The University plans to house about 3,500 students in single-occupancy rooms in dorms and Granville Towers for the spring semester and to teach some in-person classes. Most classes with more than 35 students, however, will be taught remotely.
Classes will start Jan. 19, and UNC will forego spring break in anticipation of continued disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, planning instead for five break days incorporated into the calendar, either individually or in clusters. The last day of classes will be May 5; Commencement is scheduled for May 16.
There will be mandatory reentry and regular COVID-19 evaluation testing for students, faculty and staff. Details on frequency, administration and processing of the tests have not been announced.
All plans could change, as they did dramatically when the University shut down in-person instruction and most dorms in the first week of fall classes.
“This virus continues to impact the lives of everyone in our community in so many ways,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin wrote to the campus community. “We will continue to monitor its path over the coming months, and the compounding effect of the annual flu season, as we finalize plans for the spring semester. We are prepared to modify our approach in order to support our community based upon the prevailing trends. We will continue to work closely with our campus partners to discuss and communicate any additional changes or accommodations given the circumstances we may be facing in early to mid-January.”
About 1,500 students with special circumstances have remained in on-campus housing this fall. On-campus rates of COVID-19 infection by mid-October were negligible.
UNC will offer five modes of instruction for the spring: two in-person and three remote modes of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Deans are working with their schools and departments to identify courses that benefit most from in-person instructional modes.
The University will be able to accommodate a limited number of courses with up to 50 students for in-person modes of delivery based on the needs of the course.
Generally, priority for in-person courses will be given to classes designed to allow first-year students to explore a discipline; classes designed to provide seniors opportunities to enroll in capstones, seminars and specialized topics; and classes at any level that especially benefit from hands-on, in-person instruction.
Normal dorm capacity plus Granville is 9,500. Besides offering only single-occupancy rooms, UNC plans to expand quarantine and isolation spaces. Carolina Housing is sending information to all current residents and those who previously held housing contracts. Decisions about who will be able to live in the limited dorm space have not been announced.
Decisions on in-person and remote courses are linked with those regarding on-campus residency and testing.
Registration appointments for the spring will begin Nov. 30 and continue through Jan. 25.