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IC approves updated academic calendar for the fall


Illinois College will follow a revised academic calendar for the upcoming fall that includes staggered move-in dates for students, the replacement of fall break with a longer Thanksgiving break, and remote instruction following Thanksgiving.

Catharine O’Connell, provost and dean of the College, said the changes were made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of providing students with an on-campus, student-centered learning experience while protecting the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff. 

O’Connell said that a team of faculty and staff have been exploring options and ultimately recommended a schedule that will minimize disruptions and position all students for success. 

“Students tell us that they are excited to return to campus and we are eager to welcome them. While there will be some adjustments to the fall semester, students can be confident that they will find the same profound academic opportunities and one-on-one attention that have always characterized an Illinois College education.”
Catharine O’Connell, Provost and Dean of the College

While first-year IC students will arrive on campus before the start of classes on Aug. 25, the majority of other students will return over a staggered period, begin classes online for a week, and transition to in-person classes on Aug. 31. This arrangement will provide additional special opportunities for new student orientation and reduce the number of people moving into residence halls simultaneously. 

Changes to fall semester breaks and a move to remote instruction following Thanksgiving will allow more time in classrooms and reduce the risks associated with students traveling throughout the country and returning to campus. Fall break, a three-day pause in classes that was planned for October, will be omitted and Thanksgiving break will be extended to a full week. The last day of face-to-face instruction for the fall semester will be Friday, Nov. 20. Students may choose to remain in residence on campus for the full semester.

Enrollment is expected to be up from last year as many families seek a smaller campus experience. Illinois College will take additional steps to maintain small class sizes on its residential campus. Students will be spread out in classrooms, with most classrooms reducing capacity by more than half. In-person instruction will be augmented by online elements. Additionally, there will be adjustments to some residential spaces and to common spaces like the dining hall.

A task force will continue to work with public health officials and monitor local, state and federal recommendations for the operation of higher education institutions. 

A more detailed plan will be provided to students later this month. To see the updated academic calendar, visit

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3467 for more information.

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