NORFOLK, Neb. - The COVID-19 pandemic has already altered how the fall semester at Northeast Community College will operate this year. Now, in an effort to allow students an opportunity to gain additional credits between the fall and spring semesters, the College will offer a special session of optional classes in December and January.
Leah Barrett, president, said an intersession is another chance for Northeast to assist students to stay on pace to graduate.
“There will be a good diversity of classes that will be offered to students during that time should they choose to enroll in these courses,” Barrett said. “This is also an opportunity to ensure that students who want to transfer as soon as they complete with Northeast can do so with 60 credits in two-years rather than completing in multiple years.”
Northeast Community College moved up the beginning of the fall 2020 semester to Monday, August 17, in order to end classes on Wednesday, November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. Northeast will hold two, seven-week sessions from August-November with no off time for Labor Day and fall break in October has been cancelled. The adjusted schedule is designed to reduce the risk of any health hazards associated with COVID-19 due to travel.
Barrett said the intersession is designed as a short-term solution to deal with an uncharted time in planning the academic calendar.
“This is not business as usual, but it is an opportunity to give our students additional choices in pursuing their education at Northeast.”
The intersession will run from November 30-January 15, with a break for the holidays in late December and early January. Registration will begin in October.
Barrett assigned a task force, led by Michele Gill, interim vice president of educational services, to study the prospect of offering the optional session. The group determined a six-week session will work best for both faculty and students who choose to participate.
“The intersession will provide an opportunity for our faculty and students to have a better course experience,” Gill said. “This will allow them to be able to complete general education competencies in a timely fashion which would be more amenable to faculty who would choose to teach during that time.”
The intersession means a one-week adjustment in the start and end dates of the spring semester, which are now January 25-May 19, 2021. The modification still allows for a 16-week spring semester at Northeast with built in winter and spring breaks in March and April.
In addition, the spring commencement ceremony will move to Saturday, May 22.
Barrett is pleased with faculty members who have expressed an interest to teach during the intersession as well as the variety of courses that will be offered. She said administration has listened to faculty on how to provide the best experience possible for Northeast students.
“We know there are increasingly levels of uncertainty during this pandemic and the intersession is another way that we can provide the best experience possible for our students.”