Nicholls adjusts fall semester calendar; classes to end before Thanksgiving

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Nicholls State University announced an adjustment to the fall 2020 academic calendar that now puts the semester ending before Thanksgiving.


According to an email sent to students, fall semester classes will now begin on Aug. 10 as opposed to the previous start date of Aug. 17. The last day of classes will occur on Nov. 13, with final exams set for Nov. 16-20. 


Fall 2020 commencement ceremonies will take place on Nov. 21-22. 


Students and faculty will also have one fall break from Oct. 15-16, which will act as designated hurricane or university closure makeup days if needed.


The decision to adjust the calendar falls in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prediction that a second wave of COVID-19 cases is likely to arise around the Thanksgiving holidays. The University of Louisiana System advised its universities to have their classes completed before Thanksgiving. 


“There was a national movement that began a few weeks back. Some of the really large universities began to announce they were finishing their on-campus instruction by Thanksgiving. Our system then advised us that we should finish all in-class instruction by Thanksgiving,” Nicholls President Jay Clune said.


However, the choice to hold commencement ceremonies before Thanksgiving was made by Nicholls itself. 


“We made the decision internally that we had to have not only all classes completed, but exams completed and commencement completed so we did not go another semester without a commencement,” Clune said.


The decision follows the university’s announcement that in-person commencement ceremonies for spring and summer 2020 graduates would take place from Aug. 7-9. 


The university is currently conducting most of its summer classes online but plans to transition to in-person instruction for the fall, according to the email.