COVID-19 Information

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Hello Highland Cavaliers,

As you complete your Block A coursework and look toward the second half of the semester, I write to share important information about the remainder of the semester and about the spring.

First, though, I want to thank you for your diligence in complying with all health and safety measures on campus and in the community. It is your dedication, along with that of our staff and faculty, that has helped us remain a healthy and vibrant campus community. I understand your college experience has been altered in numerous ways this fall. I commend you for your continued commitment to your education and to achieving your personal and professional goals.

While you navigate your college experience, you may also be longing for normalcy, as we all are. However, please continue to maintain your vigilance in following all health and safety procedures and protocols during the second half of this semester and through the spring.

Block A Information

  • As you wrap up your Block A courses, I urge you to complete your online course evaluations. These surveys help us to understand courses from your perspective. This information will be critical as we complete this semester and plan for the spring.
  • Grades for your Block A classes will be available on Thursday, October 15th, after 5pm.
  • If you receive an Incomplete grade for a Block A course, the deadline for faculty to submit a final grade for the course is January 19th. Please work with your professors to make sure you understand when coursework needs to be submitted so that they are able to submit your grade by the deadline.

Block B Information

  • If you are planning to enroll in more than two classes in Block B, that would be considered an overload and needs the approval of my office. Please go to the student portal on and complete the Overload request form. I will review your request as soon as I receive it and inform the Registrar if you are approved for an overload of more than 2 courses.
  • If you would like to seek permission to take an in-person or hybrid class in a fully remote manner during Block B, you will need to request an accommodation. The deadline for these requests is October 13th. This is a firm deadline. Any requests after that date, require approval as an exception by my office and will require additional documentation. If you find that you must be absent sometime during Block B (for illness or personal reasons) and have not been approved for remote instruction, you should submit supporting documentation through the absence form on the student portal of Your documented absence will be shared with your professors.

Spring Semester Information

Health and Safety

  • All students will be required to submit a negative COVID test before returning to campus. Plans for testing include mailing non-local students (those who live approximately an hour from campus) their COVID-19 test and offering in-person testing dates at the Prior Center as well. Specific instructions regarding the testing schedule and process will be made available within the next few weeks.
  • We will continue to exercise all other health and safety measures - wearing face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, and enhanced cleaning of facilities - that have kept the infection rate low so far this fall.

Spring Calendar

  • The first day of class will be January 19, 2021.
  • The last day of class will be April 30, 2021.
  • Final exams will be scheduled from May 3-7, 2021.
  • Spring Break will be reduced from a full week to one spring holiday for students, faculty and staff on Friday, March 12, 2021.

Course Schedule and Modality:

We will return to our normal 16-week semester for all classes. In other words, we will not observe a block schedule in the spring.

There will be four types of courses:

  • Hybrid (H): A mix of in-person and online delivery, depending on health and safety considerations. Students WILL be able to request remote accommodation (deadline: January 8th)
  • Fully Face to Face: In-person classes with NO remote accommodation
  • Online Synchronous (OS): Fully online courses that meet at a regular time via Zoom or another virtual platform
  • Online Asynchronous (OA): Fully online courses with no scheduled meeting time; students complete assignments by designated deadlines at their own pace

Important Deadlines:

Spring Courses will be released next week and registration will be open as follows:

  • Friday, October 23 - Seniors with a major
  • Monday, October 26 - Juniors with a major
  • Tuesday, October 27 - Sophomores with a major
  • Wednesday, October 28 - Freshmen
  • Friday, October 30 - Others

To request remote accommodation for a HYBRID class, access the request through the student portal on The deadline is January 8th. After that date, students will need to consult the attendance policy published in the syllabus for each class and will need to submit medical documentation for absences through the Academic Support Center.

To close, I want to send my best wishes for a successful completion of Block A, continued success if you are taking Block C courses, and a strong start for Block B. Please know that my door on the second floor of Smiddy is always open. I'd love to get to know more of you!

Sincere regards,
Trisha Folds-Bennett
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs