Spring Forward Plan - Bennett College Spring Semester 2021

The Plan

After careful consideration, we have decided to continue to operate virtually for the Spring Semester.  Similar to our Fall decision, this was guided by an analysis of public health data and principles that place the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff above everything else.

We understand that students may be disappointed; we miss them and we sympathize with their desire to return to campus with their sisters.  However, the senior leadership team and Board of Trustees reviewed the current trajectory of COVID-19 and we are confident that extending remote learning for another semester is our safest option. As a Black women's college, we cannot afford to put our students at risk. We were equally concerned about faculty and staff—many of whom are in demographic groups that are more likely to be at risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19. 

We are proud to say that we delivered high-quality academics during the Fall semester, provided wrap-around support services, and presented a full array of community engagement experiences. Our students participated in Convacatum Est/Founder's Day, voter engagement activities and globally-focused virtual programs. They discovered the benefits of our minimester schedule and were able to thrive academically.  Faculty are working to deliver robust and interesting course offerings in the Spring.

If all goes well, we hope to welcome our Belles back to campus in Fall '21. With that expectation, we are already putting health and safety protocols in place. Visit the COVID-19 information hub for updates and news regarding Spring and Fall '21 and our preparations to reopen the campus.


Below are helpful resources that provide more information about our plans for the 2020-21 academic year. Please check back regularly, as more resources will be added.

Coronavirus Safety Information

Click here for everything you need to know about COVID-19 safety plans and protocols.


Every aspect of college life is considered to address the concerns and challenges that arise in responding to the pandemic. We enter the semester with faith and confidence in our decisions, but we are also prepared to adjust as new information becomes available.

Of course, change brings questions. We will continue to update this space, addressing further questions as they arise.  We want the entire Bennett family to know where we're headed and understand the rationale behind the decisions we're making. We believe that the only way to move forward is together. 

We understand; we all have different learning styles. We are offering classes in a variety of formats designed to meet student needs. Some are offered synchronously (live but virtual); others are designed so that you can move through them on your own time, at your own pace. But in no case do you have to go it alone. We are also providing a robust academic support program: tutors are available virtually; peer support through our CircleIn app; helpful nudges via texts from #MyBennett. Our smallness is our strength: your professors are available during virtual office hours, by phone and by email to answer your questions. The virtual world can be a challenge, but it is the future. Your experiences at Bennett are preparing you to thrive in a virtual environment.

Minimester schedules may take some getting used to, but they were implemented so that you can focus on fewer classes at a time and put your full energy into each one.  You take three courses at a time at most, rather than juggling five or six.

The key to making it work for you is in how you manage your time. Successful students plan to spend six hours per week "in class" learning the material as well as several additional hours each week reading, studying, doing research, writing papers, completing projects and doing other assignments. According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), "a well-established rule of thumb holds that students should devote two hours of study time for every hour of class time." Students who build that study time into their schedule tend to do very well.

In addition to the supports mentioned above, you can get assistance with time management through the counseling center.

Go to the library! Holgate Library is now on Virbela—a program that allows you to create a virtual avatar who can go into the building, search for information and find books and resources you need. You can arrange to "meet" your friends or professors at Holgate. There are private meeting rooms where you can connect with classmates for study groups or club meetings. It's a lot of fun. (If you like The Sims or Roblox, you'll love it.) Best of all, you don't ever have to turn on your camera in Virbela.
We understand that having the right technology is an important part of your success. If you need a computer/laptop or specific software, the Office of Student Experience and the IT department will work together to help you get what you need. In some cases, we can provide loaner laptops to students. If the issue is internet connectivity, we may have some technology resources that can help. Contact V.P. Cathy Hurd or Dean Kimberly Drye-Dancy in the Office of Student Experience and talk to them about your situation.
No. The minimester schedule is designed so that you can continue to take a full course load and progress toward your degree. Your professors and the academic leadership team plan carefully to ensure that the courses you need are available. As always, consortium classes are still available if there's a particular course you'd like to take that isn't offered on campus or if you are pursuing a dual degree.

We understand that home doesn't offer the kind of support that you may feel you need in some cases. In fact, for many of our students, the tables have turned, and they are the support system for their families—working, helping younger siblings, and taking care of elders. That makes focusing on classes challenging but not impossible. If this is your situation, please contact the Counseling Center for help with stress reduction, time management, goal setting and other techniques to help you stay on track.

If your home environment is dangerous or abusive, or if you are in crisis, get help immediately. Contact your local emergency services (911) or call the appropriate helpline:

Mobile Crisis Therapeutic Alternatives 24 hour Crisis Response Team: 877-626-1772
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
Local Behavioral Health Crisis Line (24/7 assistance): 800-256-2452
Moses Cone Behavioral Health Hotline: 800-711-2635 or 336-832-9700
Family Services 24/7 Partner Violence and Rape Assistance: 336-273-7273
24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255) 
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673) 
National Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) 
Transgender Crisis Hotline: 877-656-8860 
LGBTQ+ Hotline: 866-488-7386

If your concern is related to housing or food, contact the Office of Student Experience (V.P. Cathy Hurd or Dean Kimberly Drye-Dancy).  We review each student's request on a case-by-case basis to determine the best solution. The Office of Student Experience is the umbrella department that can connect you with services and assistance. Your health and safety are our primary concern.

That's our hope! The progress made on the coronavirus vaccine gives us hope that by Fall 2021, things will be safe enough for your return. Meanwhile, we are already planning to welcome you back by developing safety protocols for our campus. And while you're away, we are taking advantage of an empty campus to make initial upgrades and repairs in residence halls and academic buildings. We can't wait for you to see what we've done.

The tuition and fee charges for Spring 2021 will be the same as they were for Fall 2020.

View 2020-2021 Tuition and Fees (PDF)

If you need to make a payment plan for Spring 2021, the link is here:


Yes, professors are holding office hours. Check your syllabus and email your professor to make an appointment.  Staff is available to answer questions about finances, registration, health, or other concerns.

Out of concern for the safety of faculty and staff, only essential personnel are on campus. We are strongly discouraging people from coming unless it's absolutely necessary. Everyone is still working hard and we're available to take care of your needs.

It's not only colleges that have gone virtual; businesses and organizations have, too. We have seen several internship opportunities that have come available virtually. Because things are virtual, you may have more opportunities than ever because you don't have to travel, find housing, commute, etc.

Check with your professors in your department for internship opportunities. Ms. Yolande Johnson in the Office of Career Services, is also a wealth of knowledge about internships. Reach out to her at  yjohnson@bennett.edu.  Check your email often for opportunities.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College discourages study abroad in the Spring 2021 semester. Most study-abroad programs are not planning international trips in the Spring. With hopes that vaccines will be available, the Center for Global Studies encourages students to apply for study abroad opportunities in Summer and Fall 2021.

You'd be surprised at how many things we can do even though we're virtual.  The SGA and many clubs are still operating, and academic departments are holding events. Did you sign up for the Beyonce x Peloton app? We are planning virtual workouts and fitness challenges using the app.

We won't let this virus steal the joy of Bennett traditions such as Convocatum Est, Founders' Day, and Commencement. Alumnae groups in your area are having their versions of the White Breakfast.

Follow Bennett College on social media to stay up on what's happening. Our alumnae will tell you is that sisterhood transcends distance and difficulty. We support one another no matter how many miles separate us. The blessing of technology is that we can visit virtually to sing our songs, share laughs, play games and expand our minds—together.

Did you attend our historic virtual Commencement 2020? Though it was virtual, it was elegant, moving and fun. No, not the same as being there in person, but our graduates were celebrated and honored. We will make sure that the Class of 2021 will also be honored. We will be working with Senior Class President, Taylor Adkins, to plan a virtual event that honors your achievement and allows your family and friends to celebrate you.

We are thrilled to say that TRACs has approved Bennett College for candidacy status. That means that we've passed their rigorous evaluation (and even earned commendations) to be considered part of the TRACS family.  While we still have a few more milestones to meet, we can take advantage of all of the benefits of TRACS membership. 

TRACS candidacy status means Bennett students are still eligible for federal financial aid, including Pell Grants and federal work-study—and the College still qualifies for Title III and Title IV funding. TRACS accreditation ensures that other institutions and graduate programs will recognize your credits. We have all accreditation privileges as the college proceeds through the final stages of the accreditation process.

And don't forget: We are still accredited by SACSCOC.

Every class will have an orientation experience when we return in person. We've put together a committee with representatives of every aspect of campus life to develop a comprehensive plan for your return. We are developing protocols for arrival on campus, classroom instruction, residence hall safety, health and wellness, student activities, etc. You'll hear more about these plans as they develop.

Have A Question?

If you have additional questions about our Spring Forward Plan, please feel free to contact us using the form below.

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