Homewood Intersession courses pivot from in-person to virtual

JHU is limiting the number of undergraduates who will return to campus before Jan. 18, shifting most courses online for optional three-week Intersession term

Johns Hopkins University's Intersession term beginning Jan. 4 will shift from in person to mostly virtual amid the current increase in COVID-19 cases related to the omicron variant, the university announced on Wednesday.

The pivot came a day after JHU announced that booster vaccinations will be required for all eligible faculty, staff, students, and postgraduate fellows by Feb. 1.

The university continues to plan for an in-person spring semester, which begins Jan. 24. Normal in-person research and other campus operations will be maintained in the meantime according to existing protocols and schedules.

In their Dec. 22 message, Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar, Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Stephen Gange, and Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being and Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger thanked Homewood students, faculty, and staff for their ongoing flexibility in ever-changing circumstances imposed by the pandemic.

"We continue to look forward to an in-person spring semester, and we remain confident that our suite of preventive measures, including vaccination, testing, masking, gathering limits, and enhanced ventilation, will enable us to do so safely," they wrote. "As always, your diligence in following public health guidance is critical."

Limited exceptions for Intersession courses will be made for in-person experiences that are required or vital for students' majors. Undergraduate students will still be able to participate in on-campus research during Intersession, and Intersession study abroad program applications are being considered on a case-by-case basis.

Move-in to campus residence halls for the spring semester will be delayed until after Jan. 18 except for students participating in an approved program. Students who live off campus who are leaving for winter break are encouraged not to return to Baltimore until after Jan. 18. Homewood Student Affairs will follow up with more information on housing for those who need to return to the residence halls before Jan. 18.