Harvey Mudd College released tentative plans for the spring semester in an email to students Tuesday and announced a Jan. 11 deadline by which it will tell students if they can return to campus.
The college also released health guidelines — including twice- a- week COVID-19 testing and mandatory flu shots — that students, faculty and staff will have to follow if they are permitted to return and offered a glimpse into what the on-campus housing situation might look like.
The college is not currently permitted to reopen, per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Guidelines, which are currently only allowing waivers for pre-K through second-grade students to return in person, the email said. The college is “hopeful” that Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 numbers will decline, but the county is still in California’s highest tier.
If campus does reopen, flu shots will be mandatory, and any students, faculty and staff living or working on campus will be tested twice a week for COVID-19. All students living on campus will be required to follow the college’s safety guidelines, the email said.
But even if students do return, the majority of the curriculum will “remain remote,” the email said.
The college plans to only house students in singles, granting priority to current HMC Arrow Vista apartment residents, followed by first-years, seniors and those in “extraordinary circumstances,” the email said. Any remaining rooms will be assigned to students using their room draw numbers, the email said.
Students will receive additional information regarding the housing process from the Division of Student Affairs on Thursday, the email said.
The Jan. 11 deadline comes two weeks before the start of spring classes, the date of which was unveiled in the new 5C academic calendar Tuesday. Pomona College, Pitzer College and Scripps College said they will release spring decisions mid-December, and Claremont McKenna College said it would release plans by Dec. 9.
HMC has set the latest deadline to release its spring plan, and was also the final 5C to announce it would be online-only for the fall semester, a week before HMC students were set to move in.
Administrators said the delayed announcement deadline, which is two weeks before the start of spring classes, is due to the possibility that COVID-19 cases will spike over the winter holidays and lead LA County to reimpose limits on colleges, even if the county’s mid-November update allows students to return to campus.
“While we realize setting the date this close to the beginning of spring term may not be ideal for all students and families, we are doing this out of an abundance of caution,” the email said. “We need a small window of time to adjust our plans if required.”