Winter term added to spring semester


Kelly Keen

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen released the spring 2021 calendar, which will not include spring break.

Jill Even

Online classes will be available for a winter academic term, and the cancellation of spring break was announced for Iowa State.

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen released the updated spring 2021 semester calendar Monday in an email, stating the semester will now begin Jan. 25, which is two weeks later than originally planned.

Spring classes will be delivered in a face-to-face, arranged, hybrid or online delivery format, similar to the fall semester.

The “Cyclones Care” initiative will still be promoted, and health measures will still be in place, such as mandatory mask-wearing indoors and outside when social distancing is not possible.

Wintersteen wrote that in-person laboratory and studio classes are still being prioritized while online classes can continue to be an option for students who prefer an online setting.

Rob Schweers, senior vice president and provost program director, said this was to compensate for spring break while making sure to end the semester at the original date of May 6.

“It’s all about the health and safety of students, faculty and staff,” Schweers said. “President Wintersteen, Provost Wickert and the rest of the senior leadership team got together and said, ‘How can we look at the schedule with health and safety in mind, the same way that we did for the fall?’ That led to discussions, proposals, decisions and the email today about starting two weeks late.”

In addition to calendar changes, there will be a five-week online winter term option for students who wish to take classes during the elongated winter break. The specific classes being offered have not yet been chosen but will most likely be general education classes.

Schweers said class tuition during the winter term will remain the same as current tuition, so winter classes are a good option for students who need to squeeze in extra credits to meet their graduation plan.

He also said Iowa State collaborates with other Iowa universities to problem solve.

“We certainly work together,” Schweers said. “We have lots of discussions, we talk about the things we are thinking of, hear what they’re thinking of. In the end, we make our own decision, but we like to get as much information as possible before we make a big decision like changing the spring calendar.”