Extra Week of Break For State Colleges


Chadron State College students are getting an extra week of spring break. Nebraska State College System Chancellor Paul Turman says all 3 schools in the system will now return from break on the 23rd instead of the 17th with the possibility of “alternate instruction” instead of face-to-face classes.

CSC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr Jim Powell had sent students an email last evening telling them that classes would start as normal this coming Monday, but Chancellor Turman says new information on the COVID-19 situation, guidance from the governor’s office, and new recommendations from regional health departments led to the decision to extend spring break an extra week.

Creighton University, Doane University, and all the branches of the University of Nebraska had announced earlier this week that when students returned from spring break all classes would be taught exclusively through virtual, online or alternative instruction.

The change runs through the end of the semester for Nebraska and and Doane, while Creighton is leaving the door open to return to traditional classroom instruction on April 13th with a decision to be made by April 6th.

Chancellor Turman says the state colleges are “working diligently to balance the health and safety of students and the communities they serve,” so they’re also exploring how to best offer alternative instruction if the coronavirus outbreak reaches a level to require that.

Chadron State, Wayne State, and Peru State will continue to communicate with their students over the next week about the discussions on such things as “remote delivery” of some or all classes, a compressed academic year, and how to deal with courses not appropriate for remote delivery such as labs or ones requiring specific equipment.

Even though Turman’s announcement this morning on extending spring break negates that portion of Powell’s email to CSC students, it doesn’t affect Powell’s recommendation that that students who have symptoms of COVID-19 delay returning from spring break and stay home in self-isolation while contacting their personal health care professionals for further actions.

Powell wrote that students being directed to self-isolate will not be penalized for absences or required to provide formal documentation of such instructions.

Black Hills State University, South Dakota School of Mines, and the other 4 state universities in South Dakota are now on spring break but are getting an extra week through next Friday. They’ve made no decision on in-person versus on-line classes.

Eastern Wyoming College, currently on Spring Break, has cancelled all of next week’s classes and activities both on the main campus and in Douglas, and is looking at the possibility of going to alternative instruction. Employees are expected to be at in-service and training Monday except anyone who is sick, has been sick, or has traveled out-of-state.

The University of Wyoming has spring break next week, but Acting President Neil Theobald announced yesterday that the vacation will be extended an additional week to the 30th to give faculty more time to prepare for online-only teaching – if the switch is needed.