Physical Campus Closure - Institute will be reopening campuses for courses in a concurrent format for the spring 2022 quarter (see further details)

Spring Reopening FAQs

Last updated on Tuesday, March 1, 2021

Spring Reopening – Student FAQs

Updated 3.1.22

The below FAQs address questions, policies, and procedures related to the decision to reopen campuses for spring quarter in the concurrent classroom format.  We ask that all community members review these and all communications closely to ensure a safe and educationally meaningful quarter.

 

Please refer to the communications sent from the Office of the President and other Pacifica offices for additional details or reach out to the appropriate department with any questions.

 

When and how are the campuses reopening?

Campuses are set to be re-opened for the spring quarter sessions, which will be held in a concurrent classroom format that allows for students to attend live, in-person or remotely.

All winter quarter sessions will finish entirely virtual, including the Mythological Studies program’s third session of winter that begins April 1. The first on-campus spring session will be the MA Counseling – C track at the Ladera campus. All sessions will be held according to the dates on the 2021-2022 Academic Calendars.

Dissertation defenses can also be held on campus or in the concurrent format starting in April, in addition to the continued option of hosting them virtually.  For any defenses that take place on campus, all those coming to campus must adhere to the vaccination, face covering, and check-in policies outlined below.  Beginning in April, the Bookstore will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 AM to 4 PM.  The libraries will also maintain hours of on-campus availability beginning in April, which will be communicated in the coming weeks.  For staff and faculty availability on campus during both session and non-session days, please check with individual departments to schedule appointments.

Is there a vaccination requirement to attend classes on-campus this spring?

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccination policy remains in place.  Anyone wishing to be on campus must be fully vaccinated, and we strongly encourage everyone to have received a booster as well.  Proof of vaccination is required for approval to attend classes on campus (see below for further details). Students who are not vaccinated or those who are vaccinated but wish not to be on campus for health concerns may attend and fully participate in classes remotely.

We recognize wide-ranging views on vaccination in our community, including those unable to receive the vaccine for various reasons.  While breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals are possible, data continues to show that the vaccine effectively prevents serious illness and death, especially among those from more vulnerable populations.  Maintaining our vaccination policy for the spring quarter affords us the greatest chance of protecting those on campus and our student/faculty population who continuously travel in from various distances to be together in close proximity for short periods of time before traveling back home.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination, to ensure my approval for on campus attendance?  If I already submitted it for winter quarter, do I need to submit again?

To support a safe and seamless return, Pacifica has partnered with OptimumHQ for facilitating campus check-ins, health screening, and vaccination documentation.

Any students who previously submitted proof of vaccination into the OptimumHQ platform in preparation for attending classes on campus in winter DO NOT need to upload their documentation again if they are still planning on attending for spring quarter.  What you previously submitted will carry over.  The Director of Campus Safety will be in contact with you if there was an issue that requires resubmission.

For students who are new for spring quarter, newly vaccinated, or did not submit proof of vaccination for winter but are planning to come to campus for spring – once you have submitted your Guest Services Registration form confirming you are attending classes on campus, you will subsequently receive an email for setting up your account in the OptimumHQ platform.  Students that will be on campus for spring must submit their proof of vaccination into OptimumHQ by March 20th.

How do I state my commitment for how I shall join classes during the spring quarter?

The Guest Services Registration forms will be sent out to My.Pacifica.edu emails of all enrolled students. All students, regardless of how they choose to attend spring quarter classes must complete the required Guest Services registration form. This form is where you will choose your spring quarter attendance method, whether you will be coming to campus or joining remotely. For those who will be joining classes in person, this is where you will state your Residential or Non-Residential status.

* Please note that the Guest Services Registration is for lodging, meals, and spring attendance designation.  The Guest Services form is separate from the quarterly course registration process that students are required to complete with the Registrar’s Office prior to each quarter through  your My.Pacifica Self-Service account. Students must complete both the Guest Services Registration form and course registration process for the spring quarter prior to the deadlines provided.

When is the deadline for making my commitment for how I shall attend my spring quarter sessions?

Students will make an election for how they will attend their spring quarter sessions by submitting the Guest Services Registration Form.  The Guest Services Registration Forms will be emailed by the Guest Services Office by the first of March and are due by March 10, 2022. All students, regardless of attendance, method are required to submit this form. 

We recognize this is a short turnaround window; however, for effective course and operations planning (housing accommodations and meals), it is important the school has an accurate and consistent count of who will be on campus and who will be remote in advance of the start of the quarter.

What is the difference between residential and non-residential students?

Residential students are those that utilize the lodging facilities at the Ladera campus, or if attending the Lambert campus, utilizing lodging at the Best Western Inn in Carpinteria. Non-Residential students are those that permanently reside in Ventura or Santa Barbara Counties and commute to and from campus each day.

For more information, please see the Student Handbook (pages 70-72), or the Guest Services housing and dining page.

What is the effect on student fees/billing for in-person versus remote attendance?

Fully vaccinated students who choose to attend class in person will pay either the Residential fees or Non-Residential fees. These fees are stated in the Tuition and Fees Agreement, and can be found in the 2021-2022 Tuition and Fees chart on page 127 of the Student Handbook.

Students who attend virtually will be billed a Concurrent Classroom Technology Fee ($300 per quarter for students in residential programs; $135 per quarter for students in hybrid programs).  While students did not incur any fees while classes were delivered entirely remote, the concurrent classroom requires added resourcing and demands, including significant technology equipment updates and increased support staffing.  For students in residential programs, the Technology Fee will be prorated if you chose to attend an in-person session online due to your own illness or have an approved petition to switch delivery formats mid-quarter.

Can I change whether I attend in-person or remotely after making a commitment?

Your election on the Guest Services Registration Form serves as your commitment to attending via that method for the duration of the spring quarter.

If health circumstances necessitate a change to your attendance method after the March 10th commitment deadline, students can submit a petition to do so using the following form: Student Petition Form – Change of Attendance Request for Spring 2022.

The petition to change attendance method must be received at least 14 days prior to the start of the session and would be valid for the rest of the quarter.  Students in the hybrid programs must submit the petition at least 14 days prior to their one residential session.

Petitions for a change in attendance method will be reviewed by committee members of varying departments, on a case-by-case basis and determined based on criteria such as a change in a student’s COVID vaccination status or other medical/health circumstances or concerns.

What will the concurrent classroom experience be like, whether in-person or virtual?

Classes will still be held on the designated residential session dates of the academic calendar for each track.  Students joining in-person or remotely will be “live” in the concurrent classroom.  Students in both forums will have the opportunity to participate meaningfully in class.  Preparations are underway to ensure an equitable Pacifica educational experience whether students are joining those spring quarter classes in-person or remotely.  For example, significant resources have gone into upgrading technology in every classroom to ensure quality audio, video and interaction whether remote or in-person, as well as increasing the number of AV/IT support staff available to assist.  More details on what students, whether they are in person or online, can expect will be sent as we get closer to the start of the spring quarter.

Will my instructors be teaching from campus?

Faculty are expected to teach on campus in spring quarter.  Limited exceptions may be made for a course to be taught by a remote instructor, depending on the course/programmatic needs and nature of the situation.  Programs and faculty are working closely on plans for each course to effectively deliver them in the concurrent format and will communicate with students further on this as part of spring quarter materials.

How will lodging be handled in the spring?

With our vaccination policy in place, only fully vaccinated students will be permitted to come to campus; all housing policies are in effect as stated in the Student Handbook (pages 71-73).  Accommodations will be reserved based on student responses to the Guest Services Registration form.

*For spring quarter, we shall not allow guests, including children, on campus for any duration of time. While Pacifica supports our students with young families, students needing to care for small babies or children during session should choose the “Virtual/Concurrent Classroom Attendance” option, if they are unable to make other arrangements.

What can I expect in terms of meal service?

Pacifica recently contracted with a new catering company, Seasons Catering, which has begun preparations delivering high-quality food in a safe and sustainable manner.  PGI and the catering team will follow all applicable state and local regulations and guidelines pertaining to food service.

Meals will be served in the dining hall/room of each campus.  We ask that diners maintain a consideration for space when in the service line.  Outdoor seating is available.

Will face coverings be required on campus and in class?

Yes, while many indoor mask mandates have been lifted in California and Santa Barbara County for vaccinated individuals, Pacifica will maintain its masking requirement for the start of the spring quarter.

You can read our full, current face covering policy that states face coverings must always be worn indoors and in Pacifica transportation vehicles.  Face coverings and proper distancing are encouraged when outdoors but not required.

Will daily health checks be required?

Yes, everyone entering campus must complete a daily health screening upon arrival or in the morning prior to continuing to classes and common areas. The check-in survey will be available by scanning the QR code that is at the entrance to campus and posted throughout buildings by entry doors. Completion of the daily screening will provide you with a digital badge that must be shown upon arrival to campus, and each morning for those staying on campus. You will show that badge at the check-in verification area where you will be provided a wristband demonstrating you have cleared your daily check-in.  Wristbands must be worn at all times while on campus, and there will be different and distinct bands for each day.

Additional information about where to check-in to receive your badge and with whom will be sent closer to the start of spring quarter.

Touch-free thermometers are mounted in the reception area of each campus and throughout the Residential Hall to verify your temperature.

What additional health and safety measures will be taken on campus?

  • HEPA Air Filters have been placed in rooms and common areas.
  • Doors and windows are opened daily to provide maximum ventilation inside of buildings (weather permitting)
  • Face coverings are required while indoors in all buildings, including the Residence Hall (unless in your dorm room), as well as in transportation vehicles, per our face covering mandate. Face coverings will be provided, if needed.
  • Daily health-screenings are required every day by anyone accessing the campus, including those staying overnight in the Res-Hall.
  • Rapid COVID-19 tests will be available for anyone who believes they may have had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual or is experiencing signs/symptoms of illness while on campus. Email Safety@pacifica.edu to schedule a test.
  • Contact tracing and notification of possible close contact with reported COVID-19 case.
  • Signage guiding effective hand washing and 30-second timers are at each sink.
  • Wall mounted touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers and temporary dispensers are available throughout campus.
  • Housekeeping is scheduled during campus access hours and routinely cleans high traffic areas and surfaces such as door handles, restrooms, reception, Library, and Computer Lounge.
  • Cleaning wipes are in classrooms, library, and the computer lounge for users to wipe down surfaces before and after use.

What happens if I am sick or unable to come to campus?

To ensure a healthy environment for all students, faculty, and staff, we ask that students do not come to campus if presenting with signs or symptoms of sickness. In order to receive a refund for residential fees, students must notify the Guest Services Office at least five days in advance to the start of session if they will not be able to attend a session that they are scheduled to attend in-person. If the five days’ notice is not given, and the student cannot provide medical documentation that would support the last-minute absence, or a switch to virtual learning, the student will be charged the applicable fees.

If you are well enough to attend classes for that session virtually, you will be permitted to do so. The Concurrent Classroom Technology Fee will be prorated for the session days you join online due to your illness.

If you are sick and unable to attend classes in-person or virtually, as well, the standard absence policy applies as stated in the Student Handbook (pages 19-20).

As is always the case, students are highly encouraged to purchase travel insurance when booking arrangements. Pacifica is not responsible for flight change fees or cancellation fees.

How will Pacifica be conducting contact tracing?

Pacifica will rely on two primary and complementary methods:

  1. We encourage everyone to join/enable the CA Notify on your phone.
  2. iPhone users turn on “Exposure Notifications” in the settings app
  3. Android users – download the CA Notify app
  4. Instructions can be found at canotify.ca.gov
  5. All campus visitors, students, and employees will be required to check-in and complete a daily screening. If a positive COVID-19 case is identified, all persons that had a “close contact” or checked into the same location at similar times will be notified as required. The COVID-19 positive person’s identity and identifying factors will be kept confidential.

What if I have contact with someone that has COVID-19 or get sick myself?

If contact occurs prior to coming to campus:

Fully vaccinated individuals who are not showing any symptoms despite close contact with a COVID-19 positive person should contact Safety@pacifica.edu prior to coming to campus if contact was within the last 10 days.

If contact occurs while on campus:

If this contact occurs while on campus, you may continue to attend classes as normal, but please continue to assess your condition and social distance as much as possible. Immediately report if you feel sick.

Anyone showing signs or having symptoms of being sick while on campus or in town for a residential session can contact Safety@pacifica.edu to arrange a free rapid (approximately 15 minute) COVID-19 test. This will be done prior to having contact with others.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 while I am on campus?

If a student requests a rapid COVID-19 test because they believe they may have had a close contact, or they begin feeling sick after they arrive to campus, and the test yields a positive result:

  • Local students who feel well enough to travel in a private isolated manner (personal vehicle) will be asked to leave campus and go to their place of residence. They will be allowed to join the remainder of their session remotely if applicable. They should contact their doctor and are encouraged to seek an additional COVID-19 lab test.
  • Non-Local Students who travel to campus using public transportation such as trains, planes, and buses will be encouraged to stay and isolate on campus for five days, until reduction of symptoms or negative COVID test. Students will not be charged for this lodging (outside of their typical residential fee) for the remaining required isolation days.

What is the definition of close contact?

Anyone who was within six feet of an infected person (patient) for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the patient began feeling sick or received a positive COVID-19 test until the time the patient was isolated.

What is the definition of fully vaccinated?

For the three major vaccines offered in the US listed in the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – either 14 days following the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or 14 days following a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

International students with vaccines not approved for use in the United States must contact the Academic Affairs and Student Services Office to determine if the vaccine satisfies PGI’s vaccination requirements. The Academic Affairs and Student Services Office will also advise international students on what constitutes acceptable documentation of vaccination status and where to send the documentation.

While not required, Pacifica strongly encourages community members coming to campus to receive the vaccine booster shot if they have not yet done so.

What are COVID-19 symptoms?

Symptoms can include a fever of 100.4 or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Will campuses be available to students outside of designated session dates or visitors (alumni, prospective students, etc.)?

Anyone wishing to come to campus must meet the same requirements as students attending on-campus classes. If only planning to come to campus once or twice, you may check in as a visitor, but will need to upload and bring your vaccination proof or a photo of during each check-in. If you anticipate coming to campus more than a few times during the quarter, please email Safety@pacifica.edu and a portal will be created for you in OptimumHQ.

Hours of availability in the spring for on-campus services, such as the libraries, will be communicated in the coming weeks.  Prospective students should reach out to the Admissions Office to schedule a campus visit or tour.  To make an appointment with staff or faculty please contact those departments directly for availability and scheduling.

Is there any decision about how courses will be conducted for the summer quarter or beyond?

There is not currently a decision made for any quarters beyond spring quarter. The ability to conduct classes with any distance-learning element is dependent upon the approval of our accreditation and regulatory bodies.  At this point, the Institute has temporary authorization from our WSCUC accreditors to continue offering distance learning through the end of spring. We continue to monitor guidance from WSCUC, the Department of Education (ED), and the Bureau for Private and Post-Secondary Education (BPPE) for the summer quarter and into the next academic year.

 

 

Pacifica reserves the right to modify its policies and procedures as needed to meet the federal, state, local and accreditor requirements, as well as public health and safety protection measures.