Updated September 22, 2020
Table of Contents
- General Questions
- Tuition/Financial Aid
- Student Life
- Group Gatherings
- International Students
- Prospective Students
Additional answers will be posted and updated as information is confirmed and available.
What is the plan for the 2020-21 academic year?
Despite our rigorous testing and response protocols, which do identify exposure and instances of the virus quickly, it is clear that our earlier plans to bring the rest of our student body to campus for Block 2 are no longer feasible. All classes for the remainder of Block 1 will be taught remotely. Most classes for the remainder of the Fall Semester will also be delivered remotely, including hybrid classes that do not have a lab requirement. Classes currently taught in remote or flex modes may continue to be taught in those modes.
Over the next months we will study the situation, acquire the necessary testing capacity, and establish cohort protocols with the intent to resume on-campus classes and activities beginning with J block. For those students who opted not to take courses this semester, our expanded block calendar this year allows students to complete a full eight-block year from J Block through Block C in the summer.
NEW: What is being done to get more students back to campus?
Our goal is to bring back all of our students in a safe and responsible manner. The following are some of the concrete steps we are taking to achieve this goal:
- We are having ongoing weekly meetings with our local and county health professionals to make sure that college leadership can always understand the changing landscape and guidance and that we can quickly adapt to those measures. Recently, we hosted several county health professionals for a campus walk-through to make sure they understood our strong procedures and protocols across campus.
- We are adapting newer, faster, and reliable testing strategies to be used here on campus. Our enhancements will allow us to provide a faster turnaround time which will improve our contact tracing efforts.
- We are working with our Colorado College Scientific Advisory Board and our local county health professionals on additional strategies. For example, we now have access to wastewater testing kits which will help us detect and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- We are developing some additional cohort and living models that will help us continue to de-densify our campus spaces and reduce the need for shared common spaces.
What is J Block and how can I have a full CC experience if I take a semester off?
In October, the college will make a decision about the Spring Semester and how students can return to campus. If a student decides to take a gap semester, it is still possible to take a full academic year worth of credits without paying additional tuition before the next academic year begins in August. A student can take six to eight blocks starting with J Block in January, blocks 5, 6, 7, and 8 from February to May, and blocks A, B, and C during the summer.
Do the students currently living on campus have to return home?
Yes, all students who are currently living on campus are expected to leave campus by September 20 unless they are already enrolled in one of the few in-person or hybrid classes available. These students have been notified that they have permission to stay.
Those in South and Mathias halls may leave when their quarantine ends. Quarantine students who live within a few hours’ driving distance and who can be driven home by a family member or responsible adult without stopping may leave at any time.
Which students are allowed to be on campus?
- Students enrolled in an in-person class, a hybrid class that fulfills the lab general education requirement, or Senior Studio Seminar (AS411) for Blocks 2, 3, and/or 4. These classes are now full, and students enrolled in these courses will receive an email from Vice Provost Pedro de Araujo and Acting Dean of Students/Acting Vice President for Student Life Rochelle Dickey with more details.
- Students experiencing hardship. Students who have already been approved to be on campus will be notified that they can remain on campus. Students who were not approved earlier but who are experiencing housing hardships should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- International students already on campus.
- Bridge Scholars
When will students know if they are taking a class that allows them to come to campus?
All students have received an individual letter clarifying if their classes allow them to come to campus. Students who are enrolled in a hybrid class with a lab requirement or an art seminar can return to campus for blocks 2, 3, and 4. For academic reasons, we are allowing students that were registered for in-person classes for blocks 2, 3, and 4 to return to campus by Block 2.
If I am taking a class that permits me to be on campus starting in Block 2, can I stay and live on campus for the rest of the semester?
Yes – if a student has permission to be on campus for blocks 2, 3, or 4, they may move to campus by the beginning of Block 2 and remain on campus until Winter Break starts in December.
Are masks required in Colorado?
Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended the statewide mask mandate, requiring all individuals age 10 and above to wear masks while in indoor public spaces. This order will be in effect until at least September 13.
Exceptions are made for individuals when seated at their tables in a restaurant. Masks must be worn when entering and exiting restaurants, going to the restroom, and any other time they are not seated at their table. Masks must be worn on public transport and when waiting for public transport; similar rules apply to rideshare services and other mass transport. Individuals who are unable to wear masks due to a health condition are exempt, as are individuals who are hearing impaired or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired. Violators will be subject to civil or criminal penalties, “including but not limited to prosecution for trespass.” Watch the press conference.
Is the campus currently closed to visitors?
The college will remain closed to visitors, including family members and job candidates. There will be no outside speakers coming to campus. If programming needs to utilize the speaker, it will be done virtually. The college will remain closed to the routine delivery of products from vendors.
Will retirees be able to visit campus?
No, we want to mitigate risk to both retirees, who are likely in a higher-risk group, and to the campus community as a whole by limiting visitors to campus.
How will CC restrict visitor access?
Lanyards with a visible CC ID are required while on campus. The college will be taking the steps necessary to make sure that access to buildings is only open to members of the CC community. Buildings that are more frequently used by visitors, such as our library, Worner Center, and athletics spaces, will be monitored closely by Campus Safety and by building managers to make sure that people are aware that we are limiting access to campus during this time.
What on-campus services are open?
Some campus facilities and services continue operating, but their hours may have changed. View the facilities and operations closures.
What are the dates of Spring Break next year?
View the full 2020-21 academic calendar.
What is Colorado College doing to address how COVID has disproportionately affected communities of color?
The college is consulting our antiracism plan in making decisions about COVID-19: who is able to return to campus, who is able to live on campus, our appeals process, our support process for students, how can we enhance our offerings virtually to the campus community. It is our goal that antiracism permeates all that we do. For example, currently, Colorado College faculty, staff, and students are working to produce face shields to help alleviate the PPE shortage. The group has forged a partnership with the Navajo Nation and sends 200 masks a week. “That’s a priority for us; to be a sustaining resource for the Navajo Nation,” says Rachel Paupeck, assistant professor of art, who launched the project with Andrea Bruder, associate professor of math, and members of the ITS staff.
NEW: What is the difference between hybrid and flex courses?
A hybrid course has in-person components and remote components that are required for all students. For this course, a student would have to be living on-campus to attend all components.
A flex course can be taken completely remotely, but there are some optional in-person components for students to participate in. Because the in-person components are optional, students are not required to be on campus.
NEW: How do online courses compare to in-person courses?
In terms of the delivery format, online and in-person courses are not the same. However, in terms of quality of instruction, we believe these courses are similar at CC. Over the summer, the college invested resources to help faculty develop their online courses. Faculty were supported to think strategically in the delivery of the course’s content, and our faculty have put a lot of time into crafting their online course offerings to be as robust as possible. We encourage students to try an online class and see if remote learning is right for them.
NEW: What if I want to complete Blocks 1 and 2 but do not want to take Blocks 3 and 4? What is a personal leave?
For students who want to finish Blocks 1 and 2 to complete their CC 100 and CC 120 courses but want time off afterward, personal leave can be requested. A student would need to schedule an appointment with the Advising Hub and request personal leave for two blocks, a semester, or for the year. These requests are processed internally. Once a student completes Block 1, they are considered a student at Colorado College and therefore will need to request time off through Student Support and not Admission.
If a student stays to complete CC 100 and CC 120 in the first two blocks, they will have completed the First-Year Program. Once they return, they will be able to start taking classes toward their major or general education requirements. Taking personal time after completing these courses allows for a lot of flexibility as the student is planning to come back to Colorado College either by Block J, Block 5, or the following year.
NEW: How were courses selected for in-person classes? How were courses and students selected to remain on campus?
All hybrid and in-person classes were evaluated to determine if the course could be altered for remote learning or if the in-person component was necessary for academic progression. After evaluating these courses, it was determined that the college could continue all in-person courses and hybrid courses with a lab component while also maintaining a safe population density on campus.
Can I drop my Block 1 class?
The deadline to drop Block 1 classes has been extended to Tuesday, Sep. 8. We encourage all first-year students to complete their CC100 and CC120 classes in Blocks 1 and 2; we will not have enough seats in the spring to accommodate additional students in those classes then and, at this time, we cannot guarantee these classes will be taught in-person this spring. Completion of the CC100 and CC120 sequence will benefit both the student and the college as there will be greater flexibility in returning to campus.
NEW: Can I drop one of my CC100 or 120 classes?
We encourage all first-year students to complete CC100 and CC120. Those are gateway courses, and completing the courses will allow more flexibility for your schedule and will make returning to campus the following semester easier. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, please contact your staff adviser to discuss possible solutions.
NEW: If I want to drop a block, who should I talk to?
If you are a first-year student and you are considering dropping Block 1 or potentially applying for a gap semester or year, please talk to your staff adviser. The deadline to petition for a gap semester or gap year is Monday, Sept. 14.
If you are a returning student and you want to take a block off or want to apply for a gap semester or gap year, please contact the Student Opportunities and Advising Hub, and they will meet with your adviser for what this means for your academic plan and start the paperwork.
NEW: Will advising be available for students?
Yes, both faculty and staff advisors are available for all students. We strongly encourage students to reach out to their advisors to schedule an informal session and talk to them about the semester. Although sessions will be held remotely, advisors are ready to support their student advisees.
What should a student do if a class they need is only offered during a specific block, but they want to use the flexibility described and take that block off?
As with any academic year, we cannot guarantee a given class will be available in any given block; we will do our best to work directly with students to meet their needs, including extra options this year via the additional blocks, etc.
NEW: If I have requested a gap semester, can I switch to a gap year?
Yes, we will allow students to change their decisions. Please contact the Admission Office (first-years) or the Advising Hub (upper-division students) to change your request.
What will the process be for suspending a previously scheduled block in the event it must shift to distance learning if a student elects to wait for in-person instruction?
Students can add classes in Banner through the add/drop tab until 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the block. For Block 1, students can drop classes in Banner through the add/drop tab until the third Tuesday of the block, should they choose not to continue the course if the format is changed. Then, they can look for an open section of the course and enroll later in the year.
Are you assuming that Spring Semester will be in-person?
We can’t guarantee that, but are hopeful, based on input from health professionals. The College is also teaching three Blocks this summer instead of two. We anticipate having a plethora of course offerings during the summer term and students are able to take a ten blocks this year for the equivalent cost of eight blocks.
Who will teach these extra blocks? Isn’t finding professors to teach them going to be a problem?
We don’t anticipate a problem — professors will spread out their teaching in varying ways across the blocks, and some will choose to teach extra blocks for our typical compensation for doing so. As with every year, we will also have some block visitors who teach.
Registration for Courses and Transfer Credits
How will pre-registration work for this format? Should students rethink their current eight-block registration or should they start over?
This has not yet been decided. Students are currently registered for Fall 2020, but not yet for Spring 2021. It may be possible to use a modified pre-registration process in order to get students registered for J Block, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and the two Half Blocks. This will depend on having courses for subsequent blocks finalized by Block 1 2020.
Will the class schedules for J Block, spring blocks, and summer blocks get posted/updated before the beginning of the Fall Semester, and what will that preregistration process look like?
Yes, J Block, Half Block, and Spring 2021 schedules will be posted as far in advance as possible, with the goal of Fall 2020. It will be necessary to do some degree of planning for Summer 2021 depending on need and conditions as the year unfolds.
Will CC accept credits from classes taken in person at an in-state school?
CC can accept transfer credit from other institutions; the transfer needs to be approved before the student enrolls. Typically, CC will accept transfer credits in cases where the course is not offered here and fits within the student’s academic plans. Read more about the transfer credit guidelines.
Meeting Graduation Requirements
I need all of the classes I’m currently registered for to graduate/complete my major/stay on track. Will the same classes be offered during the same blocks regardless of format (distance, in-person)?
In general, this should remain true, though expect some shuffling of classes as we finalize planning. As always, the college will work with every student to help make sure they can get the requirements they need filled.
Will seniors planning to take Blocks A and/or B be able to walk at graduation in May 2021? What if a senior has completed all school requirements and major requirements but wants to take advantage of the 10-class offer; can they still take summer classes after graduating?
Students will be able to participate in graduation with 28 instead of 30 credits next year, if they are registered for the remaining units in Blocks A and B. Consistent with CC policy, students who have officially graduated will not be allowed to remain on campus to continue taking classes.
What about the scheduling of required senior seminars and thesis blocks, if students can opt not to take the blocks in which they are offered?
Thesis blocks could be flexible, based on department policies and requirements. Students will be expected to complete senior seminar requirements during blocks in which they are offered.
How will people who may be forced to distance-learn due to health constraints take lab classes?
This is being discussed by the Academic Programs and Policies Work Group, and we will do our best to offer a variety of options.
How do I obtain my books for class?
Students may order their books online via the CC Bookstore. Ground shipping is free for orders over $25.
What kind of technology will be required to participate in distance learning? Is there a provision for low-income students who might not have access to what’s needed?
CC students will need access to a computer with connectivity to the internet so they can use Canvas and the materials that faculty post there.
Computers: Students who do not have access to a laptop and demonstrate financial need can request a loaner computer from the college.
Internet connectivity: Students who do not have access to high-speed internet at home can use their CC login credentials at any college campus that also uses Eduroam. There are locations all over the United States and select locations outside of the U.S. View the list of active Eduroam sites near you.
How will exams be administered?
For lower-stakes exams and quizzes, Canvas offers a tool for tests. Take-home, open-book exams can be shared via Canvas, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
How will students with learning disabilities be accommodated with distance learning?
Students concerned about the accessibility of distance learning for those with learning disabilities can reach out to Director of Accessibility Resources Jan Edwards at email@example.com or by calling (719) 227-8294. Edwards will be working with faculty to adjust academic accommodations as needed.
Students, if they have not already done so, should submit requests for faculty notification regarding accessibility per the usual process. The Accessibility Resources staff will be available via phone and email.
What resources will be available to support students in distance learning?
The academic support services in Tutt Library, including the Quantitative Reasoning Center, the Writing Center, the cultural and linguistic diversity education specialist, the thesis writing specialist, and the GIS technical director are ready to support students in their classes. These areas will post information on their individual webpages and on the COVID-19 website under “Teaching and Learning.” Please feel free to contact departments and staff by email.
Why are there so many breaks — the usual block breaks, Fall Break, etc. — when students are likely to travel and could be exposed to Coronavirus and then return to campus?
Breaks are key to allow faculty to grade and prep for subsequent blocks as well as to give students mental health breaks between blocks.
Will study away and field trip courses occur?
All Fall 2020 blocks away have been canceled. Beyond Fall 2020, we don’t know yet. This topic is part of active discussions, and as the college makes decisions about resuming off-campus study away programs (domestic and international), details will be posted to the Center for Global Education & Field Study COVID-19 updates page.
What is the impact on billing/cost?
View the FAQs that the Student Accounts Office has developed for more information.
NEW: How will work-study be affected?
Students in Colorado: Any student living in the State of Colorado, whether on or off campus, will be able to work for Colorado College either on campus or remotely. Those who are eligible to work are highly encouraged to apply for jobs.
Students outside of Colorado: Students participating in distance learning from outside of the state of Colorado will not be eligible to work. For students awarded work-study as part of their financial aid package, Colorado College will supplement half of the fall work-study award by crediting it to the student’s account. It will either reduce what the student owes on a payment plan or will create a refund. The college will complete this once the list of students who have left campus has been finalized (around Thursday, Oct. 1).
NEW: How will housing and meal plan refunds work?
We are finalizing our lists of students who are approved to either stay on campus or come to campus beginning in Block 2 so we can appropriately credit students’ accounts for housing charges they may not be incurring. For students who are moving off campus or are not approved to live on campus, we will remove their housing and meal plan charges that have not incurred for the year. The students who lived in South, Mathias, or Loomis halls and were quarantined will not be charged for their housing for Block 1. For meal plans, we will remove charges that do not correspond to meals that have already been consumed. In addition, there is an infrastructure fee that we will prorate for the one block students have been on campus.
If a student has not set foot on campus whatsoever, all fall and spring charges will be removed from their account. We will then determine what will happen for the spring once spring housing assignments are shared, and we will place corresponding charges on a student’s account.
NEW: How will financial aid be impacted for students living off campus?
Financial aid will not change for students who have not been invited to stay on campus and choose to move to private housing in Colorado Springs. We will ask students to upload their lease to the Financial Aid Office so we can see that they are living in the area. All students who receive financial aid have been sent an email with instructions and the link to do that. We will receive a list of students who have moved off campus. If we have a lease on file for that student, we will adjust the bill, leave aid, and it will either reduce the amount a student owes Colorado College or, if they have financial aid that’s over tuition, they will receive a refund. We are hoping to issue refunds to students by Thursday, Oct. 1.
Will I be charged for housing if I was quarantined?
We know the housing situation has been very difficult for those living in quarantined halls. The college will credit the accounts of all students living in Loomis, Mathias, and South halls for their Block 1 room charges. This includes students who had room assignments in those halls but were moved elsewhere for quarantine or isolation.
NEW: Will I receive a credit for food charges?
Students will be charged based on the amount of dollars that they have used up to the date they leave campus in addition to a prorated fee.
NEW: Will a student still be able to work for CC, especially in a work-study position, if they are not on campus?
Students who are not on campus are not allowed on campus at this time and are not allowed to work remotely. The college is looking into options for students who remain in the state of Colorado and will send information when we have this available. Students who are on work-study as part of their financial aid package and are not able to remain on campus will hear from the Financial Aid Office in the coming week; the college is formulating a plan to help these students who are unable to work.
If I secure an off-campus living arrangement, will my financial aid award help pay for my housing and food expenses?
The college has suspended the three-year residency requirement for the 2020-21 academic year. We may reinstitute this policy for the 2021-22 year this spring. Thus, all students who desire to live off campus are free to secure their own housing for the remainder of the academic year, including Blocks A-C. Students who reside in Colorado Springs will be included in our COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols. Students receiving financial aid from the College must furnish a lease with your name and the dates of the rental agreement to our financial aid office. Otherwise, we will assume that you have returned home and your cost of attendance will be adjusted accordingly.
NEW: How can students get additional support from the college?
- The Career Center: In addition to providing on-going services, the Career Center is excited to kick off a signature series for students called “5 under 25.” This event will feature five of our alumni who are under the age of 25.
- The Butler Center: The Butler Center is hosting a variety of events and workshops including the First-Generation Program and the Masculinity Project.
- Student Health and Well-Being: This office includes the Wellness Resource Center, sexual assault response coordinator, Counseling Center, Student Health Center, Chaplain’s Office, and our elder in residence. CC offers six free counseling sessions to all students, and if they need more than six, the college will cover any additional expenses. We want students to be able to take advantage of this resource. Additionally, for those still experiencing quarantine or isolation, we have created private spaces for students to be able to access these resources in private even if they have a roommate. Students should contact their RLC to access this space.
- Communications Program: Our competitive communications program includes speech and debate, mock trial, and model United Nations. This is a very supportive and welcoming space, and there is no expectation to compete if you participate.
NEW: What resources and support are available for students living off-campus?
Once we determine the number of students that will be residing on campus during Block 2, we will be releasing guidelines for students living off campus. In addition to access to their Worner Postal Box, we anticipate that students living off campus will have limited access to campus. We will, however, include students living off campus in our COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols as long as they have registered their Colorado Springs address with us. All students residing in Colorado Springs who are enrolled in classes will have access to our services at the Student Health Center. Additionally, the off-campus RLC, Luis Valdez, will provide support for students living off-campus. Please see our Facilities Operations and Closures for hours of operation and safety measures.
NEW: How do I appeal to live on campus?
Students who are pre-approved have been notified and do not need to apply again to remain on campus. There is also a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support students in financial need.
NEW: When is the deadline to accept an offer to live on campus?
The deadline to accept or decline an offer to live on campus is Monday, September 14, at noon.
NEW: Can students stay in supplemental housing such as The Lodges if they are not taking classes?
Yes, students can stay in The Lodges and The West Edge even if they are not taking classes. The college leases these spaces each year, and students can work with the leasing company to rent those spaces.
NEW: Has the three-year residency requirement changed?
The three-year residency requirement is lifted for the current (2020-21) academic year. First-years, sophomore, and junior students are allowed to live off-campus for this academic year. The policy will be revisited in the fall.
NEW: What is the process for students to check out of their on-campus housing?
For move-out information, please refer to this announcement. Any student who is not in isolation or quarantine who would like to move out now must contact their residential life coordinator (RLC) for permission and instructions. An email with move-out procedures will be sent to students on campus around Sept. 11.
NEW: How is the college supporting students looking to move off campus?
The college does not have the resources to provide direct assistance for off-campus housing searches. Students who are relocating to off-campus apartments in Colorado Springs not owned or leased by Colorado College must provide an address. If the student is a financial aid recipient, they will need to provide a copy of their lease to the college. Students living off campus and in Colorado Springs will remain part of our testing and tracing protocol.
NEW: What will room assignments look like for the spring?
Room assignments are likely to change for the Spring Semester. We are continuing to examine ways to reduce the likelihood of rolling quarantines. We know quarantine is not a desirable situation, even though it is sometimes necessary for risk mitigation. We will continue to look for ways for students who are living on-campus can do so with a lower risk of being quarantined. This may be accomplished by shuffling room assignments or by living in cohorts or pods. More information on spring housing will come in October.
What protocols have been put in place to mitigate risk?
Read more about our risk-mitigation protocols.
How many free counseling sessions will students receive next year? Will it still be six or would CC consider adding more?
The college will continue to provide the six free sessions and will monitor the ability to provide additional sessions as well as continuing to build capacity for telehealth options for our students. We always have the option of expanding on the six free sessions, depending on the circumstances for each student. The student should discuss it with their counselor.
Will the college take disciplinary action against students who tested positive for COVID-19 and didn’t follow the risk mitigation protocols?
We cannot share medical, disciplinary, or identifying information about any students who test positive.
Could a medical professional be included in one or more of your working groups?
The working group focused on testing, tracing, and response does include medical professionals, and the college also is actively consulting with a wide variety of medical professionals on all fronts.
What is the Colorado College Coronavirus Testing Program?
The college has developed a three-pronged approach to testing for Coronavirus. First, all students are tested upon arrival to campus. Second, individuals who have symptoms or who have had exposure to likely cases can request to be tested. Third, the college tests a random sample of the campus community each week (sometimes referred to as “surveillance testing”).
NEW: How will testing be handled on campus going forward?
Since the start of the year, we have tested every student when they arrived on campus and performed random sample testing every week. We will continue both of these practices going forward. In addition to being tested when they initially come to campus, every student will be selected as part of a random sampling environment where they will be asked via email to come to the testing site for random sampling on Wednesdays and Thursdays. CC uses the PCR molecular nasal swab test through UC Health. We will be utilizing our new rapid Abbott test which will allow for a faster turnaround time and help our contact tracing. We will also continue to offer the PCR test through our partner UC Health.
With the help of CC parents, the college is also establishing our own on-site testing facility. The college will be moving toward adopting a new rapid Abbott test, a similar molecular test that is just as reliable and sensitive as the PCR molecular nasal swab test, but allows the college to have a testing turn-around time of 15-30 minutes. The test will also be able to show results for Influenza A and B to help provide clarity and appropriate treatment during flu season. This will help us execute a more robust and frequent testing environment going forward.
Any student, faculty, or staff member who experiences symptoms can get a test. We have a dedicated nurse triage line with our partners in health that is dedicated to CC. We will continue to do random testing of our students, including those off campus, at a rate of 33% weekly. As we get more feedback from our Scientific Advisory Group and our epidemiology team, we will shift our random sampling accordingly.
What should I do if I feel sick or have been exposed to someone who might be infected with Coronavirus?
Please contact the Student Health Center at (719) 389-6384 to speak with a health care professional about arranging testing. After hours, please call Optum at (719) 636-2999.
What is the point of testing randomly selected members of the college community?
There are two goals of frequent, random testing. First, it allows the college to identify individuals who may be infectious, so that they can be isolated in order to limit transmission to other members of the community. As you probably know, many individuals who are infected with Coronavirus may display few or no symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Second, it gives the college up-to-date information about the prevalence of Coronavirus in our campus community. This information is used to adjust campus alert levels and make other important decisions. Thus, surveillance testing is an important tool for detecting outbreaks before they grow too large. However, testing is not a replacement for disease-prevention practices such as social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing.
Who is included in the pool of people subject to random testing?
The testing pool consists of all students who are living or studying on campus, as well as faculty and staff whose jobs require them to come into frequent contact with other members of the campus community.
How did CC decide how many people / how often to test?
The college has a Scientific Advisory Group consisting of faculty with relevant expertise. This group consulted scientists from other institutions and conducted mathematical modeling in order to estimate the level of testing that would be likely to prevent large outbreaks on campus, provided that disease-prevention practices such as social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing are adhered to. The testing rate can be adjusted based on the current prevalence in the campus community.
How does CC decide which specific individuals to test in any given week?
All students are tested when they first arrive on campus. After that, everyone in the testing pool (including students residing on campus and off campus in Colorado Springs) is subject to random selection for testing. Each week, a random set of individuals is selected from the testing pool. The sample is stratified by residence halls and classes. This means that each student in a given residence hall and class has the same probability of being chosen as part of the sample. To further reduce risk of infection for the campus community, samples may be adjusted to include additional students in areas of the campus with known active infections. Stratified samples help to achieve good coverage of the campus population. No demographic or other personal information is used in selecting individuals to be tested.
Why are some individuals or groups tested more often than others?
The random selection process means that some groups may be under- or over-represented in any given week. This is due purely to chance, and it will even out in the long run.
What kind of test is CC using?
We are using molecular tests, such as PCR-based tests, the current best method for detecting novel Coronavirus. This type of test detects the presence of viral genetic material, a strong indication of current infection.
Why doesn’t CC use antibody or antigen testing?
Antibody tests detect the presence of an immune response, which is an indication that an individual has likely been infected at some point in the past. While antibody tests are useful for reconstructing the history of an epidemic, they are not useful for determining who is currently infected. Antigen tests, like PCR-based tests, detect current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently being studied by scientists to determine whether they are as reliable as molecular tests. Their relative speed and lower cost mean that they may provide a preferable optionn the near future, and CC is monitoring these developments closely.
How should I interpret a positive or negative test result?
Molecular tests have a low “false positive” rate, so a positive test result is a strong indication that an individual is currently infected. Infected individuals are able to spread the virus to others, even if they feel healthy. These tests do have a higher (but uncertain) “false negative” rate, in which an individual tests negative but is actually infected. The false negative rate varies with time since infection, as well as other factors. Thus, a negative test result is not a guarantee that an individual is uninfected.
If I have been isolated or quarantined, why can’t I “test out”? If I get a negative test result, shouldn’t I be able to leave quarantine?
Even the best tests have a “false negative” rate, which means that some individuals who test negative are in fact infected and able to spread the virus. Thus, the CDC and other public health agencies recommend against using negative test results as a criterion for ending isolation or quarantine. Keeping individuals isolated or quarantined for the full duration of the typical infection is the surest way to break the chain of infections and protect our community from large outbreaks.
How long does it take to get results? Why can’t they be obtained faster?
As of the end of August, we have been receiving test results within 1-2 days. Unfortunately, the United States is still dealing with shortages of testing supplies and laboratory capacity that may limit our ability to get results as quickly as we would like if the country experiences another surge in infections.
Is CC planning to run its own tests on campus?
The college is currently working with a company to develop our own on-campus testing facility. Once the technical and legal hurdles have been cleared, we plan to carry out molecular and/or antigen-based tests in our own laboratory facilities on campus. This will allow us to reduce waiting times for test results as well as add to our community’s testing capacity.
What is the point of contact tracing?
Contact tracing consists of identifying as many people as possible who have had close contact with known infected individuals. This allows the college to identify individuals who have a relatively higher chance of having been infected, even though they may not display symptoms. Contact tracing is an essential tool in controlling the spread of infectious diseases, by directing interventions and resources to those individuals who are at higher risk of having been infected.
Is Colorado College doing contact tracing?
Colorado College is collaborating with our partners at El Paso County Health, and we have identified a lead contact tracer, a CC staff member, in charge of making sure that rapid contact tracing is happening. We also have a team of 15-20 people trained to do contact tracing, both through the Johns Hopkins tracing training and our local public health department.
A positive test will immediately trigger the contact tracing process. Anyone who receives a positive test will go into isolation for at least 10 days. If at the 10‑day mark their symptoms have resolved, they could be cleared to leave isolation. If they still have symptoms, they stay in isolation until the symptoms have cleared and they've been released to return to school or work by the public health department or by their medical provider.
Being on a college campus enables rapid contact tracing because we will be placing students into cohorts. All students will identify 10 or so people they spend time with, and they will not be spending time with individuals outside of their cohort. Within the cohort system, we will be able to immediately identify and reach out to people who might have been exposed to a positive case. All the individuals would go into quarantine that lasts 14 days from the last date of exposure.
How will we inform the community about positive tests, if someone is in that contact tracing circle? What information will they receive?
From the contact tracing standpoint, that positive test result is HIPAA protected. Contact tracers will not divulge the personal information of an individual. Information disclosed will be general (i.e. “in the past couple of days you have had contact with someone who tested positive”). We’re committed to maintaining the privacy of our community members.
When will quarantining be required?
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Any CC community member who is identified through contact tracing as having been exposed to COVID-19 patients will be required by the college or public health authority to separate themselves from other members of the community for 14 days from the last date of exposure, and to notify campus of the need for quarantine. Additionally, any CC community member traveling from outside of the U.S., or from domestic locations with high rates of community transmission, will be required to quarantine for 14 days from their date of departure from the affected area, and to notify the college of their travel at least 72 hours prior to their return to campus by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For students living on campus, this notification will initiate the process of meal delivery and daily check-ins.
When will isolation be required?
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. There are two types of isolation: self-isolation and mandatory isolation.
Self-isolation: CC students are required to isolate themselves from other community members if they experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (such as fever or chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea). Such isolation is achieved, for example, by the ill community member not attending class, not reporting to work, or not dining in communal spaces. Students experiencing symptoms should contact the Student Health Center, (719) 389-6384, to consult regarding need for testing or treatment. For afterhours, over-the-phone advice or consultation, please contact the Optum Urgent Care Center seven days per week at (719) 636-2999. Report any symptoms of COVID-19 to email@example.com. For students living on campus, this notification will initiate the process of meal delivery and daily check-ins.
Mandatory Isolation: Any CC community member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required by the college or public health authority to isolate from others for at least 10 days and until symptoms clear. If you utilize testing sites off campus and receive a positive COVID-19 test, you must notify the college by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can students under quarantine leave the college to return home?
The Colorado Department of Public Health does not advise that students leave Colorado College to quarantine at home. Quarantine is best accomplished in college housing in order to limit the potential risk of exposure to students’ families, communities, and other states. Quarantined students may leave to quarantine at home but only under strict protocols that do not expose others. We know this is a personal and difficult choice for students and their families. We also want to acknowledge that this is not necessarily possible for all students:
- The quarantined student must have access to their own private bathroom.
- It is not advised that students who live with high-risk or elderly individuals return home to quarantine.
- If the student becomes symptomatic, the entire house will need to quarantine.
- Quarantined students who live within a few hours’ driving distance and can be driven home by a family member or responsible adult without stopping may leave at any time.
Can a student get retested and be released from quarantine earlier?
Any student who wishes to be retested may be. However, because of the 14-day incubation period, even with a negative test result, students must remain in quarantine until 14 days after their last exposure.
During a hall-wide quarantine, would another positive test extend the quarantine for the whole hall?
No, because students have been following enhanced risk-mitigation protocols, only individuals who came into contact with the COVID-19 positive individual would have to extend their quarantine.
NEW: If I choose to live off campus, will I be able to avoid quarantine or isolation?
Because of the nature of the virus, quarantine or isolation can happen on or off campus. Depending on a student’s potential positive test result or exposure, we may need to ask students who live off-campus to quarantine or isolate. While we can provide support for our students who live on-campus who need to quarantine or isolate, we cannot provide the same support for students living off-campus in similar situations. There have been some off-campus students who requested and were approved to move back to campus so that they could receive consistent check-ins from case management staff, meal deliveries, and other support.
What is your plan to care for sick students?
We have isolation housing reserved for students who show symptoms and quarantine housing for students who may need to quarantine. There are 45 spaces set aside for this purpose. All these housing units are fully equipped with bedding, linens, TVs, etc., so if a student starts showing symptoms in their on‑campus housing or supplemental housing option and needs to be isolated immediately, they can bring themselves and change of clothes to these units and have everything they need to get through the next day. There will be routine delivery of meals, medications, mail, and essentials.
On‑call staffing will be available on request when students need something else.
The contact tracing team also will be supporting any student in isolation. The team will check in on symptom status, whether the student needs medical attention, how the student is coping mentally, what types of resources the student needs for their mental well-being, and how they’re doing academically. The only reason an individual will need to leave an isolation or quarantine space is to see a doctor.
Do quarantined residents have to stay inside all the time during the quarantine period?
The El Paso County Health Department recently allowed CC to grant students as much time outdoors as they would like so long as they are supervised to ensure quarantining continues. Residential Life staff will coordinate outdoor time and supervision for students who are quarantined.
Are quarantined residents permitted to exercise when they are outside?
No. El Paso County Public Health will not allow students who are in quarantine to exercise outdoors, citing increased respiration and the potential for aerosolized particles to travel further and linger in the air longer.
How are students getting meals and snacks if they can’t leave the hall?
Meals and snacks are being delivered to students through Bon Appetit. Outside food delivery services are not allowed at this time. Requests for specific items can be made through students’ assigned contact tracer.
Will Colorado College’s Student Heath Center accept my insurance?
Colorado College requires that all students have health insurance. Optum, our provider at the Student Health Center, accepts most health insurance plans, but you can call the Health Center at (719) 389-6384 to confirm whether your insurance will be accepted. Read more about the insurance plan Colorado College offers to students, as well as waiver criteria.
Will financial aid cover the cost of insurance?
Contact Financial Aid to see about the possibility of a grant or whether there are other strategies for covering the health insurance costs. If after you have a conversation with Financial Aid you have additional questions about options in that waiver enrollment process, reach out to Kimberly Taylor at email@example.com.
See the SCAC Presidents Council Statement Regarding Fall Sports and Athletics FAQs on the CC Tigers website for more information.
Policy on Group Gatherings
All social gatherings of 10 or more individuals, on or off campus, are prohibited. Students who violate our community standards face suspension or dismissal.
NEW: What activities and programming are available for students?
Our student groups are hosting virtual and in-person meetings and events. We recently held a virtual campus activities night for students to meet and engage with over 60 of our student groups and organizations on campus.
We are also offering weekend and evening social programming. Our director of campus activities is working with her team and other student organizations to host a variety of virtual and limited in-person events including Netflix parties, online mixers, escape rooms, comedy shows, magic shows, trivia night, salsa party, musical bingo, and more. We will also provide take-away events. Once a week, students will be able to pick up activity kits from the Worner Center to take back to their rooms. Activities include paint-by-number, yoga mats, clay kits, and many other options. Our Residential Experience teams including our residential life coordinators and our RAs will continue to offer programming and support to students both on campus and remotely.
Our Outdoor Education Department will also offer robust programming for our students this year. We are exploring the possibility of in-person Priddy trips. There are also some virtual Priddy trips coming up later in the year. We are also providing workshops for students, including the recent bike maintenance workshop that was well attended by first-year students.
Block break programming will continue for students as well, with virtual and small-scale in-person events as well as takeaway activities.
Is the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College canceling events and activities?
The Fine Arts Center is currently closed to the public. The museum, events, classes, and programs will reopen only if local, state, and federal guidelines allow. Updates here: https://fac.coloradocollege.edu/coronavirus/
Can non-CC community members still reserve and use the spaces on campus?
All non-CC conferences and events have been canceled. Weddings and funerals at Shove Memorial Chapel will continue only if local, state, and federal guidelines allow.
The Working Group on Administrative Policies is establishing policies for staff, faculty, and student on-campus accommodations; determining employment and benefits policies for staff and faculty who cannot be on campus; and creating policies for campus vendors, contractors, and visitors to include reporting requirements and on-campus check-ins. This team is setting campus event policies, including those for any external organizations, and setting travel policies for all members of the campus community, including mandatory reporting of personal travel.
Employees who work on campus must practice social distancing and adhere to the Community Back Together Working Group guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources at HRCovid19@coloradocollege.edu with any questions you may have and/or support resources that you are seeking.
Will the Children’s Center be reopening?
The Children’s Center is open and has been gradually increasing the hours of service.
What happens if CC stops all non-essential operations?
College administration is monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily. The health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty are a priority and we are continuously assessing the need for academic and service continuity along with ways in which we can reduce the risk of spreading illness. Proper precautions and protections will continue to be communicated as appropriate, depending on your department and role.
At this time, we continue to strive for operational continuity and will communicate ongoing plans as we engage in daily assessment of the situation.
What policies are in place regarding employee travel?
The college is following state and local guidelines. Currently, the State of Colorado does not have a limit on travel, but there is a required three‑day isolation period for individuals who travel out of state. Employees will need to remain off campus for the duration of those three days, checking symptoms and monitoring their temperature. Employees able to work remotely for those three days should do so. Employees who travel to a hot-spot area must quarantine for 14 days. The college is not banning travel, but is asking employees to be responsible members of the community.
Returning To Campus
What is the plan for employees returning to campus?
In order to allow for a safer work environment, the majority of employees have been working from home. Beginning in mid-July, some areas supporting students and faculty returned to campus, adhering to the state’s 50% density limit: No more than 50% of our workforce may be on campus at any time and no more than 50% in any one building at a time.
Are employees expected to return to campus when the 2020-21 academic year begins? Is the college aiming for 50% of employees to be back on campus?
No, that is the upper limit. If an employee is effective and able to work remotely, that is still an encouraged practice. But some roles must be performed on campus. A critical part of being responsible community members is to promote proper social density so that our students, our faculty, and those that need to be on campus can be, while mitigating risk.
Should employees be wearing face masks while on campus?
All employees visiting or working on campus must wear face cloths/face masks anytime they are near others who don’t live in their household. Employees do not need to wear masks in their private offices, but they are expected to wear masks whenever they are in communal areas where social distancing may be hard to maintain. If employees are working outside, they do not need to wear masks so long as they can maintain proper social distancing. Campus Safety has some face cloths/face masks available; call (719) 389-6707 if you need one.
The nature of my work requires me to come to campus. How can I minimize my risk of getting COVID-19?
Follow the guidance of the CDC and medical professionals for direction on prevention. The primary ways to reduce your risk include social distancing (staying six feet away from others), frequent and thorough hand washing, and avoiding touching your face.
In addition, departments may consider flexible scheduling such that a minimum number of employees are on site and interacting with each other at any given time.
What measures are being put in place to mitigate the risk to employees?
Daily Health App: All on-campus students, faculty, and staff must complete the daily health check and show completion of the check to access campus facilities. Access the health check via the CC app or print and respond using this Word or PDF document.
Technology for Density Monitoring: The college is pursuing technologies that allow us to understand density in buildings so that we can make sure that we are following state guidelines, but also so that people can see how dense a building is at a given time and whether or not they should go to that building. More information on density monitoring solutions is forthcoming.
Review of HVAC Systems: The college completed a deep review of the air-handling and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for every campus building, including a detailed report. The college is taking measures to make sure that air flow, HVAC handling, and proper circulation are present for all buildings across campus. The majority of buildings on campus already meet federal and state public health standards.
Enhanced Cleaning: Our partners at Sodexo are doing enhanced cleaning of all communal areas. And we ask that everyone be a good community member by playing their part in maintaining a safe and sanitized campus. There is a team — the Prevention Working Team — dedicated to securing supplies that the campus will need to remain safe, including PPE shields, Plexiglass, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and masks.
How do employees request COVID-19 protection and sanitization supplies?
Use this form. No other department or division should buy or use CC resources to buy supplies; the Prevention Working Team is the single purchasing liaison for all campus needs. Contact this team if you have specific needs. Read the PPE and cleaning supply request guidelines.
Are in-person meetings discouraged?
Employee meetings should still be virtual whenever possible. Social distancing must be observed in the few instances that virtual meetings are not possible. Small groups may meet outdoors if distanced. Outside speakers/visitors to meetings in enclosed spaces are discouraged.
Will employees in student‑facing positions be required to meet with students face‑to‑face?
Not necessarily. If you are able to provide support for students in a virtual way, the college encourages you to continue to do so. There are some areas where we need staff to meet in person with students, and the college is working with those staff members to develop a plan to conduct in-person meetings safely.
What policies around food have changed?
All employees are asked to bring their own lunches, meals, and snacks if they come to campus. Employees should not bring meals to share with co-workers or an entire department. They should bring only what they need for consumption for themselves; no communal food. Only catering from our food service provider, Bon Appetit, is allowed. Bon Appetit is following industry best practices.
How is the college planning to take care of and protect student workers and staff in positions of heightened exposure, such as facilities workers, janitors, and kitchen staff?
The college is evaluating work spaces to make them as safe as possible, which includes proper ventilation in areas, installing Plexiglas shields at certain front desks/cashier stations, providing masks for those who don’t have any, providing hand sanitizer and other protective measures. We count on everyone to do their part to help maintain a safer work environment: staying home if not feeling well, washing hands regularly, wearing masks, and following state and local public health guidelines, etc.
Working From Home
What can I do to prepare to work from home? Who should I contact if I have issues?
The ITS Solution Center has prepared a webpage that answers frequent questions about working remotely. Additionally, you may contact the Solutions Center at 719-389-6449 if you have any further questions.
Telecommuting Agreement: For employees who are in positions conducive to telecommuting, please complete a telecommuting agreement if you plan to work from home.
Note: this form needs to be emailed for approvals, so download the form to your computer first, and then open in Adobe or another installed PDF software.
Does CC have any insurance agreements related to COVID-19 testing or treatment?
Yes! We have worked with Cigna to update our health plan. Employees and dependents (covered by the plan) will have COVID-19 testing covered as a preventative service, with no copay. Any treatment required will be covered under normal plan provisions for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
What do I do if I start feeling ill?
Stay home and get well. You will need to log missed work time as “sick” on your time card or leave report in Banner SSB. We have set up this leave benefit to temporarily allow for negative balances in order to continue employee pay through the duration of illness. You will continue to earn sick leave according to your accrual schedule and, upon return to work, your balance will increase as normal.
If you are ill and are awaiting results from your COVID-19 test, and you do not accrue paid sick leave, CC is complying with the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (CO HELP) mandate to allow for up to four days of paid leave until you receive your results. For more information on this, please visit the time-off policies section on the HR page.
What happens if an employee runs out of sick time due to COVID?
Benefits-eligible employees may allow their sick leave go into the negative, borrowing sick leave from their future selves, to ensure employees are able to stay home if they are ill.
In addition, CC is complying with the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) so ALL employees are eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they meet one of three criteria. See HFWA Notice. Contact Laurie Mozingo in HR if you need sick leave for one of these reasons:
- Have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Have been ordered by a government agent (federal, state, or local), or advised by their health provider, to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of COVID-19, or
- Are taking care of someone else due to COVID-19 precautions (either someone ordered to quarantine or isolate) or a child whose school, place of care, or child care is closed or unavailable.
If you need sick leave because you are in one of the three categories above, please contact Laurie Mozingo in HR.
What do I do if a coworker tells me that they came in contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19?
Encourage your coworker to contact their medical provider for guidance. If self-isolation is recommended, they should follow the college’s direction to stay home and work remotely (if possible). See additional information on self-isolation here.
You and/or your coworker should also inform CC's COVID-19 Emergency Response Team Incident Commander Maggie Santos. You should not ask your coworker health-related questions due to confidentiality and privacy laws.
Is documentation required to return to work after recovering from illness?
If diagnosed with COVID-19, you will have to be cleared medically to return to work. This involves obtaining a release form from your medical provider and submitting it to Assistant Director of Total Rewards Laurie Mozingo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If not diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or you are returning to work after illness or injury unrelated to COVID-19, refer to the sick leave policy and your department procedures.
Can employees purchase difficult-to-find risk mitigation products from the college for personal use?
Eventually, yes. The initial resources acquired will need to be utilized for campus use, but as our team secures more supplies, we would certainly work with areas to make sure that individuals could have some personal use of difficult-to-acquire resources like contactless thermometers.
What is the plan for employees who are at higher risk of COVID-19? How do I notify my supervisor that I am an at-risk individual and what documentation do I need?
If you have been able to perform every aspect of your role remotely and expect that you will be able to do so in the future, there is no official documentation needed. If you cannot and/or are required to be on campus but cannot because you are higher risk, please contact Laurie Mozingo in HR to discuss accommodations. Individuals are not obligated to divulge more medical information to their supervisors.
What if I have a high-risk family member in my household?
If you have a high-risk individual within your household, the process above applies.
As a supervisor, what can I do to support my employees during this time?
We understand the strain and stress put on all employees during this unprecedented time. Our supervisors are also being asked to quickly coordinate and operate in ways that they may not be comfortable, or trained, in managing. To that end, we will continue to provide resources and guidance on ways to supervise remotely, coordinate flexible scheduling, engage in frequent communication with employees, and a variety of other ways of managing work during the outbreak.
See the Colorado College International Students and 2020 Immigration Guidelines FAQ on the Center for Global Education & Field Study’s webpage.
Are admission open houses and on-campus tours canceled?
Yes. To mitigate the risk to our students, faculty, and staff, we are not welcoming outside visitors to campus through the end of Block 2 (October 14) and potentially beyond. We will monitor our county’s recommendations for optimal risk mitigation and will update prospective students when we have additional guidance.
Will there be any sort of online/virtual replacement for open houses and tours?
We invite you to check out our virtual opportunities intended to bring you closer to the CC community! More information about virtual tours, information sessions, interviews, open houses, and more is available here.
- 2020-21 Academic Year Announcement
- CC Community Commitment: COVID-19 Health and Safety
- Facilities Operations & Closures
- Support Resources for Students
- Request Support From the Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund
- Give to the Emergency Response Fund
- HR: Working Through COVID-19
- Colorado College’s Report on Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
- Form to Report Plans for Working Onsite
- Printable Safety Posters
- Teaching & Learning Resources
- Accessing Support Services
- Classroom Protocols
- For Students: 4 Tips for Learning Online
- Practices for Supporting International Students Abroad — Suggestions for Staff and Faculty
- Study Abroad & Other International Travel
- UCHealth Optum Triage Line
- Virtual Fitness Resources
- Wellness & Mental Health
- Face Mask Recommendations
Emergency Response Fund
Because many in the Colorado College community asked how they can help, we have established the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund to meet needs during these uncertain times. Many of our alumni, parents, and friends, as well as members of our Board of Trustees and the president’s cabinet, have contributed. The fund also provides the college with resources to respond to unexpected expenses developing during this crisis and for lost revenue.
If you wish to contribute, please visit https://ourcc.coloradocollege.edu/covid19responsefund
In response to inquiries, we have created a form for families interested in donating their room and board credit to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund: https://ourcc.coloradocollege.edu/covid19refunddonation. Alternatively, please contact email@example.com for more information.