Eight Mississippi universities extend spring break, move to online classes due to virus concerns

Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 12:50 PM CDT
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MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Mississippi’s eight public universities have modified the schedules for the spring semester classes to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus.

All eight universities - including Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi - are observing Spring Break this week and will extend Spring Break an additional week, which will allow faculty members time to prepare to offer classes remotely.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are paramount,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “Our universities are modifying the schedules for the spring semester out of an abundance of caution.”

Most universities will resume classes the following week on March 23, with the exception of Southern Miss who said they will extend the break through March 27 and resume classes on Monday, March 30.

[March 12, 2020, 12 p.m.] Following the guidance of recent COVID-19 advisories provided by federal, state, and local...

Posted by The University of Southern Mississippi on Thursday, March 12, 2020

When classes resume at all eight universities, classes will be taught online and via other alternative instructional methods. Students are encouraged to remain at home and will participate in their classes remotely. Students enrolled in professional and graduate programs will be notified of any exceptions to meet clinical and other requirements.

“The situation remains fluid and university plans are subject to change in response to new information and recommendations received,” said Rankins. “We continue to work with the Mississippi Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response Planning Steering Committee and the Mississippi State Department of Health as we develop our plans for the coming weeks and months. Our goal is to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus while maintaining the quality and integrity of our instructional programs.”

Faculty, staff, students and their families should monitor their university’s website, official social media accounts and their email daily for updated information.

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