Update, 8:18 p.m. May 18: The Ithaca College Los Angeles (ICLA) program is delaying its Fall 2020 start date after President Shirley M. Collado announced the college will begin the 2020–21 academic year in person Oct. 5. In a May 18 email to Fall 2020 ICLA students, Jon Bassinger-Flores, program and services coordinator in the JB Pendleton Center in Los Angeles, announced orientation for the program will begin Sept. 28 and classes will begin Oct. 5. There is no confirmed date for when the semester will end.
Original Story, 12:30 p.m. May 18: Ithaca College will begin the 2020–21 academic year with in-person instruction Oct. 5.
President Shirley M. Collado made the announcement via email to the college community May 18. Although the semester is starting later than the previously anticipated date of Aug. 24, the 2020–21 academic year will be a full academic year, the email stated. The college transitioned to remote learning in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The email stated that answers to specific questions regarding the academic calendar and student experience will be released as the plans to return to campus are finalized. The athletics staff members are working to develop a plan to reengage in intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports that follow the NCAA, NATA and Liberty League guidelines.
The college has created the Return to Campus Task Force, which is composed of members of the senior leadership team and other campus community members, the email stated. The task force will ensure that the college is following the proper health and safety guidelines as it works toward reopening.
The college is continuing to work with the Tompkins County Health Department, Tompkins County officials and leaders in the local medical community, and is working to meet the guidelines and regulations in the New York Forward plan, the email stated.
The college determined the Oct. 5 reopening date through recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York, the state’s New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board and its Restart Plan for Higher Education Task Force.
Collado and the senior leadership will further explain the plan with faculty and staff at the All-Staff Gathering on May 18 and at the All-Faculty Gathering on May 20, the email stated. There will also be virtual gatherings held for students at a later date.
“Ithaca College has weathered many storms since we began as a small music conservatory in 1892, and survival in the face of significant challenge is in the DNA of this place,” Collado said in the email. “Throughout this particular storm, our community has continued to demonstrate creativity, grit and solidarity as we’ve pushed forward and continued to serve our students. It’s this type of innovative, student-centered approach that makes us so distinctive as an academic institution.”