Spring 2021 Classes Delayed by One Week

December 3, 2020

Dear Lightning Community,

We continue to look forward to having you back on campus for the spring semester, but to ensure we can welcome you safely following the holidays, we are delaying the semester start by one week. Instead of beginning classes on Monday, January 11, 2021, we will begin classes on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Move-in for residential students, previously scheduled for January 8-10, will now take place January 17 and 18. This delay will allow our students two full weeks of quarantine at home following holiday celebrations that may put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. We want our students to arrive healthy, and stay healthy, for the spring semester, and a week’s delay could make a huge difference. Please note the Saturday graduate classes are NOT changing dates, and will begin on January 16 as previously planned.

November 24, 2020

To All Currently Enrolled Students,

As you know the College plans to re-open its campus in January, welcoming students into the residence halls, classrooms, and dining facilities once again. At present, we foresee no change to that plan, so join us in thinking positively and staying safe in the coming weeks.

As the fall semester winds to its close, our campus offices are responding to the recent restrictions put into place by the Governor of Delaware by reducing the number of staff on campus and increasing the number of staff working remotely. This shift should have no impact on meeting your needs in the coming weeks. Your emails will continue to be answered, and while your calls may go to voicemail, they will be returned promptly. Advisors, admissions representatives, business office staff, residence life staff, and others with whom you may have contact, will all continue to work, but will be working remotely much of the time. All staff have the technology necessary to work remotely, as they did from mid-March to mid-August this year, so student services should not be affected by this shift. Any business you may need to conduct on campus may take planning, as visits are by appointment only, but we will ensure your needs are met.

Good luck to all of you as the fall semester concludes, and we wish you a joyful holiday season with your family. Stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, and we look forward to seeing you in January!

Spring Classes Offer In-Class Options, Residence Halls Open

October 30, 2020

Dear Lightning Community,

The fall semester has been a quiet one on our campus, with classes fully online and students staying at home. We miss the excitement and energy, as well as the fellowship, our students bring to campus life. We have watched closely the colleges who remained open during the fall semester, to learn what worked and what did not. We have monitored the case numbers in our region and in our community to determine current trends and risks. And we have assessed our students’ opinions as well.

It is therefore with great happiness we announce that spring semester will take place in the classroom, at least in part, and students will be welcomed back to our residence halls. Our newly renovated dining facilities will finally open for service, and campus will hum with student life once again. We have made our reopening decisions with the understanding and knowledge that all appropriate COVID-19 controls are in place and will be utilized by everyone on campus: we will wear masks, we will practice good hygiene protocols, we have an air filtration in place in each building, we have appropriate plexiglass barriers in place, and we will keep six feet apart.

For our residential students, move-in will take place January 8-10. Planning for that is well underway, and residential students can expect to hear from the Office of Residence Life in early November as plans are finalized. I hear they have fun planned for January 10th, so let’s look forward to that!

Big news on the athletics front—spring athletic teams (baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and track & field) are slated to proceed with their season, and fall and winter teams will have regular practice, but no intercollegiate competition. The College will follow appropriate testing protocols consistent with NCAA and CDC guidance.

For all undergraduate students, classes begin the week of January 11, 2021. Day classes will be fully in the classroom, while evening classes will be in hybrid format, meeting 50% in the classroom and 50% online. Additionally, some classes have been earmarked as fully online, so pay attention to those indicators when choosing your spring schedule. The Advising office will be sharing instructions via email on how to determine the format of each class soon, so watch your GBC email for that helpful guide. Once spring registration opens, if you have questions, simply contact your Advisor.

Graduate classes will offer both hybrid and online formats, and like the undergraduates, graduate students will be provided instructions via GBC email to assist you in registration for spring semester.

While the College has made the decision to reopen for the spring semester, please remember that state or federal governance can overrule our decision if the pandemic worsens in the coming weeks and months. Also, please understand that details regarding the reopening may change over time. Specific details for COVID-19 testing are not yet finalized, for instance, and the graduation ceremony—we still don’t know what that will look like.

November and December will be busy as we solidify plans, but rest assured we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe and certain reopening on January 11th, and we can’t wait to see your smiling eyes above your mask as you return to campus and to the classroom.

Go Lightning!
Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.