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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - The spring semester at Stockton University will begin a week later than planned to accommodate COVID-19 health and safety measures.

According to a release, the Board of Trustees, at its Dec 9 meeting, approved moving the first day of classes for the spring semester from Jan. 19 to Jan. 25. The weeklong spring break scheduled for March 14-21 has been cancelled. Classes will not be held on President’s Day, Feb. 15.

The last day of classes will remain May 7. Final plans for spring 2021 commencement are still being planned. The full spring 2021 academic calendar is posted on the Stockton website.

Stockton Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Susan Davenport said the change was made because of concerns about the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases statewide and nationally, and uncertainty about the timeline for vaccine distribution. Most spring semester classes are being held online. 

“This is the safest route going forward,” Davenport stated.

A number of students spoke at the meeting, most saying they understood why the university wanted to make the change, but that students still need a mid-semester break, especially during the pandemic, when there is more stress. They also said they would like more communication about potential changes.

President Harvey Kesselman said the university would schedule a town hall with students to discuss their concerns.

Board chair Raymond Ciccone said the administration would address student concerns.

“We would have preferred to have a traditional spring semester,” Ciccone stated, “but our primary concern is the ongoing health and safety of our faculty, staff and students.”

Stockton’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is still planned for later in January, but will be a smaller event.

The trustees also approved a reduced summer tuition plan for residential students. Students who live at the Boardwalk Residential Complex, at the Atlantic City campus, during the summer will be eligible to take three summer courses for the price of two.  The discount would apply for students who have 12-month contracts and those staying just for the three-month summer session.

“We know students also have jobs and summer internships in Atlantic City, and we want to provide this opportunity for them to also continue their educations,” President Harvey Kesselman stated.

The Boardwalk Residential Complex can house up to 530 students.  Accommodations will be made to adapt to any ongoing COVID-19 guidelines.

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