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...

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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

Will W&J host exchange students in the Spring 2021 semester?

W&J has suspended inbound exchange programs for the Spring 2021 semester. We encourage students from our partner institutions who are interested in joining W&J as an exchange student in the future to be in touch with the international office at their home institution.  We look forward to hosting students from our partners in the future.

What are the arrival and start dates for Spring 2021?

Students who intend to study on campus should plan to arrive in time to participate in the 14-day mandatory quarantine period. The scheduled arrival dates are January 9th and January 10th; students may choose to arrive on either day. Classes begin on January 25th.

Will degree seeking international students be present on campus for the Spring 2021 semester?

New and continuing degree seeking international students are welcome to join us on campus in the Spring 2021 term, but should be aware their ability to study in-person could be impacted by the anticipated guidance published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We encourage students to wait to make plans until we have additional Spring 2021 guidance from DHS.

Please be advised that it is important that you contact our Director of International Student Initiatives, Dr. Dana Poole, dpoole@washjeff.edu to communicate your plans so we can prepare for your arrival. Dr. Poole can help you understand how immigration related issues should be a consideration in your decision to travel and course enrollment.

I am a continuing international student with F1 visa status. Can I continue to study remotely in the Spring semester?

Yes, you can continue to study remotely and can make the decision to do so based on your comfort level and considerations for health and safety.

Be aware that at this time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not announced any guidance related to Spring 2021 enrollment for international students. It is possible that DHS could require in-person attendance in order to maintain your SEVIS record. If DHS makes this decision, and you study remotely,  we will need to terminate your SEVIS record for Authorized Early Withdrawal and you will no longer have an active SEVIS record. If this is the case, there are paths to the reinstatement of your record or issuance of a new SEVIS record, but the termination and renewal of status could result in loss or postponement of  F1 student related benefits (ie. OPT, CPT) until you have maintained active status for one year.

It is important that you contact the Director of International Student Initiatives, Dr. Dana Poole, dpoole@washjeff.edu to communicate your plans for the Spring and to learn about how immigration related issues should be a consideration.

We know that this guidance is very important and we will share updates as soon as we receive them. We also recognize that this information is complex, and is better explained through advising related to your individual situation. Please be in touch with any questions.

Can new international students begin their study at W&J remotely?

Yes. If you are unable to enter the U.S. with an F1 visa and arrive at W&J before the start of the Spring 2021 semester, Monday, January 25th, you are welcome to study remotely for the Spring 2021 term.  If you are unable to arrive before the start of  classes, unfortunately you will not be able to join us on campus until the Fall 2021 semester.  Note that if you are a transfer student, joining W&J in person after the start of classes may be possible. Please inquire about this possibility by reaching out to the Director of International Student Initiatives, Dr. Dana Poole, dpoole@washjeff.edu.

Is the activity fee remaining the same?

No. There will be a 20% reduction in the activity fee for all students for the Spring 2021 semester.

What are the housing and dining costs for the fall semester?

The housing charge is at the lowest rate, $3,894, for all students in residence, for the Spring 2021 semester. Additionally, all students in residence will be required to have the 19-meal plan, at the cost of $2,742, for Spring 2021.

Do students need to check-in regarding their health each day?

Yes, students are expected to complete the Daily Symptom Checker each day before coming to campus.

Will I be required to sign a waiver of liability or other agreement upon returning to campus?

All of our on-campus students for the spring will be asked to sign the Pledge to Promote Safety at move-in.

Will the College hold its traditional Matriculation ceremony?

Matriculation was a virtual experience for all students in the fall. We will hold our Conversation with the President and Crossing the Seal Ceremony for any first-year students who are new to campus and those students in residence who were unable to attend in the fall.

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.