Cumberland University and Middle Tennessee State University announced recently that as a precaution to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each university would alter the academic calendar by adding a Winter Session.

At Cumberland, the Spring 2021 semester will start on Jan. 25 and will end as originally scheduled on May 7. This schedule does not include a spring break to prevent the risk of campus contamination due to travel during the break.

With the extension of winter break, Cumberland will be offering classes during the winter term. The full Winter Term will begin on Nov. 30 and end on Jan. 22. Winter Term 1 will begin on Nov. 30 and end on Dec. 23 and Term 2 will begin Dec. 28 and end on Jan. 22. All winter session classes will be delivered via Zoom online.

As of now the university plans to continue its safety precautions throughout the Spring 2021 semester, including face coverings across campus, increased cleaning and sanitation, limited capacity in all campus facilities and requiring faculty, staff and students to monitor and track symptoms daily prior to coming to campus. The university is also planning contingencies to return to campus full time if conditions permit.

Courses for the Spring 2021 semester will continue to be offered on the A/B schedule for undergraduate students. Students with last names A-K will be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays and online Wednesdays and Thursdays and students with last names L-Z will be online Mondays and Tuesdays and on campus Wednesdays and Thursdays. Limited exceptions to this rule apply.

More information on Cumberland’s response to COVID-19 is available at

At MTSU, a Winter Session with plenty of variety will be available for students beginning Dec. 21 and ending Jan. 21, just before the spring semester.

All Winter Session classes will be online, with sport psychology, the judicial process, history of country music and principles of marketing just a sample of the dozens of course offerings.

“The Winter Session was developed to allow students an additional opportunity to take a class during the winter break and to possibly alleviate their workload for the rest of the spring semester,” said Tyler Henson, director of the MT One Stop in the Student Services and Admissions Center, in a press statement.

Winter Session courses are tied to the spring semester for purposes of tuition and fees, financial aid, academics and other considerations.

Students are limited to one Winter Session class for a maximum of four credit hours, but Winter Session credit hours are included in the overall number of hours students are allowed to take in the spring semester (18 hours for undergraduates and 12 hours for graduate students).

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