A Message from the President
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
As a follow up to the College Forum yesterday, here are two updates.
Springfield College has identified new dates for its Commencement ceremonies. As you are likely aware, we surveyed our graduating students on their preferences for Commencement 2020 dates a few weeks ago. We had a 60% response rate with over 600 individuals responding. The choice between an August 2020 date and an October 2020 date was clear. Approximately 76% of the respondents voted for an August date. This percentage was similar across all categories - undergraduate, graduate, and our regional campus graduating students.
As there is a chance that this pandemic may not be resolved by late August, we have two plans.
Plan A is for commencement exercises to take place on the weekend of August 22-23. Our graduate commencement and baccalaureate ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, August 22 on the main campus. We are currently looking at possibly holding these two ceremonies outdoors.
Our undergraduate commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 23 at the MassMutual Center. Events surrounding both commencement events and Baccalaureate will be planned by the Commencement Committee and details will be forthcoming in the months ahead.
A Plan B is in the works. We will continue to monitor all of the information regarding state and national mandates on holding large gatherings and we will continue to comply with any orders or guidelines. The health and safety of our graduating students and their family and friends as well as well of our community members continues to be our highest priority. If it becomes clear that we will not be able to gather in August, we will identify a future date to celebrate you and your accomplishments.
While the formal commencement ceremony will not happen in May, the College will confer degrees in May so that those students who have completed all degree requirements may move forward with their employment plans or pursue their next academic program.
College leadership in consultation with the Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate, and other shared governance members made the decision today that all courses scheduled for the 2020 summer session will be taught through a combination of online/distance learning.
For traditional undergraduate students, Springfield College will once again offer online courses this summer through the Council of Independent College's (CIC) College Consortium. Students will have the opportunity to take online courses offered by other four-year private institutions that will count towards residency requirements and Springfield College grade point average (GPA). Students will receive an email from the Academic Advising Center in the next few days with more details.
Between now and the start of summer classes, Springfield College faculty are working to ensure that online course offerings for the summer are of the same high-quality educational experiences that our students expect.
The fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to make these difficult but necessary decisions to best protect our students, faculty, staff, and guests. We recognize these decisions have a profound impact on all of us, especially our students. Springfield College remains committed to providing the support needed to assist our community members to be successful during these extraordinary circumstances.
Mary-Beth A. Cooper
Springfield College President