Physical Campus Closure - Institute has transitioned to operating remotely (see further details)

Winter Reopening FAQs

Updated on Monday, November 15, 2021

Winter Reopening – Updated Student FAQs on Attendance & Housing

Updated 11.15.21

The below FAQs address questions related to attendance methods and policies, submitting proof of vaccination, costs, and housing/dining for the winter quarter.  Please refer to the previously posted announcements and FAQs on winter reopening (below this set) for additional details on the decision, vaccination policies, and safety protocols.


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

The Guest Services department will be sending the winter registration forms to the My.Pacifica.edu email of all enrolled students. All students, regardless of how they choose to attend winter quarter classes must complete the required Guest Services registration form. This form is where you will choose your winter 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 this Guest Services Registration Form is separate from the course registration process done through your My.Pacifica Self-Service account.  Students must complete both the Guest Services Registration form and course registration process for the quarter.


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

Students will make an election for how they will attend their winter quarter sessions by submitting the Guest Services Registration Form.  The Guest Services Registration Forms will be emailed by the Guest Services Office in mid-November and are due by December 3, 2021.

We recognize COVID conditions are continuously evolving and that we all must maintain a degree of adaptability in light of that; however, for effective course and operations planning, it is important the school has an accurate and consistent count of who will be on campus and who will be remote well 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.


How do I submit my proof of vaccination, to ensure my approval for on campus attendance?

Students who indicate on the form that they are vaccinated and planning to come to campus for winter quarter courses will subsequently receive an email for setting up their account in the OptimumHQ platform.  Students that will be on campus for winter must submit their proof of vaccination into OptimumHQ by December 15.


What are the costs associated with attending in-person?

For those fully vaccinated students who choose to attend winter in person, they 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.


What are the costs associated with attending remotely?

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) to support the added resourcing for the concurrent classroom, including technology equipment updates and increased staffing.  For students in residential programs, the Technology Fee will be prorated if you attend a session online due to 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 winter quarter.

If circumstances necessitate a change to your attendance method after the December commitment deadlines, students can submit a petition to do so.  A petition form will be made available closer to the start of the winter quarter.  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 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 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 having signs or symptoms of sickness. Students must notify the Guest Services Office at least 5 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, in order to receive a refund for residential fees. If the 5 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 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).


How will lodging be handled in the winter?

With our vaccination policy in place, only those students that are fully vaccinated will be permitted to come to campus; all housing policies are in effect as stated in the Student Handbook (pages 71-73).

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


What can I expect in terms of meal service?

PGI and the catering team will follow all applicable state and local regulations and guidelines pertaining to food service, as well as taking additional steps we feel are necessary based on our own internal standards.


Winter Reopening FAQs

Updated 10.18.2021

What were the factors in deciding to go with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate?

The health and safety of community members and the public drove the decision to implement a vaccine mandate policy for on-campus classes this winter quarter. Consultations with the Santa Barbara Public Health Department reiterated that, by far, the single, safest measure we could take was to require proof of vaccination to be on campus, a mandate we have seen become common across other organizations, gathering places, and large municipalities like Los Angeles and New York, as we join the efforts to reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19.  After receiving recent guidance from our accreditors that temporary approval of distance education can continue, we decided a measured return to campus for our vaccinated community members with a remote delivery option for others was our most feasible, safe, and responsible course of action.

Ultimately, our stance on vaccination reflects ethics of care, stewardship, sustainability, and mutuality embedded in the values of Pacifica.  With hundreds of students coming to and from campus and arriving in the local area each month, we have a responsibility to the community as good stewards of place to conduct our operations as safely as possible, while offering options for those unable to be physically present to continue their education uninterrupted.

We recognize that there are views on the COVID vaccine within our community that differ from this stance and that a previous communication referenced exemptions to our vaccination policy.  We respect that there may be legitimate medical and religious reasons why someone is unable to receive the vaccine, and we shall continue to explore exemptions to the requirement for future quarters on campus.

However, the safest way to handle our initial return to on-campus classes is to base it on vaccination status and provide an option to join class sessions remotely for those unvaccinated students and those who are vaccinated with continued, serious medical concerns/vulnerabilities.  While the potential for breakthrough cases with a vaccinated person does exist, the chance of contracting/spreading are reduced in a vaccinated population, and even more so, the risk of severe effects, such as hospitalization or death, has proven to diminish significantly with the approved vaccines.

As we have throughout the pandemic, Pacifica will continue to monitor the latest conditions, guidelines, and orders, notably around areas such as booster shots, masking, and gatherings.  We shall update information as the situation progresses.

 

Where and by when do I state my intent/commitment for how I will join classes this winter?

Included in the announcement about winter reopening was this Declaration of Intent Form.  To adequately prepare for winter quarter sessions occurring in concurrent classrooms (live for both in-person and online), it is important to have a sense of student numbers for each delivery method as soon as possible. We ask that students please return their Declaration of Intent Forms by Friday, October 29.

Later this fall, students will receive a Guest Services Registration Form via email from the Guest Services department.  Only students coming to campus for the winter quarter need to fill these out, and they should do so as soon as possible and adhere to their track’s provided deadline.

Students who designate their intent to physically come to campus for the winter quarter on the Declaration of Intent Form and/or through submission of their Guest Services Registration form will be contacted to create an account in OptimumHQ and submit proof of vaccination by December 15, 2021 (see below for more on this).  Students who do not receive an email one week after submitting their Guest Services Registration form should contact Safety@pacifica.edu.

 

How do I submit my proof of vaccination?

To support a safe and seamless return, Pacifica has partnered with OptimumHQ for facilitating campus check-ins, health screening, and vaccination documentation. Students who indicate that they will physically return to campus (either through the Declaration of Intent or Guest Services Registration Form) will receive an email about how to create an OptimumHQ account. This is where students will upload their proof of vaccination, which is due no later than December 15th.

 

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 all 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 winter quarter classes in-person or remotely.  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 winter quarter.

 

Will my instructors be teaching from campus?

Faculty are expected to teach on campus in winter 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 winter quarter materials.

 

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 policy. 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.


Will face coverings be required on campus and in class?

Yes, at the time of posting, it is still under Santa Barbara County order that individuals must wear masks when indoors.  We will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and health department.

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

 

How will housing and dining be handled on campus?

In November, students will receive Guest Services Registration Forms and details on lodging and meals for the winter quarter.  Students who will be on campus this winter must fill out their Guest Services Registration Forms as soon as possible once you have received them in November.  This is where you document lodging reservations, dietary needs, and emergency contact information.  Students not coming to campus in the winter should not fill out a Guest Services Registration Form.

We are developing strategies to ensure the safest accommodations and meal-time service and will follow all county guidelines for these areas.  More details about those areas will be sent as we get closer to the winter quarter.

 

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 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, to the receptionist, and as requested by approved Pacifica employees, which can be found in the CPP.

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

 

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.
    1. iPhone users turn on “Exposure Notifications” in the settings app
    2. Android users – download the CA Notify app
    3. Instructions can be found at canotify.ca.gov
  2. 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, that had 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 begin feeling 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 are able to travel in a private isolated manner (personal vehicle), if okay to do so, 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 for ten days on campus. Pacifica has rooms available that are equipped with an attached full restroom. 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 – 14 days following either 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.

 

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.

 

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