Academic
Calendar

All students—undergraduate and graduate—began the 2020-2021 academic year as scheduled on August 24. Undergraduate students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break as final exams for fall semester will take place remotely during the first week of December. Academic programs that have required in-person experiences—such as clinicals, practicums and internships—will continue in-person after Thanksgiving, unless remote options exist.

Spring 2021 semester will replicate the fall academic calendar as closely as possible. For undergraduate students, changes to the academic calendar include a start date of January 25 (two weeks later than originally planned) and a shortened spring break. The plan includes finishing the academic year as originally scheduled with a May 9 Commencement, with final exams taking place the first week of May.

Fall 2020 Semester: Key Academic Dates

Undergraduate Calendar

  • Wednesday, August 19 – Sunday, August 23: Welcome Week activities
  • Monday, August 24: Classes begin
  • Monday, September 7: Labor Day will be an instructional day (College offices open as determined by each respective vice president)
  • Thursday, October 8: Last day of Session I classes
  • Friday, October 9: Fall break; no classes (College offices open)
  • Monday, October 12: First day of Session II classes
  • Tuesday, November 24: Last day of full semester classes and last day of Session II classes
  • Wednesday, November 25: No classes (College offices close at noon)
  • Thursday, November 26 – Friday, November 27: Thanksgiving break; no classes (College offices closed)
  • Monday, November 30: Reading day
  • Tuesday, December 1 – Friday, December 4: Final exams (remote)

Graduate Calendar

  • Monday, August 24: Classes begin
  • Monday, September 7: Labor Day, no graduate classes (College offices open as determined by each respective vice president)
  • Wednesday, October 14: Last day of Graduate Session I classes
  • Thursday, October 15 – Friday, October 16: Fall break; no graduate classes (College offices open)
  • Monday, October 19: First day of Graduate Session II classes
  • Wednesday, November 25: No classes (College offices close at noon)
  • Thursday, November 26 – Friday, November 27: Thanksgiving break; no classes (College offices closed)
  • Wednesday, December 9: Last day of Graduate Session II and full semester classes

Class Schedule

The College’s Monday/Wednesday/Friday courses will meet for 70 minutes instead of the normal 65 minutes, and Tuesday/Thursday courses will meet for 100 minutes instead of the normal 95 minutes.

Students, including students-athletes, who have questions regarding how the modified academic calendar and daily class meeting schedule may impact practice times and schedules, will soon receive a follow up communication with additional details.

Fall 2020 Course Schedule Updates

Course updates have been completed in Merlin for the fall 2020 semester. The College’s “learn from anywhere” approach expands the variety of instructional modalities (in-person, online, blended) available to students for this upcoming semester. The updated schedule reflects the college’s continued emphasis on in-person learning, while incorporating a wider variety of blended and online course options.

Students can review their course schedule to see the instructional delivery for each class by logging into Merlin at www.merlin.noctrl.edu and navigating to your Fall schedule under Merlin / Students / Academic Profile / My Class Schedule.

Students with questions about their course schedule or options should contact their academic advisor or the Office of the Registrar at registrar@noctrl.edu or 630-637-5252.

The updated course delivery types are listed in Merlin under the “Section Name and Title” column as the last portion of the section name, and include the following:

  • In-Person: Traditional face-to-face instruction format; wearing masks will be required. In-person courses are noted with 1, 2… (ex: NCC*100*1)
  • Online Synchronous: 100% online instruction, with synchronous online meetings during specified class meeting days/times. Online synchronous courses are noted with “OS” before the section number (ex: NCC*100*OS1)
  • Online Asynchronous: 100% online instruction, with no required synchronous course meetings. Online asynchronous courses are noted with “OA” before the section number (ex: NCC*100*OA1)
  • Blended: Courses with a mix of in-person and online instruction. Blended courses are noted with “BL” before the section number (ex: NCC*100*BL1)
  • Split Section: Students in class are divided into 2 smaller groups to accommodate in-person instruction in a physically distanced environment. Each group will meet in-person with the instructor on some days and online other days; additional details will be provided by the instructor before the course begins. Split courses are noted with “SP” before the section number (ex: NCC*100*SP1).

Spring 2021 Semester: Key Academic Dates

Undergraduate Calendar

  • Monday, January 25: Classes begin
  • Friday, March 12: Spring break (College offices open)
  • Friday, April 2: Good Friday; no afternoon classes (College offices close at noon)
  • Thursday, April 22: Honors Day/Rall Symposium; no classes (College offices open)
  • Friday, April 30: Last day of full semester classes
  • Monday, May 3 – Thursday, May 6: Final exams
  • Sunday, May 9: Commencement
  • Monday, May 10: May Term begins

Graduate Calendar

  • Monday, January 11: Classes begin
  • Monday, January 18: MLK Holiday; no morning classes (College offices open)
  • Monday, March 15 – Friday, March 19: Spring break (College offices open)
  • Monday, March 22: Classes resume
  • Friday, April 2: Good Friday; no afternoon classes (College offices close at noon)
  • Friday, April 30: Last day of full semester classes
  • Sunday, May 9: Commencement

Academic Instruction

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the College has embraced a “learn from anywhere” approach by expanding the range of instructional modalities and leveraging technology to create inclusive learning opportunities for all students. The College’s primary modality continues to be in-person classes, but our faculty’s inspired instruction also includes a wider variety of fully online and combination formats.

For spring 2021 semester, all students will be notified via their North Central email once the spring course schedule has been updated with new times and instructional modalities. Academic advisors will then help first-year students register for their spring courses and help upper-class students adjust their schedules as necessary to fit their individual needs. These efforts will allow students continued flexibility and ensure they can continue steady progress toward their degree.

In-person instruction will continue to require a six-foot minimum distance between all individuals and face coverings will be required to be worn in all classrooms, labs and studios. Classrooms and other instructional spaces have been evaluated for maximum capacities based on physical distancing requirements and furniture and equipment will be arranged accordingly. Depending on class sizes and room capacities, there may be circumstances where students attend class in-person on some days and remotely on other days for synchronous or asynchronous instruction in order to maintain physical distancing requirements.

Education Abroad

The College has made the difficult decision to suspend all Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Education Abroad programs, as well as May Term 2021 Cardinal Destination Courses Abroad (CDCA). The suspension includes all program types, including exchange, direct enrollment, provider programs, faculty-led, and SIROL. This decision was made in line with current travel and health advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and takes into account the pandemic landscape across the globe and the challenges facing international travel.

Contact Information

Students with questions about their course schedule should contact their academic advisor, or the Office of the Registrar at 630-637-5252 or registrar@noctrl.edu.

Faculty with questions about their course schedule should contact their department chair or academic dean.