Spring 2021 Semester Plans

Opening up safely

Rock the lawn 2020

Washington & Jefferson College plans to reopen the campus for classes and residents for the Spring 2021 semester. We are fully committed to taking all possible precautions to maintain a safe environment while providing students with the holistic, in-person experience that is so critical to our mission. Recognizing that no institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our plan is informed by the best available guidance from the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, American College Health Association, and local healthcare partners. It will be updated as necessary to reflect any new guidelines or restrictions that may be recommended in response to a future resurgence of the coronavirus.

Recent News

JayTerm & Spring 2021 Semester Announcement

October 20, 2020
It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the Fall 2020 Semester. We are so proud of the W&J Community, especially students, for the due diligence, care and commitment to maintaining a safe environment. It is because of the collective dedication of the W&J community that we have been able to mitigate thus far the effects of COVID-19 on our campus. Student Residence Housing The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are always our top priority. While we had hoped that the course of the pandemic or the availability of a vaccine would have made it possible to bring all our students back to campus, the state of our global public health continues to present risks. The health risks are compounded by the onset of flu season and we are witnessing spikes in many areas of the country. The current circumstances have prompted us to modify our move-in and academic schedules for JayTerm and Spring Semester. As we did in the fall, we will maintain our single rooms for every student who opts in for a residential experience. Our experience this Fall to de-densify the campus helped us to mitigate COVID-19 infections and allowed for maximum safety as students were in control their own space, and if needed, isolate with privacy and lack of exposure to others. Therefore, we believe that implementing this practice for another semester is the best option. We will do our best to accommodate those students who need to be on campus for the spring semester. Students who opt in for residential housing for the Spring Semester will move in on January 9 and January 10, 2021. We will follow the same protocol of a 14-day quarantine period with PCR testing on the day of arrival. More information on the opt-in process will be sent out soon from Student Life. In-residence students are expected to sign and follow the Pledge to Promote Safety guidelines and the COVID Student Safety Policy and Guide as well as policies outlined in the Student Handbook. Academic Calendar JayTerm will begin on Monday, January 11, 2021. All courses will be virtual for the two-week instruction period so that students can maintain quarantine protocols. The Spring Semester is will begin on Monday, January 25, 2021 rather than Wednesday, January 27, 2021 as originally scheduled. The immediate start of the Spring semester ensures that students will have safely completed their quarantine and can attend classes in-person and/or online. Because of the earlier start of the Spring Semester, faculty will be given an extension period for submitting grades for the JayTerm session. To maintain safety protocols and reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, Spring Break has been canceled. However, we will be introducing “days off” in the Spring Semester to provide students with a break from their academic classes. These ‘days off’ will be scheduled sporadically throughout the semester. Faculty and students will be given advance notice of the “days off” schedule. Athletics The Washington & Jefferson College Department of Athletics will continue to work with the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (as well as our affiliate conferences), the NCAA, and local health officials to determine a potential return to competition for the Spring 2021 semester. Minimally, W&J athletic teams will conduct practices and team workouts similar to the fall semester, under the supervision of their coaches, while complying with all health and safety standards currently in place. Practice or athletically related activity will not be conducted on campus between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. More information will be provided to our student athletes as the PAC confirms the return to play protocol. We encourage you to frequently check your email and the intranet pages for additional communications about the opt-in process, class scheduling, textbook adoptions and more. We continue to have great confidence in the commitment each of you to ensuring that W&J community is a safe and inviting campus community. Sincerely, Eva Chatterjee-Sutton Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students Jeff Frick Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the College Read More

More news for the Spring 2021 semester coming soon!

Additional Information

Reopening Campus

The W&J COVID-19 Response Team began meeting in March 2020 to plan for a wide range of future scenarios, and more recently expanded this work with the appointment of several subcommittees. We have collaborated closely with many other colleges and universities, as well as experts in relevant fields, to develop the best practices we have adopted for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. As our plan was drafted, we sought input from leaders of our board of trustees, our faculty, and our student body. All decisions were made with the following priorities at the forefront:

  1. Ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.
  2. Maintain continuity and quality of instruction for the greatest number of students.
  3. Provide a holistically developmental experience to the greatest number of students.
  4. Sustain essential operations.
  5. Safeguard the college’s financial stability and ability to compete.
  6. Support a culture of trust and shared commitment to continuous adaptive change.

As the Spring 2021 semester resumes, you can expect some of our policies and procedures to evolve based on our ongoing assessment of effectiveness and any changes in the external environment. The COVID-19 page will be kept up to date to provide accurate and timely information. We will also continue the practice of communicating updates by email; therefore, it will be important for you to continue to monitor your W&J email.

Returning to Campus
Remote Instruction & Work
Cleaning Procedures
Physical Distancing

Questions and Answers

Helpful Links

Health Care Tips from the Centers for Disease Control

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  2. Stay home when you are ill. This will help you to recover more quickly and decrease the spread of illness when on campus.
  3. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  4. Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  5. If you have not had the flu vaccine, please consider getting one. While this will not protect against the coronavirus, the vaccine may prevent against the flu.

Spring 2021 Timeline

  • January 9-10

    Move in Day for JayTerm and Spring Semester

  • January 25

    Classes begin

  • February 17

    Symposium on Democracy - No Classes

  • March 23


  • May 11

    Spring Term Ends

These modifications were made in consultation with faculty leaders and the Curriculum and Program Committee. We will determine and communicate plans for JayTerm prior to the registration period. At this point, we anticipate our Spring calendar will be in place, as planned.