Many Mississippi-based universities, including the University of Southern Mississippi, have decided to cut spring break from their spring 2021 semesters, opting to instead have shorter semesters that end in April.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP)—Several Mississippi colleges and universities have decided to cut spring break in favor of ending their second semesters early because of safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State and the University of Southern Mississippi, for example, will all forgo spring break this year to end classes in mid-April, officials announced. The decision was made to decrease the risk of students traveling mid-semester.
“These modifications help us continue to protect our students and employees while holding a full semester of teaching and learning,” David Shaw, Mississippi State provost and executive vice president, said in a statement.
At Mississippi State, second semester classes begin Jan. 6 and end April 19. Spring classes will still begin on Jan. 20 for the University of Southern Mississippi and conclude April 22. At the University of Mississippi, classes start Jan. 19 and end April 23.
Officials from other universities in the state said they have not yet finalized plans for next semester. Decisions will be announced in the coming weeks.
The state Health Department said Monday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 100,000 cases and at least 3,000 deaths from COVID-19 as of Sunday evening. That’s an increase of 215 confirmed cases and zero deaths from numbers reported the day before.