SALINAS VALLEY — Hartnell College has informed current students that they will need to show proof of full vaccination for Covid-19 by Dec. 10 in order to remain enrolled for the Spring 2022 semester.
After that date, students will have to provide vaccine documentation before completing their enrollment. The college will consider requests for medical and religious exemptions.
The Dec. 10 deadline does not affect students’ ability to complete classes during the Fall 2021 semester, which ends Dec. 18. Spring semester classes will start on Jan. 24.
The all-student notification was a follow-up to a Sept. 21 decision by the Hartnell Community College District (HCCD) Governing Board to adopt policies requiring Covid-19 vaccination for all students and employees. Details of how the employee vaccine requirement will be implemented are still being determined in consultation with bargaining units.
In addition to an email to all students in English and Spanish, the information was posted on the college website and its student academic portal and shared through social media. A letter with identical bilingual content will be mailed to students’ homes next week.
“These policies are intended to help keep our entire community as safe as possible,” said the email, signed by Raúl Rodríguez, interim superintendent/president, and Erica Padilla-Chavez, president of the HCCD Governing Board. “If you already are fully vaccinated, we sincerely thank you!”
Hartnell’s registration period for Spring 2022 classes began Nov. 1 for specific groups of students, and registration for most continuing students opens Nov. 3-9.
By “fully vaccinated,” the college means that students will need to have received both doses of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Additional information about how students can submit proof of vaccination will be provided.
Students who have already enrolled for Spring 2022 classes but not provided proof of vaccination by Dec. 10 will be disenrolled. They may re-enroll once they provide that proof.
The vaccination requirement will apply to all students, regardless of whether they plan to take in-person or online classes. This is because all students are encouraged to come onto campus to use the library or other student and academic services.
However, the requirement will not apply to students taking Dual Enrollment classes at area high schools or incarcerated students, although they may be subject to vaccine rules at their location.
The all-student message emphasizes that students need to “act quickly” to meet the vaccine requirement as they prepare to enroll in spring semester classes. The email included website links to community vaccination clinics, and Hartnell is working to schedule one or more clinics on its campuses. The college held clinics on its Main Campus in April and on both its main and Soledad campuses in August.
“Covid-19 has posed an unprecedented challenge,” concluded the all-student email. “We rely on you and others to help us provide a safe and welcoming environment on our campuses.”
Article submitted by Scott Faust, Communications Director for Hartnell College.