Rethinking the fall academic calendar

June 15, 2020
  • Academic Scheduling
  • Meetings, Workshops, and Trainings
  • Records and Academic Services
  • Webinars
  • covid-19
  • Webinars
calendar of the month of September with a cup of tea and some autumn leaves off to the side


As of May 20, most institutions remain undecided on their course delivery choices for fall, reports AACRAO Research, and about 1 in 5 have social distancing measures already in place or selected for fall. 

With strong summer enrollment numbers, the higher education community seems a bit more hopeful about fall — but there are still many unknowns.

"Two concerns I see are whether first-time freshmen will choose to begin their studies online or delay their start, and how having more than 30 million Americans out of work will impact the ability of individuals and families to pay for college in the fall,” said AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly in a recent interview with Inside Higher Ed.

Fall in flux

During the late-May Instructional Planning for Summer and Fall AACRAO Coffee Break, attendees shared that most were either still fully teleworking or on campus on a limited basis for essential business only. 

Additionally, among those attending:

  •  85 percent had an interdepartmental planning committee working through COVID-19 crisis issues.

  •  Only 8 percent had made a decision on fall delivery model and announced it.

  •  68 percent were considering calendar changes as one aspect of their planning.

Continuing discussion

As a follow-up to the earlier coffee break, AACRAO and Complete College America (CCA) are hosting a second discussion on adapting fall academic calendar and instructional delivery models to navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.

Discussion will focus on innovative approaches to issues surrounding academic and course calendar changes, communication, and negotiation. 

Join the free June 18 webinar at 1pm ET. Register now. 


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