SPARTANBURG, S.C. (June 3, 2020) – In order to provide the safest environment possible for its community and to minimize the risk of health hazards that can result from travel, Converse College is adjusting the fall 2020 academic calendar. The changes were made with the goal of ensuring Converse students receive the full academic and student experience with as little disruption as possible, and also took into consideration the challenges some students faced in the spring with online instruction. The new fall academic calendar is as follows:
• Converse’s 2020 fall term will begin on Monday, August 17, one week earlier than originally scheduled.
• Classes will be held on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) and Monday – Tuesday, October 12 and 13 (Fall Break).
• The last day of classes will be Friday, November 20.
• Final exams will begin on Saturday, November 21 and continue through Tuesday, November 24.
• Residential students will be expected to move out of residential halls by the end of the day on Tuesday, November 24.
• The Thanksgiving and holiday break will begin Wednesday, November 25 and continue until Jan term begins.
Converse’s courses for the fall term will have the necessary online components should administrators have to adjust the academic schedule again due to a resurgence of the virus, with the understanding that some courses such as laboratories and performances may not be able to be completely moved online.
To do all this safely and successfully, Converse is making changes to the way its campus community lives, studies, and works, and the College is reconfiguring residential, classroom and office facilities to make it possible.
With the understanding that Converse must remain responsive in light of a rapidly changing situation, they have established additional safety guidelines and protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include such steps as:
• Reconfiguring seating arrangements and occupancy to promote social distancing;
• Placing signage to reinforce social distance measures and line management in high traffic areas;
• Redesigning how meals are provided and seating arrangements in the dining hall;
• Installing safety shields to separate individuals in customer service areas;
• Frequently wiping down high-touch surfaces like keyboards, door handles and desks with a hospital grade disinfectant, listed as an EPA-approved product for killing the COVID-19 virus;
• Misting rooms on a regular basis with hospital grade disinfectant;
• Health screenings through a symptom checklist questionnaire distributed daily to the campus community;
• Providing assistance and accommodations for those who are immunocompromised;
• Establishing a telemedicine option for students;
• Setting up areas for regular voluntary temperature checks with infrared thermometers; and
• Placing hand sanitizer stations across campus.
Converse’s leadership team has been developing plans that comply with the guidance from the CDC, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Department of Education, OSHA, and the EEOC. The College will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials and will remain flexible and adaptable as Converse welcomes students back to campus and resumes face-to-face instruction and services. More information on the plans the college has put into place to maintain a safe environment in residence halls, classrooms, the dining hall, and across campus can be found here: https://youtu.be/Hh_mxBC5qu8
About Converse College
Converse was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, SC who aimed to create an educational experience that enables women “to see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly.” Effective July 1, 2021 it will acknowledge its university status under the name Converse University, and in fall 2020 it will welcome its first undergraduate co-educational incoming class. Converse is a creator of opportunity for all academically-qualified students through a personalized education that is combined with the professional and technical skills graduates need to be successful in their careers. Converse pushes beyond traditional boundaries to make a quality educational experience available to every qualified student who seeks it – both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Converse College’s mission is to help students develop their unique voice, a sense of value, and a vision for the future.
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