September 27, 2021
A small number of colleges have announced plans to shift to remote instruction after Thanksgiving break due to COVID-19 concerns.
Switching to remote instruction after Thanksgiving vacation was a common approach last fall, when many colleges and universities built their academic calendars around the goal of limiting student transit to and from campus. This year it appears to be a small minority of colleges that have announced plans for remote instruction after Thanksgiving, though more may follow suit as Thanksgiving grows closer.
Edward Waters University, a historically Black Christian institution in Florida, announced that it would close residence halls Nov. 21, with all post-Thanksgiving classes to be held remotely (student athletes can request a waiver to remain on campus).
“From a health and safety perspective, ending on-campus fall 2021 semester courses and activities prior to Thanksgiving will limit the movement of students and faculty, mitigating the exposure and possible proliferation that may result from holiday travel,” Donna H. Oliver, Edward Waters’ provost, said in a memo to faculty, staff and students announcing the plans.
Sierra Nevada University, a private university in Nevada, is also planning on remote instruction after Thanksgiving break. “The reasons for not returning students to campus are straightforward — the risk associated with travel to/from campus from across the state and country, our desire to do our part to minimize risk to our surrounding community, and the logistics of keeping campus operations and services open beyond the end of the semester should a student require quarantine due to exposure or infection,” the university said in an Aug. 25 announcement.