COVID-19 Sierra College Return to Campus

Planning a Safe Return to Our Campuses

Updated: August 20, 2021

We are pleased to safely welcome back many on-ground classes and services to Sierra College for fall 2021. 

We're planning for roughly 500 classes to have some on-ground component in fall 2021, and many of our Student Services will be available for in-person office hours.

We continue to phase in our return to campus, with a focus on a safe, coordinated process. Monday, October 4 remains our full return to campus, as well as a return to normal operational hours for our students.

What you will find on this page: 

COVID-19 Mandatory Health Screening Return to Campus Feedback Form Watch Staying Safe at Sierra Video

Protocols and Mandatory Screening 

Protocols for Fall 2021 In-Person Classes

The protocols below are in place as of Monday, August 23, 2021. If federal, state or local guidance changes, they will be updated as needed. 

  • Students will complete the COVID-19 Health Screening Form on the Sierra College app before coming to campus. Students who receive a green health pass are permitted to come to campus. Students who receive a red pass must stay home and contact their instructor. Red passes will trigger a call from a Sierra College Contact Trace employee -  please work with this person so they can clear you to return to class or determine next steps for you to become eligible to return as soon as possible. 

  • Masks are required to be worn on campus indoors regardless of vaccination status. The mask must cover the nose to the chin. Cloth, surgical, or N-95 masks are acceptable; athletic neck gaiters, bandanas, or masks made of crochet material do not meet the face mask requirements. Masks will be available for anyone who arrives to campus without one.

  • If a student is not able to wear a mask for medical reasons, they must provide a Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) accommodation form to the instructor prior to entering the classroom. Students seeking an accommodation for mask wearing must first obtain medical documentation from their physician and then contact DSPS to discuss options for accommodation with a counselor. Students seeking accommodation are not allowed in the classroom without a mask while the process is being completed. 

  • Students may not congregate in building hallways before class. 

  • Students are to scan the QR code on the building and/or for their classroom with the Sierra College app. 

  • Before entering the classroom, students must show their green health pass.

  • No eating allowed in classrooms.

  • Students not following the outlined Safety Procedures will be asked to leave campus

Mandatory Health Screening

Visitors to any of our four Sierra College locations must participate in a mandatory health screening. 

Instructions for Students, Faculty and Staff Instructions for Visitors and Vendors

If you do not have access to the App please fill in the Health Screening form and, 

If you are a student: 

  • not reporting a symptom, print the form and bring to campus to use as your pass.
  • reporting a symptom, email the completed form OR your symptoms and a contact number to: 
    reportcovid@sierracollege.edu

If you are an employee or faculty member:

Visitors and vendors should use your Visitor/Vendor Online Health Screening.

Visitor/Vendor Online Health Screening Form

On Campus and In Person Support Services

Winstead (Building L) is open for in person connections and initial points of service starting Monday, August 9. We’re open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, and Friday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (noon).

In the Winstead Building, students can receive assistance with: Financial Aid, Admissions and Records, Counseling, Special Programs and Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS). We are using the Financial Aid windows in Winstead for all of these services, including an initial point of access, answering questions and resolving issues, connecting students to specific departments, and setting up follow up appointments and services. (Students will access A&R in Winstead, and the A Building will not be open for students as we begin our return.)

What to Expect

  • We have installed plexiglass barriers at the windows in Winstead, and we will have masks available for students as they enter the building. 

  • Students and visitors coming to Winstead will need to complete the Health Screening and be cleared through the Sierra mobile app.

  • Nevada County and Tahoe-Truckee Campuses are coordinating similar in person services to serve their students as needed.

  • We continue to utilize virtual chat services Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Kiosks will be available in Winstead for students with to access chat immediately, which will help cut down wait times for any lines.

  • Counseling appointments are currently virtual, with student access to computers on campus for appointments. We are coordinating with counselors to provide opportunities for in-person appointments and the continuation of online appointments.

  • Our Success Center and Career and Transfer Connections center will also be serving students, and our Support Specialists will be assisting students outside across the campus on the first days of class.

In addition to our in-person services, we will continue to serve and provide access to Student Services in our virtual environments during normal operational hours.

Athletics

Wolverine Athletics has multiple fall sports teams competing. Fans are welcome back for games at Sierra College. Schedules are available at https://athletics.sierracollege.edu

Reopening Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit questions on reopening?

Yes, we want to hear from you. You can can submit ideas and questions using the Return to Campus Feedback Form.

Who is making decisions around reopening plans?

The safe reopening is being coordinated by the Return to Campus workgroup, the Executive Council, and faculty and staff representatives. 

The Return to Campus Committee is the main committee responsible for logistical planning and details of the safe return to campus, and includes representatives from: 

  • Health Services
  • Professional and Organizational Development
  • Facilities and Construction
  • Residence Life
  • Instruction
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Athletics

Will there be additional options for giving input as we move forward and learn more?

Yes. We still want to hear from you as we continue to plan for our return and as guidance continues to change. No one knows your jobs and work areas better than you do. We will evaluate if additional large group listening sessions would be helpful and the the best most efficient way to provide continued feedback, ideas and questions is through the Return to Campus Feedback Form.

Where can I find general communications that are sent out to all students? 

To find a list of emails sent to students, scroll down the Marketing, Communications and Public Information Office page and click on "Email and Newsletter Archive." 

If I need to visit campus, what protocol do I need to follow? 

Employees, faculty, students and visitors who plan to visit any of our Sierra College campuses must follow the visiting campus protocols listed near the top of this Return to Campus page

Will everyone be required to wear a mask on campus? 

Masks are required to be worn on campus indoors regardless of vaccination status. The mask must cover the nose to the chin. Cloth, surgical, or N-95 masks are acceptable; athletic neck gaiters, bandanas, or masks made of crochet material do not meet the face mask requirements. Masks will be available for anyone who arrives to campus without one.  

What is the best thing I can do to protect my safety and the safety of my coworkers, students, family and the community from COVID-19? 

The best way to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated. We strongly encourage everyone who can do so safely to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Information on vaccine appointments can be found at the links below: 

Will vaccines be required for employees and/or students? 

Sierra College is strongly encouraging all employees and students who can do so safely to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We are also continuing to monitor state guidance closely on this issue to determine if there may be a change in the requirements as well as shifting safety requirements that may require us to at least obtain the vaccination status of each employee and student as there currently seems to be a shift in legal safety requirements which differs significantly for those who are vaccinated as compared with those who are unvaccinated. 

What will the cleaning protocols be in fall 2021?

Cleaning protocols will be based upon the guidance of the CDC and CDPH for higher education settings.

Who will enforce mask wearing and social distancing protocols? 

To the extent mask and social distancing requirements remain in place in fall 2021, as employees each of us will have some responsibility to remind students and visitors of our protocols.

What has been done to increase air flow in the buildings? 

Air flow for each building has been adjusted to ensure maximum air flow based on the building and HVAC equipment for that facility. Options to update HVAC systems where appropriate will continue to be evaluated.

With the recent increase in mass shootings reported in the news in recent months how is the college preparing for related safety measures?

As employees return we will continue to plan additional trainings regarding our campus safety protocols, especially with many new employees who have been hired during the pandemic.

How will we address potential safety concerns when a faculty member or employee may be the only one on a floor or in a building?

As was the case before, Security will be available to help employees and students who request assistance walking to cars or between locations on campus during evening classes. Also, as social distancing guidance shifts, more room locations may be available where classes will be less isolated.

Is there any guidance on food sharing such as donuts and pot lucks? 

This again will depend on the safety guidance in place at the time of return, but in general it is probably best to limit any food sharing for now that involves people touching the same utensils or food items. Until the masking and social distancing guidelines change it might be best for individuals to eat outside or in an area where they can spread apart by more than 6 feet.

Will the student engagement centers be able to reopen? And what about student events and meetings such as clubs, etc.?

Yes, so long as they are able to follow whatever safety protocols (face coverings/social distancing) are in place and required at the time of the return. Information related to specific clubs is available on the Sierra College website and in the Campus Clubs section of the Sierra College App. Learn more about our virtual events. 

Can student appointments still occur virtually even if the employee is back on campus?

Yes. Part of what we will need to assess moving forward is how students wish to access our services.

What mental health resources are available to students?

The Student Health Center provides psychological counseling services and medical treatment. Psychological counseling services with Health Center Therapists are confidential. There are also Off-Campus Resources available.

How are student services being delivered?

Student services are being remotely while some have transitioned back to in-person for fall 2021. Health services continues to offer services on campus and online.

What is the status on athletics?

Wolverine Athletics has multiple fall sports teams competing. Fans are welcome back for games at Sierra College. Schedules are available at https://athletics.sierracollege.edu

What is the status on dorms?

Dorms will be open fall 2021.

What if I may need to request a reasonable accommodation due to a medical issue? 

Employees seeking a reasonable accommodation and to engage in the interactive process under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may notify their supervisor and/or contact Human Resources Directly at HR@sierracollege.edu or by calling the Human Resources office at (916) 660-7100.

What if I have questions about child care due to school closures and how that may impact my ability to attend work?

We currently anticipate K-12 schools fully reopening in fall 2021 if they have not already done so. However, employees with questions about the impacts of school closures, quarantines, etc., may notify their supervisor and/or contact Human Resources Directly at HR@sierracollege.edu or by calling the Human Resources office at (916) 660-7100.

What resources are available to support employees dealing with anxiety?

Employees, including student employees, can always access our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 24/7 by calling (800) 999-7222 or visiting anthemEAP.com and entering "SISC." They can also share their concerns with their supervisor and/or Human Resources if they feel comfortable doing so.

What is the status of student employees? 

Student employees are welcome for fall 2021 and there are many student employment opportunities available.  

What about staff who have an interest in long term telecommuting or hybrid work options?

With things changing rapidly and our efforts focused on returning our operations safely and successfully to campus, we will evaluate long term decisions such as ongoing telework options after we have fully returned. We will continue to work with our collective bargaining and representative group partners on how we can best evaluate and consider long term options in the future.

How will we work with IIT to phase in employees who have moved their computer equipment to their homes?

Each supervisor will need to work with employees in their area to assess who will need IIT support upon return and then coordinate with IIT who will help to prioritize set up times for those who need to return the soonest to support students and other departments on campus.

Will plexiglass be available where needed? 

Yes. Supervisors will want to work with employees to determine where any needs for plexiglass may be and start ordering soon. It should be noted, however, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed some of the guidance on using Plexiglas to ensure that part of the evaluation of using the barriers includes not reducing overall air flow to an office or work space.

What about tight office spaces, will there be staggered schedules, etc.?

Plans for these smaller office spaces will be part of the ongoing planning and the guidance related to these areas is shifting quickly so we will monitor those changes closely.

Will Sierra College offer classes online and on-ground in fall 2021? 

Sierra College is offering approximately 500 classes on-ground in fall 2021. The on-ground classes in fall 2021 will primarily be in the public health and safety sectors, lab classes, and other classes that are difficult to deliver fully online. The online schedule for fall 2021 is available. However, the situation remains fluid, and we will adjust the schedule as needed to respond to changing conditions and local or state regulations.

Can I choose if I don’t want to attend class in-person?

Most classes in the fall will still have a fully online option. Some classes requiring significant hands-on learning that is difficult to achieve online will be offered only on-ground or as hybrids. Please make a counseling appointment if you have questions about your fall schedule.

How will you decide which classes and services are prioritized to be on-ground?

Classes requiring significant hands-on or in-person learning that is difficult to achieve online will have the first priority to return on-ground. Other classes will be added as possible.

Will already scheduled courses be switching modalities?

No, we will not be switching modalities for scheduled courses, but it is possible if enrollment is low in online courses that there may be cancellations in online sections and on-ground sections added in their place.

What about classes that have curriculum approval for fully online delivery only under emergency circumstances?

Classes that have curriculum approval for fully online delivery only under emergency circumstances can be offered online in the fall, but we anticipate that emergency conditions will have ended by spring 2022.

Will there be wipes and personal protective equipment (PPE) available for each room?

Yes. We will provide wipes, hand sanitizer and PPE based on guidance at the time of return for each work location and class. Please contact your supervisor if you identify a need for additional PPE in your work area.

What if additional equipment such as microphone etc. is needed for teaching due to students being more spread out, larger rooms, face coverings?

Please contact your Dean regarding your classroom needs so that we can obtain any needed items in time. Faculty once assigned a room may wish to visit the space to help determine any classroom needs.

What if faculty have particular room requests?

Faculty with any particular requests should contact their Deans to help determine what requests can be accommodated.

Moving forward, will there by hybrid course options for students?

This will be determined department by department with the Deans conferring with faculty. We have previously been constrained by the number of faculty that have been trained to teach online in the past, but that has changed in the last year. Going forward, the hope is to offer students numerous options in modalities (on-ground, online, hybrid).

What if conditions change for the worse will the courses still stay on ground? 

From the outset of the pandemic the safety of our employees and students has been our top priority. We will, of course, continue to monitor COVID case numbers and Federal, State and local guidance as we move forward and we will make adjustments as needed.

Will I need a new parking sticker for fall 2021? 

Parking stickers are not required for parking in general lots on Sierra College campuses for fall 2021.

What food services options will be available on campus for fall 2021? 

Food options will be available on campus for employees and students during fall 2021. Business services is currently working with Pacific Dining on the specific plan for food services for fall 2021.

What about our public use spaces such as the theater will those be open and available for events? 

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will evaluate those facilities use requests on a case by case basis to ensure that safety protocols in place at the time are able to be complied with for the requested event.