Academic Calendar Updates for Spring 2021

Dear Arcadia Faculty, Staff and Undergraduate Students: 
 
In response to the ever-changing course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provost’s Office and Faculty Senate have approved several changes to the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar. The impetus for these changes comes from the desire to place the University and its students, faculty, and staff in the best possible position to avoid complications from COVID-19. 
 
These changes are for undergraduates and those graduate programs that follow the traditional academic calendar and are based on recent COVID-19 trends and recommendations from Arcadia’s experts in our Public Health program and Student Health Services. Arcadia will delay the start of the spring 2021 semester to provide additional time between holiday social interactions and the first day of classes. To decrease student travel, we will rearrange two days of Spring Break to three contiguous days off (three weekdays) in March and shift the other two days to allow for three-day weekends in February and April.
 
While we understand that changing the spring academic calendar may be disruptive and that different ways of adjusting the academic calendar have various strengths and weakness, we have adopted the following changes because they: 1) change as little as possible while still advancing public health goals; 2) maintain a consistent number of total days off and keep them spread equally across the five calendar days of the week. 
 
The most important changes to the regular spring semester calendar are as follows:  

  • The beginning of the spring semester is delayed by four business (non-weekend) days, from Tuesday, January 19 until Monday, January 25.  
  • The end of the spring semester is also delayed by four business (non-weekend) days, from Monday, May 3 (last day of classes) and Tuesday, May 11 (last day of final examinations) until Friday, May 7 (last day of classes) and Monday, May 17 (last day of examinations).  
  • The previously scheduled Spring Break is shortened from five academic days (Monday, March 15 through Friday, March 19) to three academic days (Tuesday, March 16 through Thursday, March 18).  
  • The two days removed from Spring Break are re-distributed and transformed into two Wellness Days off on Monday, February 15 and Friday, April 2. These Wellness Days off function exactly like a Spring Break day off, meaning that no classes will be held and no assignments will be due. 

The Arcadia University Academic Calendar for 2020-2021 including details of the spring semester updates can be found on the University's website. The dates for Honors Convocation, Priority Registration, and Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement remain unchanged. 
 
Thank you for your continued understanding and flexibility during this time. Your support allows Arcadia to continue to meet the challenges of this COVID-19 and deliver a high-quality educational experience.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeff Rutenbeck
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs