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Posted: Thu, May 14, 2020 8:55 AM

These are unprecedented times.  So Luther College is creating an unprecedented academic calendar to best welcome students back to campus this fall.

Luther College’s 2020-21 academic calendar will include a September Term (four weeks; one course), a First Fall Quarter (seven weeks; two courses), a Second Fall Quarter (seven weeks; two courses), a Spring Semester (15 weeks; four courses) and a June Term (four weeks; one course).

During September Term, only first-year students will live on campus and participate in face-to-face learning. This plan keeps down the campus population, but also allows Luther to concentrate on making sure new students have a good experience.  Pending a decision by the American Rivers Conference, fall athletes will also return to campus but sophomore, junior and senior athletes will take classes virtually. All other students will participate in online courses, internships and potentially low-residency courses in Rochester, MN while living off campus.

All courses in the Fall Quarters and Spring Semester will use face-to-face instruction with students living on campus, unless shifts to online instruction are deemed necessary by Luther College in response to directives and guidance from federal and state governments or state and local public health agencies.

The June Term will focus on study-away courses (domestic and international) that were originally scheduled for January Term 2021.

The University of Minnesota’s Director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Michael Osterholm, also chairs the Regents’ Academic Affairs Committee.  Osterholm says he considers Luther’s plan “thoughtful,” “aspirational, yet realistic” and “doable.”  Says Osterholm,  “I am confident that the students, faculty, staff and administration at Luther College, as well as the Decorah community are well served by this thoughtful approach.”

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