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October 14 Message from President Liz Maw

Dear PGS students, faculty, and staff,

I want to thank the PGS community for a fruitful discussion about how we should move forward with planning for the Spring 2021 semester in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There was a great deal of thoughtfulness about how the community can balance the need to protect the health and safety of everyone with maintaining the close connections to each other and ensuring an enriching and robust academic experience.

The feedback we collected during the Rep Collective event on October 7th and through the companion survey we launched show a clear preference that PGS decide now to hold our Spring 2021 semester in an entirely virtual space. We are going to go ahead and make that call now:

  • Spring 2021 classes will be held entirely online
  • All students will receive a 3% tuition discount for Spring 2021, which will be applied based on the number of enrolled units. The discount is made possible through cost savings on classroom space and similar expenses
  • It’s clear that faculty and students would both like to have more synchronous learning time. In response, spring residencies will be 5.5 hours each. This means there will only be one residency per day that runs from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Pacific with a one-hour break for lunch.

We will hold out hope that optional community gatherings, and an in-person commencement, might be safe and permitted later in the spring. Those decisions will be made in February or March.

I know that we have all experienced a great deal of stress and change related to the social distancing and quarantine that COVID-19 demands. It is our hope that PGS can continue to provide students with community, support, and exceptional learning while we move through the challenges our society faces together.

As always, the thoughtful engagement of our community as we make decisions together for our school is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions, ideas, or suggestions. Thank you, and be well.



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