Spring Semester Plans on Track

Dec 18, 2020

In a message to the campus community, President Jones outlines plans to resume some in-person classes and campus activities in January. The University will continue to offer real-time remote learning for students who feel safer at home.


To all students, faculty and staff,

The winter holidays bring light to the darkest season of the year. As we all look ahead to brighter days, I want to update you on plans for the spring semester.

The plan we announced November 2 has not changed: Next month Cal U expects to “level up” and resume some in-person classes and campus activities, while continuing to offer real-time remote learning for students who feel safer at home.

Our comprehensive reopening plan asks everyone on campus to play a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19, so we can learn, live and work together as safely as possible. Your participation in this effort is essential.

At Level 3, all students, faculty and staff are expected to practice good hygiene, wear a mask in all public areas, stay six feet apart and follow to our guidelines for COVID-19 testing. In addition, everyone is encouraged to complete a daily health screening using a smartphone app customized for Cal U.

You can read our COVID-19 Statement of Policy: Level 3 here.

As always, your health is our primary concern. Because health officials project a rise in COVID-19 cases after the winter holidays, Cal U has planned a late-January start to the semester, with no spring break. Those plans may change based on CDC or state Health Department guidance, as well as conditions on campus and within our community.

More details will be provided by mid-January. For now, here is a snapshot of what you can expect next semester.


Spring 2021 classes will begin January 25 and follow the academic calendar. We expect to deliver about 50% of courses on campus; many of these will be labs, studio and performance courses, or courses that require specialized facilities and equipment. About 95% of classrooms are outfitted with technology that enables students to attend remotely if they prefer.

Student schedules indicate whether a course will be taught in person, via real-time remote learning or asynchronously online. Classes that have a section code beginning with “R” and a building identified as “Remote” will be 100% remote learning sections. Students will be notified by email if a class originally scheduled for on-campus delivery must be changed to remote learning.

To reduce class size and maintain social distancing, some on-campus courses will be taught in a hybrid format. For example, 50% of students in a Tuesday/Thursday class might attend in person on Tuesdays and remotely on Thursdays, while the other 50% follow the opposite schedule.

Masks that cover the nose and mouth will be required in all academic buildings, including classrooms, at all times.

Students should check D2L for details or contact their professors for more information.

Campus life and student activities

Residence halls will be open, with most students in single rooms. No guests will be permitted.

Dining services will be available. The Gold Rush will be open from 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily (closed 3:15-3:45 p.m. for cleaning). Sycamore Bistro (7:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) and Umami (11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) will provide “to go” meals only; diners must use the mobile app to order meals from these two locations. All hours are subject to change. In all locations, diners must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth unless they are seated and eating or drinking.

Herron Recreation and Fitness Center will open its cardio and weight rooms if state regulations permit, and socially distanced group fitness classes will be offered. The aquatics area, climbing wall, racquetball courts and locker rooms will be closed. Members must wear face masks in the rec center and swipe their Cal Cards when entering and leaving the facility.

To avoid gatherings that could spread the coronavirus, meetings of student clubs and organizations – and most other campus activities – will be held virtually this semester.

Tuition remains the same, but some student fees are reduced during Level 3 operations.

Health assessment app

Our shared commitment to campus safety requires diligence on the part of students, faculty and staff. Your participation matters! Every member of the campus community will have the opportunity to download and use a free health screening app customized for Cal U.

This easy-to-use app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones. Individuals without smartphones will be able to check in at key campus locations. You will receive instructions for downloading and using the app before the start of the spring semester.

Once you have installed the app, you are encouraged to check in daily and answer questions to screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. If you’re experiencing symptoms, the app will provide guidance about your next steps.

The app does not collect your personal information. It is a voluntary self-assessment tool that raises awareness to help us take care of ourselves and those around us.

COVID-19 testing

Individuals with symptoms should contact the Health Center in Carter Hall. For those without symptoms, COVID-19 tests will be administered free of chargeon the Mezzanine Level of the Convocation Center.

To mitigate risk for everyone on campus, testing for COVID-19 is required for all student-athletes and all students living in on-campus residence halls.

Commuter students are strongly encouraged to be tested for COVID-19 as well. Our goal is to test 25% of commuter students in each testing period. Faculty and staff working on campus also may choose to be tested.

Unless they can travel home safely, resident students who test positive will be isolated on campus and their condition will be monitored. Non-resident students and employees who test positive must remain off campus until they meet CDC guidelines for returning to school or work.

Appropriate case investigation (“contact tracing”) will be conducted when positive cases are reported. Individuals identified as “close contacts” of someone with COVID-19 will be notified and required to follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine.

Learn more

Our University is committed to your well-being. For detailed information, including Cal U’s Guide to Operations, our FAQ for Students, an updated list of confirmed COVID-19 cases and more, visit www.calu.edu/coronaplan.

Please enjoy your holiday break safely. We look forward to seeing you in January!

With best wishes,

Geraldine M. Jones