Southern Maine Community College is adjusting its Spring Semester plans in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases in Maine following the holiday season.
SMCC will offer most of its courses online during the Spring Semester, with a limited number of in-person classes for academic programs that require hands-on learning. The start of the semester will still begin on January 19 as scheduled, but hands-on classes for the most part won’t be offered in-person until February 1.
SMCC has also pushed back the date, until January 30, that residence hall students will be allowed back on the South Portland Campus for the Spring Semester.
“Our top priorities are to protect the health and safety of students and employees, while continuing to deliver a quality education to students,” said SMCC President Joe Cassidy. “But with health experts expecting a surge in COVID-19 cases in January related to the holidays, we must adjust the College’s plans accordingly. As the disease and the winter progress, we may have to make additional adjustments if circumstances call for it.”
Some of the key elements of the Spring Semester include:
- The semester will begin on Tuesday, January 19, as scheduled.
- All classes will begin in an online environment for the first two weeks of the semester. (A very few classes where live instruction is essential — such as those with medical clinical experiences — will be allowed to start on January 19 with the approval of the president. Students in those classes will be contacted by their instructors.)
- The campus will reopen to essential hands-on instruction on February 1, but is limited to designated trade programs where hands-on learning is required for students to meet learning standards.
- Residence halls will officially open on January 30. However, residence life staff will be in communication with incoming resident students to coordinate move-in dates specific to each student’s in-person class start date and quarantine expectations.
- Oceanview Dining Hall will remain closed to walk-in traffic until February 1.