5Cs to start spring semester one week later, replace spring break with three one-day breaks

A photo of Claremont McKenna College's Cube at sunset.
The undergraduate Claremont Colleges released an adjusted calendar for the spring 2021 semester. (Anna Choi • The Student Life)

The undergraduate Claremont Colleges announced a new academic calendar for the spring semester Tuesday, with classes starting one week later and spring break replaced by three break days spread across the semester.

The first day of classes will be Jan. 25 instead of Jan. 19, the Academic Deans Committee told students via email. Students will finish all coursework by May 6 and have one reading day. Finals will begin the following Monday for all students, including seniors.

The new academic calendar — recommended by the Academic Dean Committee and approved by the Presidents Council — will be in place for Pitzer College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont McKenna College and Pomona College, regardless of whether students return to campus, officials said. It will not affect Claremont Graduate University or Keck Graduate Institute.

The traditional week-long spring break will be replaced by three days of break spread out across the semester to “encourage students to remain close to campus and minimize both the risks and undue effects of travel during this pandemic” if students were brought back to campus, the email said. 

The reduced break will also prevent the late start from impacting internships, employment, research opportunities or current dates for commencement, the email said. 

The new academic calendar follows the similarly revamped 2020 fall semester, in which fall break was canceled and classes began and ended a week earlier than in previous years. 

A final decision on whether students will return to campus for the spring 2020 semester is expected mid-December, Pitzer, Scripps and Pomona announced earlier in October. CMC said a decision will arrive by Dec. 9, and HMC has not yet publicly said when a decision is expected.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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