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USM Announces Updated Plans for Spring 2021 Semester

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 08:42am

The University of Southern Mississippi has announced updated plans for the spring 2021 semester, including expanded opportunities for in-person and synchronous course components and student activities, which will be implemented in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Academic leaders have worked with faculty to identify more opportunities for face-to-face classes and synchronous online course delivery in key academic areas. With synchronous online delivery, instructors present course material to students at scheduled times via Zoom, WebEx, or other live streaming platforms to increase the opportunity for real-time dialogue between students and instructors.

“Based on course data and feedback from students and instructors this fall, we were able to identify strategic areas to expand our options for in-person and synchronous online courses,” said Dr. Amy Chasteen, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. “Our dual focus has been on student success and on-campus safety, and what we learned during fall 2020 allows us to grow the opportunities for real-time interactions between faculty and students in ways that can make a difference for students in spring 2021.”

Additional on-campus student activities and programming will also be available in the spring, including housing and residence life programs. The Division of Student Affairs is offering new options for student organizations who want to host in-person events in line with established protocols, under the direction of the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement.

“This fall we worked hard to identify ways we can have more activities on campus in a safe manner,” said Dr. Dee Dee Anderson, Vice President for Student Affairs. “We want to make sure our students can stay connected and continue to learn while they are staying healthy, and we hope offering additional options for in-person activities will make a big difference in enhancing the student experience while we continue to navigate this pandemic.”

Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center will continue to offer multiple COVID-19 testing methods, including PCR swab tests, rapid swab tests and antibody blood tests. Moffitt Health Center medical staff will also continue to advise on updates to university health protocols in accordance with evolving CDC recommendations.

On-campus dining locations will remain open during the spring, with modified safety protocols still in place.

Spring classes are set to begin January 20. Ongoing updates regarding USM’s spring 2021 plans can be found at