Coronavirus Update

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Latest News

(Updated May 26, 2021)

MCU is planning significant in-person classes and operations for Fall 2021, including normal residential, co-curricular and athletic experiences for students.

With stay-at-home orders phasing out, MCU has begun a soft return to the office. Starting June 1, staff should have a plan in place with their supervisors about a return to work. This will allow employees a chance to transition into new routines and provide time to arrange for transportation, childcare and other aspects of daily life altered by the pandemic.

By July 15, we expect a full return, with staff reporting on site to prepare for the fall semester. We understand some employees may face unique challenges and ask that they work with their supervisors on appropriate accommodations.

Effective July 15, MCU will require all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks prior to returning to campus. This requirement will not apply to students in fully online programs or employees whose physical presence on campus is not necessary. You can learn more in our community memo and the vaccination policy to be distributed soon.

Community messages

June  4, 2021: A Guide for International Students Returning to Campus and Vaccination Policy 

May 26, 2021: Students Must Be Vaccinated Upon Returning to Campus This Fall

May 25, 2021: A Return to Campus and Vaccination Policy

March 9, 2021: Parents Letter About Fall 2021 Plans

February 5, 2021: Stay at Home Order Lifted, But Stay Vigilant

January 5, 2021: Spring Athletic Season Cancelled and Housing Suspended

December 23, 2020: Meal Plans Suspended for Spring 2021

December 23, 2020: Villas Move-In Instructions and Policies for Spring 2021

December 23, 2020: Spring Athletic Season Updates and Testing Requirements

November 28, 2020: Safer at Home Order Issued for LA County

October 30, 2020: Athletics Opens Strength Training, HR Policies and Other Updates

October 14, 2020: In-Season Athletes Allowed to Move into Villas in Spring

October 4, 2020: Classes to Remain Online for Spring 2021

September 14, 2020: President’s Message to Parents about Fall Startup

August 26, 2020: Villas Housing Protocols

August 3, 2020: MCU Moves Fully Online for Fall 2020

July 21, 2020: Update on Campus Status and Reopening Plans

July 9, 2020: ICE Guidance on International Students

June 24, 2020:  Extending Campus Closure Through July

June 9, 2020: Campus Opening in Fall with In-person and Online Classes

May 21, 2020: President’s Message about MCU’s Conceptional Plan to Reopen

May 18, 2020: President’s Message on CARES Act Funding

May 7, 2020: Single Rooms for the Price of a Double

April 12, 2020: President’s Easter Message to Students

April 6, 2020: Memo to Parents about Online Learning and Housing Updates

March 20, 2020: Online Classes Extended and Commencement Postponed

March 19, 2020: President’s Message: We’re Experiencing Great Change

March 16, 2020: Campus Closure for Two Weeks

March 16, 2020: Internship Guidelines

March 11, 2020: Villas Will Remain Open During Campus Closure

March 11, 2020: Classes Moving Online for Two Weeks

March 11, 2020: Memo to Parents about Steps MCU is Taking to Protect Students

March 11, 2020: Provost Memo to Faculty about Classes Moving Online and Next Steps

March 4, 2020: Keeping Marymount Safe

February 28, 2020: President’s Message on Preventative Actions and Staying Vigilant 

Frequently asked questions

Will the university open for the spring 2021 semester?
All spring 2021 classes will be taught remotely, in compliance with county and state public health guidelines. The campus remains physically closed. Staff and faculty are continuing to work remotely, with the ability to serve students in most capacities through email, phone and videoconferencing.

What are my housing options?
The university has closed the Villas residential campus for the spring semester. As a result, MCU will refund all housing application fees. Should you need assistance finding alternative housing or if you have specific questions about your current housing contract, please contact Residential Life at ResLife@MarymountCalifornia.edu or at (310) 303-7317.

Will athletic teams be able to compete?
MCU has suspended intercollegiate athletics for the spring 2021 season. An unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections and Covid-19 deaths in Los Angeles County, along with the state’s stay-at-home order issued in early December, has regrettably impeded our desire to resume athletic competition in a safe manner. Even with stringent protocols and testing, there is no guarantee that participating in athletic events will not spread the coronavirus among athletes. The suspension of spring sports affects 16 MCU teams — men’s baseball; women’s softball, beach and indoor volleyball; men’s and women’s cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track, as well as co-ed eSports and surf. MCU is not alone in its decision. Several of our rivals in the California Pacific Conference have also cancelled sports for the remaining 2020-2021 academic year.

Are campus tours and information sessions still happening?
In-person campus tours are not available at this time. Consider taking a guided virtual tour of Marymount’s oceanside campus in Rancho Palos Verdes. Virtual tours are offered monthly and include a Q&A with our admissions team. You can register here. Plus, we’re always available for a virtual one-on-one consultation. Schedule an appointment with your admissions rep or connect with a current MCU student here.

What if I need to come to campus?
While the university is inherently closed, with the exception of essential workers, we understand some employees, visitors and vendors may need to come to campus from time to time. In that case, state and county protocols require everyone to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing. Additionally, we request everyone check in upon their visit either through this link or one of the QR codes posted around campus.

Are the shuttles still in operation?
Shuttle service will not be available while the campus is closed.

How long will employees work from home?
All faculty and staff have been asked to comply with the state’s order and work remotely until further notice, with exceptions for essential campus services.

Is a commencement ceremony in the works?
The Graduation Committee is beginning to develop plans for a 2021 commencement while we await guidelines from the County. Should we be permitted to host in-person events, we will also plan for attendees to participate virtually if they wish. We will share more details as plans are solidified. MCU also still plans to offer an option that will allow us to honor the Class of 2020 and celebrate your accomplishments as well. Continue to check our commencement website for updates.

What if I don’t have reliable Internet access at home or my connection is slow?
Your home network may not be as fast or reliable as your Internet connection at school, especially if multiple members of your household are online while you’re trying to work. If you’re having trouble with your network, try some of the steps below to improve your connection.

What to do if your connection is slow

  • Move closer to your WiFi router. Getting closer to your router can improve signal strength. WiFi extenders can boost the signal in other rooms.
  • Restart your router or computer. Most routers have a reset button. If your computer isn’t connecting but other devices are still working online, reboot your computer.
  • Close other programs and limit streaming/large downloads while you work. Other programs on your computer may consume processor or network resources. Try disconnecting or limiting use of other non-essential devices on your network.
  • Call your Internet service provider or check their status website to determine if there are any known issues. This will help you learn if the problem is widespread in your area or specific to your home.
  • Use a mobile hotspot. A hotspot lets you share your phone’s data with other devices to access the internet. Check with your mobile provider to see if a hotspot is an option for you.

And if you don’t have reliable access to the Internet at home, some Internet and mobile data providers have pledged to offer free or low-cost access to the Internet or increased data allowances to ensure people can get online. Check these resources for more information:

How long will classes be online?
Instruction will be online for the entire spring 2021 semester. This will allow for academic continuity and minimize disruptions.

What will virtual instruction look like?
In our new remote learning environment, you can expect some synchronous classes (marked SY for synchronous and HY for hybrid), meaning you will join your professor and classmates live in Zoom, beginning and ending at a fixed time. This platform allows everyone to interact in the same session together, helping you maintain a sense of community and personal connection. Our asynchronous classes (marked OL for online) are not delivered in real time, requiring students to complete coursework at their own pace while also holding themselves accountable for their progress. We heard from students that a mix of live class time and independent work was the ideal balance.

How will MCU ensure online educational quality and engagement?
MCU has made significant investments in faculty training and improved technology to enhance delivery of online courses and the individualized, personal connection students crave. Faculty have followed an MCU course design checklist with prescriptive standards on such elements as structure of the course, learning objectives and organization of content. These best practices also guide faculty on ensuring the cadence of assignments and assessments is clear so students know what’s expected, as well as how they will communicate and humanize feedback. Seemingly small, this interaction can be deeply meaningful.

We’re striving to develop courses that invite students to participate, motivate them to contribute and capture their interest and attention. Courses leverage the latest learning design tools and technology, utilizing everything from Zoom breakout rooms, business simulations, online interviews and networking assignments to virtual reality experiences, video, podcasts and games.

Our spring 2020 semester student success rates were higher than in the previous spring and higher at finals than at midterms, suggesting the move to online after midterms did not damage student degree progress. We believe that learning and degree progress are improved when students and faculty are in regular contact, so we are aiming for inclusive practices that will engage students with the course material and with one another. MCU faculty care and want to get to know you, so we encourage you to communicate with them via email or during office hours.

How many units can I take?
The university has increased the number of units a student can take per semester from 20 to 24 at no additional charge for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. This change allows you to make more rapid progress on your degree and potentially shorten your time to graduation.

Will labs be able to meet on campus?
No. MCU will not require on-site labs for the fall semester. We will continue to monitor state and county guidance in case optional on-site activities become possible. Faculty will still teach lab techniques and critical skills. While lab instruction will be provided virtually, many course lab fees have been eliminated or reduced.

Will faculty still hold office hours?
Yes, although office hours are now offered online, by email or phone. Check your My.Marymount class sites for details or contact your instructor.

Can I still meet with a tutor?
Yes. Learning Support offers virtual tutoring Monday through Friday via Zoom. You can access this service through My.Marymount or here. The Learning Support team and library staff are also available to help with specific disciplines, study skills, time management and research support, and can be reached through the website.

I am a student with accommodations. What should I do regarding remote instruction?
Please contact Laura Niemiec at lniemiec@marymountcalifornia.edu to request required accommodations.

What if I am sick and can’t attend my online class?
If you are sick, stay home and take care of yourself. If you are unable to attend your synchronous classes, contact your professors to make arrangements to keep up asynchronously.

I’m having difficulty with my online classes. What should I do?
While we love the flexibility remote learning offers, we also realize it doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Here are a few tips to help you adjust and thrive.

  • Technology issues are bound to happen, but there’s usually a fix. If you’re having technical issues or need help using new digital tools, please email generalsupport@marymountcalifornia.edu with as much detail as possible and a phone number to reach you. Stay in touch with your professors and keep them informed about what’s happening.
  • Studying from home can come with plenty of distractions, especially if you have a job, family or other responsibilities. Try to find a quiet, productive space to complete your coursework. If you’re completing an asynchronous class (self-paced), it’s important to set a schedule of when and how you will get your work done, so you can stay focused on your ultimate goal.
  • The lack of in-person contact with both instructors and classmates can be particularly challenging. It’s important to attend your synchronous classes at their specified times, so you can interact with your classmates and professors to maintain a sense of community and connection. Also plan to attend your professor’s virtual office hours if you need extra help.
  • If you decide a full course load is too much right now, talk to your advisor about adjusting your schedule, opt to take a class for credit/no credit or contact student support services about virtual tutoring or time management.
  • If you don’t understand an assignment, please ask your professor for clarification, so you don’t fall behind.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my classes?
Please contact your instructor. Contact information and office hours for faculty are posted on My.Marymount. Email generalsupport@marymountcalifornia.edu if you have technical issues.

Will MCU still offer off-campus internships?
Yes, internships are still available, including in-person and virtual options. Opportunities are posted at Mariner Career Connect, or you can reach out to Roshni Lal at RLal@MarymountCalifornia.edu.

How do I order a transcript?
Unofficial transcripts may be viewed, downloaded and printed from the student portal for current or recently enrolled students with portal access. Go to Academics>Unofficial Transcript to view a PDF version of your transcript. You may also view your grades by term under My Grades.

Official transcripts may be ordered via the National Student Clearinghouse. Secure electronic delivery is now available. Go to https://www.marymountcalifornia.edu/campus-services/registrar/transcripts/ and follow the directions under the National Student Clearinghouse link.

In-person, FedEx and same-day requests are not available at present. Requests for mailed transcripts or of historical archived records will be processed once a week; requests for electronic delivery (except for historical archived records) will be processed the following business day. Note that due to varying campus policies, MCU cannot guarantee delivery of a mailed transcript to any other campus.

How will the move to remote learning affect my visa status?
If you are a current student with an F-1 visa and active SEVIS record (inside or outside the United States), you will be able to enroll in a full online schedule and have your SEVIS record remain active for the spring 2020 semester. To maintain your record, you must register for a full-time course load. This means a minimum of 12 units for undergraduates and a minimum of six units for graduates.

I returned home during the spring or fall 2020, and my country is still experiencing a travel ban to the U.S. Will I be able to return to the U.S. for the start of fall classes?
If you are a new student or a new transfer currently in the U.S. with a valid F-1 visa and SEVIS record, you will be able to have your SEVIS record activated and remain inside the U.S. as long as you are registered for a full-time course load as defined above. If you have your F-1 visa and wish to be physically in the U.S. this fall, we advise planning travel immediately.

If you are a new student outside the U.S. and actively seeking an F-1 visa, unfortunately, we will have to postpone your arrival until fall 2021. The Office of International Services will be in touch with all new students in this situation to issue each of you a new I-20. However, we highly encourage you to contact your academic adviser to select a full-time course load you can take online from home this semester. You do not need a visa to study from home, and our faculty are ready to engage with our students online!

Will the Villas be open?
If you are planning to be in the U.S. and would have sought housing in the Villas, please note the Villas will be closed for spring 2021. However, if you are an international student and would otherwise have nowhere to live this spring, please contact the Office of Residential Life at reslife@marymountcalifornia.edu to discuss your situation.

I decided to travel home for the break after fall 2020. How do I get my I-20 signed?
Please contact Ryan O’Connell at roconnell@marymountcalifornia.edu to review your travel documents and travel plans. We wish to give you the most up-to-date travel information and best advice on how to travel safely and how to smoothly re-enter the U.S. for the spring 2021 semester.

Will students be able to live in the Villas this spring?
The Villas residential campus will be closed for the spring 2021 semester. Should you need assistance finding alternative housing or if you have specific questions about your current housing contract, please contact Residential Life at ResLife@MarymountCalifornia.edu or at (310) 303-7317.

Will students receive a refund on housing fees?
Yes, MCU will refund all housing application fees.

Will students still have access to a meal plan?
No, not at this time.

How will I know when the Villas reopen?
The Office of Residential Life will send an email to all students who had previously applied for housing, notifying them that MCU is able to welcome them back to our community. That email will also have instructions for re-applying for housing. We will also post information on our Instagram account @MCU_Villas.

 

 

When will my spring 2021 sport resume?

MCU has suspended intercollegiate athletics for the spring 2021 season. An unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections and Covid-19 deaths in Los Angeles County, along with the state’s stay-at-home order issued in early December, has regrettably impeded our desire to resume athletic competition in a safe manner. Even with stringent protocols and testing, there is no guarantee that participating in athletic events will not spread the coronavirus among athletes. The suspension of spring sports affects 16 MCU teams — men’s baseball; women’s softball, beach and indoor volleyball; men’s and women’s cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track, as well as co-ed eSports and surf. MCU is not alone in its decision. Several of our rivals in the California Pacific Conference have also cancelled sports for the remaining 2020-2021 academic year.

Will this affect my scholarship?
No, athletic scholarships will not be revoked due to COVID-19.

Since the sport season is cancelled again, will student athletes get their eligibility back?
The NAIA has announced if a season is cancelled or suspended due to COVID-19 and you play less than 50% of the allowable season, you will not lose your season of competition. For example, volleyball is allowed to schedule 28 dates, so they can play up to 14 games and still keep their season if it’s shortened due to COVID-19.

What if I’m over my 10th term of attendance in spring 2021?
NAIA has allotted all student athletes from spring 2020 sports two additional terms of attendance. This essentially gives these student athletes a whole year back.

With classes online, will tuition and fees be reduced?
Tuition will remain the same. While the modality of instruction has changed, students can still expect a deeply personalized and quality educational experience at MCU inclusive of support services such as one-on-one advising and virtual tutoring, career services and experiential learning opportunities. We have made significant financial investments to upgrade technology and provide training for faculty to enhance their delivery of online teaching.

However, in acknowledgement of the changes COVID-19 will have on the fall 2020 campus experience, MCU will reduce the campus services fee from $1,000 to $750 and the orientation fee for new students from $300 to $150.  Otherwise, all billing dates remain the same, and students will need to pay their tuition or establish a payment plan before the start of the semester. Questions can be directed to studentaccounts@marymountcalifornia.edu or (310) 303-7217.

Can students still have on-campus jobs?                                                                   

In a remote learning environment, available student employment positions will be limited to those performing essential functions such as tutors, technology assistants and admissions outreach. Given the limitations of paying employees outside the state of California and the limited number of available positions, employment possibilities will also be evaluated on the ability of the job to be performed remotely, state tax obligation and a student’s demonstrated financial need.

In recognition of the financial strain limited work opportunities may cause our students, MCU will transition some federal work study award funds into Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funds. Pell Grant recipients who previously relied on work opportunities to support their education may be awarded additional SEOG funds as an offset. Affected students will be notified by Student Financial Services when their award has been adjusted.

Prevention and well-being

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Social distancing can stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19.

FAQs on illness prevention and well-being.

Emergency Relief Funds

CARES Act / HEERF I

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. MCU received $874,466 under this program–50 percent of which was disbursed directly to students.

CARES Act / HEERF II

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law in December 2020. The new legislation allocates two separate grants to MCU totaling $1,342,246. One for $437,233 will provide emergency funds of $500-$1,250 directly to students for unexpected expenses based on demonstrated financial need. The second will assist in covering institutional costs related to the disruption of campus operations.

ARP / HEERF III:

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) includes additional COVID-19 relief for institutions of higher education. This new COVID stimulus bill included $40 billion, available through September 30, 2023, for higher education institutions and students, using the same Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Students can apply for funding here. 

Additional resources

Vaccine Information and Locations 

Mental Health Counseling Helpline

MCU COVID-19 Employee Policies and Procedures

MCU COVID-19 Student Policies

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Los Angeles Department of Public Health

What You Need to Know

What to Do if You Are Sick

Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns

Life During a Pandemic

Self-Care During Quarantine

Local Resources