Students in the College of Arts and Sciences

COVID-19 Communications

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Academic Calendars

We made several changes to the academic calendars. Here are some important dates:

Spring 2021

January 19: First day of classes
February 25–26: Break
March 22–23: Break
March 24–26: Instructional days, no Spring Break
April 28: Final day of in-person instruction
April 29–May 1: Reading days
May 3–6: Final exams

The campus community is encouraged to limit travel. Shorter breaks will be provided throughout the semester to give the campus community rest while promoting safe and responsible activities. The traditional weeklong Spring Break is canceled, and vacation days are now scheduled for February 25–26 and March 22–23. Classes will end one day early on April 28, and an additional reading day is being added on April 29. Please see the entire academic calendar here.

Changes in the Classroom

We have modified classrooms to promote the health and safety of our students and faculty. In making these modifications, we are following guidance from the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission. This includes altering room layouts, reducing the density of available seats, spacing all seats at least six-feet apart, and limiting class sizes or the number of students who are physically present in class on any given day. It includes adjusting ventilation systems, which in all academic buildings are set to draw outside air during operating hours when feasible. We have also increased our cleaning schedules to minimize transmission through infected surfaces or aerosols.

Additionally, we have added new technology to our classrooms to allow better remote access for those students who do not attend class in-person whether on a particular day (due to the impact of social distancing on room capacity, or the need to self-isolate for a given period) or for the term (because they have chosen not to come to campus). We are utilizing larger campus spaces—Smith Hall and others—for classes, and have outdoor classroom options for parts of the year. Building and classroom entrance and exit patterns are marked to reduce density during peak traffic periods. And, of course, as a community we have adopted new behaviors that care for the health of all, from mandatory face coverings to physical distancing and frequent hand-washing.

We have adjusted our daily class-time schedule to support safer physical distancing and more cleaning of classrooms throughout the day. In addition to extra time between classes, we have extended each official time period by 5 or more minutes in order to stagger start and end times.


Faculty continue to be engaged in a series of pedagogy workshops, exploring ways to create exciting and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most courses take place as a mix of in-person and online instruction. A few courses have required and significant in-person elements, while others are taught mainly online. Here are the three categories of courses for the Spring 2020 semester:

  • The default class type makes use of a mixed access format. Mixed access classes are designed with both in-person and remote components. The in-person components of these courses are built to foster and support the connections and relationships that are so essential to a complete LC experience, while the remote components allow students who are not present in the classroom to fully participate. Mixed access courses are designed to be flexible and adaptive, with the goal of making the excellent teaching for which LC is known available to every student, regardless of their circumstances, as we navigate the challenges this pandemic poses to public health.
  • Some courses are offered in a remote access format. These classes are accessed primarily or entirely online.
  • A few courses require in-person components. Due to the unique nature of these courses, it is not possible to complete these courses remotely.

We are giving students flexibility in deciding whether to return to campus this semester or access their classes remotely. Students who are on campus or in Portland can take classes of any type: mixed access, remote access, or classes with required in-person components. Those students who are unable to be physically present in Portland should enroll only in mixed access and remote-access classes. Webadvisor contains information about course type for classes; this information can be viewed by clicking “Search for Sections” and selecting the term and subject(s).

Please email for more information about going remote. Academic support resources are available to students whether they are on campus or working remotely.

Overseas Study

While Lewis & Clark continues to be deeply committed to the value of overseas study, we have determined that we cannot confidently support study abroad at this time. Given health and safety concerns, as well as the lack of clarity around the effects of the virus on travel in the months ahead, we have canceled all study abroad programs for Spring 2021.

Your Social Experience

There’s no way around it: COVID-19 has an impact on your social experiences on campus. Campus events are limited in size, according to the guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority. We have temporarily reduced the number of common areas in the residence halls, and the dining room has limited seating.

If you’re a new student, we’re confident that you’ll still have fun and make friends. Each floor in the residence halls is like a family during non-COVID times, and the collaboration required to keep everyone safe during a pandemic might just bring you closer together. Your campus social life will start with New Student Orientation, when you’ll be placed in small cohorts for a dynamic, engaging suite of in-person and virtual activities. Your NSO activities are peer-led, and will give you a chance to get to know a group of students who share your interests. A wide variety of activities is on the agenda, including the opportunity for every cohort to participate in a series of engaging and interactive virtual new student trips to introduce you to our dynamic College Outdoors program and the beauty of our Pacific Northwest setting.

Responsibilities of Residential Students

There are steps that community members can take prior to arriving on campus to aid in slowing transmission of the virus. All residential students should review What Residential Students Need to Know Before Coming To Campus, paying particular attention to our requirements for self-isolation prior to your arrival.

Working Together to Keep Our Community Safe and Healthy

The strength of our community is one of our biggest assets, especially now when taking care of one another is more important than ever. All students are expected to review and comply with all of the information contained here: Health and Safety Expectations for All Community Members, as well as any other health-related guidance given to you by Lewis & Clark officials. Together, we can really reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep our campus safe.