Dear Campus Community,
As we near the closure of this truly unique academic year, plans are already enthusiastically under way to move forward with an in-person 2021-22 academic year for all students and activate the full return of our vibrant, on-campus learning and living community.
Our spring semester has been so successful because of the diligence and care of all members of this community, as we welcomed students back to campus and thoughtfully managed a de-densified, modified classroom experience and student life activities following COVID-related protocols and practices. I want to especially thank our students for the responsibility and the commitment that you have shown to each other, to our campus, and to our Ithaca area.
Vaccination Expectation for the Fall
The expansion of vaccine eligibility and the increase of vaccine production have allowed the college to plan for a reopening of our campus this fall where in-person teaching, learning, and community-building can occur in ways that resemble a pre-pandemic “normal,” with a greatly reduced risk of infection for our campus community.
To support a resumption of this IC experience for our students with a significantly reduced risk of infection for all, the college plans to require all students who are attending this fall to be vaccinated. Medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated, but it is expected that the vast majority of individuals on campus will be vaccinated. Because so many in our community will have received the protection of the vaccine, the risk of infection for our entire community can be greatly diminished.
I am announcing this intention in a moment marked by the widespread rollout of vaccination and promising data regarding its efficacy. As with all of our decision-making throughout the past year, we will remain committed to being methodical, data-driven, and nimble as we navigate any shifts in the trajectory of this pandemic.
As we’ve seen with our successful opening this spring, ours is a resilient community whose members care deeply about one another. The coming academic year will be another moment for us to affirm this commitment and prioritize our collective good as we co-create a vibrant and engaged on-campus experience at Ithaca College.
With our return to in-person classroom instruction in Fall 2021—a major shift from our spring semester—students should expect the majority of their coursework to be face-to-face. Limited online coursework will be available, mirroring our pre-pandemic scheduling practices. We will no longer be offering courses remotely via dual instruction.
The 2021-22 academic calendar has now been posted, and fall classes begin Monday, August 23, and the semester concludes on Wednesday, December 15. It goes without saying that all of us will be thrilled to see the reinstatement of our traditional Fall Break (October 14-15) and Thanksgiving Break (November 20-28)—as well as a full Spring Break in March 2022 (March 12-20).
Registration for Fall 2021 begins next Tuesday, April 13, and continues through April 22.
Our ’21-22 academic year will be supplemented by vibrant Winter Session offerings and Summer Sessions coursework, which have grown considerably in number and diversity of options and topics over the last year.
I hope you saw Monday’s message from Provost Cornish, Vice President Ferro, and Vice President Koehler about the robust summer programming for our current academic year, and I urge students to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities to both explore new topics and further advance toward your degree—either here in Ithaca or virtually—this summer.
Our signature campus life programming is an essential part of our students’ IC experience, offering a richness and depth to our community and fostering a sense of belonging. For the upcoming academic year, we are transitioning many important programs back to face-to-face experiences whenever possible. These programs include our first-year experience events, student club and organization meetings and events, and LGBTQ education and outreach services. Our athletic programming will fully re-engage with NCAA and Liberty League competition.
Student support services, including those offered by the Office of the Registrar; Financial Aid; Counseling, Health, and Wellness; Case Management; and Religious and Spiritual Life, will be offered in-person and online, to accommodate student preferences.
Our community has collectively and tenaciously stepped up over the past year to create a signature Ithaca College experience—no matter what. On behalf of the senior leadership team and myself, I want to offer each of you our sincere gratitude for your perseverance and ingenuity. Your strength has enabled us to endure, and I sincerely look forward to seeing all of you back here on South Hill next academic year.
All my best,
Shirley M. Collado