed with the virus and 416 died. The state is now seeing exponential growth that is nearly four times higher than it was during the peak of the virus surge in early April, and hospitals say they are filling up with COVID-19 patients ...

And in Utah:

Utah's new state of emergency impact on schools, universities

In Utah public schools, the new guidelines impact extracurriculars and sports, and college students will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests.

The weekly testing rule applies to students living on campus or who take at least one on-campus class per week. At the University of Utah, that will be an estimated 18,000 students each week.

"The testing, especially, a-symptomatic testing is going to be another tool to help us reduce the spread," said Chris Nelson, a spokesperson for the University of Utah…

… "With our students what we're talking about is who is in your social bubble? Who are the seven to ten friends that you're going to hang out with this winter, and what rules are you going to put in place?" said Nelson

There are far too many examples of currently in-person colleges going virtual after Thanksgiving. If you would like to review a long list of stories about that situation, check this Google list. Here's one example that expands on Inside Higher Ed's news above:

University of Missouri students will go virtual after Thanksgiving break

The University of Missouri has made the decision to not have students immediately return following Thanksgiving break. The decision was made in an effort to help all of Columbia mitigate the spread of the virus despite the university reducing its active coronavirus caseload by 80 percent since Labor Day weekend, the university said in a Thursday news release.

"At this point, the university is successfully managing the pandemic. Our active case load has been reduced by 80 percent since Labor Day weekend, our contact tracers and investigators are responding within 24 hours of notification, and our community continues to be vigilant in observing best practices to reduce the risk of spreading the virus."

Despite these improvements, MU announced Thursday it will shift a majority of in-person undergraduate and graduate courses to remote learning for the last three weeks of instruction and final exams following Thanksgiving break

Written by

Dave Berry

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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