Claremont McKenna College

Student and
Family FAQs

COVID-19 Summary Update

As of current reporting, we are pleased to report that we continue to see a sharp decline in new positive cases in our campus community. We will continue to assess the situation, and remain hopeful that conditions will continue on this positive trajectory.

Effective immediately we will revert to our pre-surge policy of strongly encouraging, but not requiring, face coverings in indoor settings – except, for now, in indoor classrooms where masks are still required. For the purposes of this policy, the QCL and the CWPD are considered indoor classroom spaces.

While masks are no longer required in Collins Dining Hall, please be mindful that the other colleges in the consortium set their own policies on masking—including in their respective dining halls—and it is important to respect those requirements when visiting the other campuses. Moreover, students, please consider wearing a face covering in common spaces in the residence halls when CMC employees are present. Many of our staff members who work in these indoor spaces might be more vulnerable to COVID-19 themselves or are caregivers for vulnerable family members, so we request that students demonstrate respect to these individuals by temporarily wearing a mask when you are sharing common spaces with these College employees.

Though not required, mask wearing remains strongly recommended, especially in settings with unvaccinated people and densely populated (crowded) indoor and outdoor gatherings, and the College will unequivocally support personal decisions in choosing whether to wear a mask indoors. CMC will continue to provide free masks, including KN95s, to any student or employee upon request (contact Human Resources or DOS, as applicable). Of course, anyone who is experiencing symptoms should wear a mask until they are no longer symptomatic and/or have received a negative test result.

  • Although the County has allowed indoor dining on campus to resume with no limits on capacity, we continue to encourage outdoor dining whenever feasible, particularly with beautiful California weather.
  • The resumption of indoor dining also applies to dinner programs at the Athenaeum, and Ath Tea will continue as always from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on the North Patio.
  • In light of these significantly improved numbers, we have reverted to once-weekly surveillance testing (unvaccinated individuals will continue to test twice weekly, as usual). Of course, the testing requirement does not apply to those who are temporarily exempted from surveillance testing by HHB due to a recent COVID-19 infection.
  • Physical distancing remains a very effective health measure. Please practice physical distancing when feasible.
  • The County is not requiring us to send emails to those who are identified as close contacts to positive cases. Persons should monitor themselves and report to HHB if they start experiencing symptoms so HHB can arrange a free diagnostic test.
  • Please contact HHB immediately (covid19@cmc.edu) if you have anysymptoms so they can arrange for a free diagnostic test. You must mask (an N95/KN95 or double up on a surgical/procedure mask) both indoors and outdoors until you have received a negative diagnostic test result from HHB.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING REQUIREMENTS
Surveillance testing once weekly is required for vaccinated persons; twice weekly for those who are not vaccinated, unless you are currently exempt by HHB due to a recent positive case. Once your exemption period is over, you’ll start testing again. Testing will allow us to monitor how quickly conditions improve.

The County is not requiring us to send emails to those who are identified as close contacts to positive cases.  Our regular testing substitutes for contact tracing.  Persons should monitor themselves and report to HHB if they start experiencing symptoms so HHB can arrange a free diagnostic test. This means that all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus are required to participate in surveillance testing twice weekly unless temporarily exempted due to a recent COVID-19 infection.

General Information and Policy Questions

Are non-sports teams (clubs such as Mock Trial, Model UN, debate, and any other group that travels for a non-athletic competition) be permitted to travel, and if not, is there an expectation as to when that will resume?
Currently, travel is not uniformly restricted; however, clubs and organizations who anticipate travel should notify the Dean of Students Office to discuss. If approved, all travelers must participate in a pre-departure meeting, and the organization’s leadership should request that meeting for the group (deanofstudents@cmc.edu) no less than 1 week prior to departure. In that meeting, students will be reminded about COVID protocols for pre-during-post travel. Should new travel policies emerge, new restrictions may be imposed. Booking refundable flights is highly encouraged.

Will CMC offer the possibility of online classes so that international students can remain in their home countries?
CMC’s primary course delivery is intended to be in-person in spring 2022.

COVID-19 Health and Testing

Effective immediately we will revert to our pre-surge policy of strongly encouraging, but not requiring, face coverings in indoor settings – except, for now, in indoor classrooms where masks are still required. For the purposes of this policy, the QCL and the CWPD are considered indoor classroom spaces.

  • Though not required, mask wearing remains strongly recommended, especially in settings with unvaccinated people and densely populated (crowded) indoor and outdoor gatherings,and the College will unequivocally support personal decisions in choosing whether to wear a mask indoors. CMC will continue to provide free masks, including KN95s, to any student or employee upon request (contact Human Resources or DOS, as applicable). Of course, anyone who is experiencing symptoms should wear a mask until they are no longer symptomatic and/or have received a negative test result.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING REQUIREMENTS
Surveillance testing once weekly is required for vaccinated persons; twice weekly for those who are not vaccinated, unless you are currently exempt by HHB due to a recent positive case. Once your exemption period is over, you’ll start testing again. Testing will allow us to monitor how quickly conditions improve.

  • The County is not requiring us to send emails to those who are identified as close contacts to positive cases.  Our regular testing substitutes for contact tracing. Persons should monitor themselves and report to HHB if they start experiencing symptoms so HHB can arrange a free diagnostic test. This means that all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus are required to participate in surveillance testing twice weekly unless temporarily exempted due to a recent COVID-19 infection.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING

  • In light of these significantly improved numbers, we have reverted to once-weekly surveillance testing (unvaccinated individuals will continue to test twice weekly, as usual). Of course, the testing requirement does not apply to those who are temporarily exempted from surveillance testing by HHB due to a recent COVID-19 infection.

CMC will always provide its students and employees with a free, timely diagnostic test if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms. Please contact our onsite COVID services clinic at covid19@cmc.edu or (909) 607-2301 with any symptoms, questions, or concerns.

CMC Residential Guest Policy

Will students from the other Claremont Colleges be allowed to visit CMC’s campus? Can my family visit me?
CMC students are permitted to have 5C guests/visitors in residence halls and apartments. Non-5C guests/visitors continue to not be allowed in residence halls.

What about social gatherings?
For now, the Dean of Students Office will not register any student events and requires that any gathering be very small (no more than 10) and preferably outdoors. Anything larger will be shut down.

Social events will be limited in size, with participation limited to 5C / 7C attendees — no outside visitors.

Are there enhanced cleaning protocols to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks in the residence halls?
Yes. There are strict cleaning protocols in place to support the health of our community. This includes increased cleaning of all common spaces and shared surfaces, especially in the residence hall bathrooms and lounges. To meet the enhanced cleaning requirements in these high transmission areas, it was necessary to reallocate building attendants’ work load; therefore, students, rather than building attendants, are responsible for cleaning their own residence hall room. Basic cleaning supplies and vacuums are available for check out with the Resident Assistants living in each building.

Masks and Face Coverings

Effective immediately we will revert to our pre-surge policy of strongly encouraging, but not requiring, face coverings in indoor settings – except, for now, in indoor classrooms where masks are still required. For the purposes of this policy, the QCL and the CWPD are considered indoor classroom spaces, with

with N95’s, KN95’s or double surgical/procedure masks required. Single layer cloth masks are not acceptable. Masking outdoors is optional but highly encouraged in denser outdoor settings. Employees can contact Human Resources for appropriate masks, and students can contact the Dean of Students Office.

Physical distancing remains a very effective health measure. Please practice physical distancing when feasible.

CMC will continue to provide free masks, including KN95s, to any student or employee who requests them (reach out to Human Resources or the Dean of Students office for more information).

Classroom settings
For now, masks are required in all indoor classrooj=m settings. A faculty member may require masks in outdoor classroom settings, as well; if so, this will be indicated on the syllabus. Students may not eat or drink in classrooms, unless their professor indicates they may drink in their classroom. If a student refuses to follow these policies, the instructor may ask them to leave the classroom and will report them to the Dean of Students Office. If a student refuses to leave the classroom, the instructor may call Campus Safety who will notify the Dean of Students Office and assist them as needed to escort the student out.

What type of face masks are acceptable?
Per the LA County Guidelines, acceptable face masks include double surgical masks, KF-94/KN-95 masks, and N-95 respirator masks. If you are using a face shield, you are still required to wear a face mask. Single layer cloth masks are not acceptable.

A recent email stated that only surgical masks or N95/KN95/KF94-type masks will be acceptable. Will CMC provide masks in classrooms or possibly provide students with a starter box, since these types of masks are expensive and difficult to find?
Medical grade surgical masks that have three or more layers of tightly woven or non-woven material are acceptable and comparatively less expensive than respirator masks. Here is an example. The Dean of Students Office has secured a large supply for any students who need support to maintain their mask supply. DOS also has a limited supply of KN95s that can be provided upon request.

Quarantine and Isolation

What happens if I get COVID-19 while I’m at CMC?
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by Hamilton Health Box for instructions, which will generally include moving to College-provided isolation housing or isolating in place for a period of time, usually no more than 10 days.

Is it possible for students to test out of isolation at day 6 per LA County guidelines?
Yes. The guidance from LA County is that everyone with COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days. How long you have to isolate after that depends on whether you have symptoms and if you get a negative follow-up antigen test after day 5. Hamilton Health Box will let you know what your isolation period is, and when you’re eligible for antigen testing to potentially reduce your isolation time.

How does a student, faculty, or staff member test out of isolation?
Per the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, positive patients who are asymptomatic upon the 5th day of the 10-day isolation period are given the choice to test out early after the 5th day upon producing a Negative Rapid Antigen Test Result.

Hamilton Health Box provides positive cases with Rapid Antigen Testing services – All Rapid Antigen tests are administered and evaluated by healthcare professionals, ensuring that clearance from Isolation is based on sound medical judgement of the patient’s symptom status and their test results.

Why are Rapid Antigen Tests used to test out of isolation as opposed to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests or Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT)?
Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests (PCR) and Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) are both highly sensitive to the genetic material (mRNA) found in COVID-19 viruses. Studies show that after recent infection with COVID-19, individuals may continue to shed “dead or inactive” mRNA components for up to 60 days – thus producing “False Positives” on these highly sensitive tests.

Why are recently infected students, faculty and staff exempt from the weekly Surveillance PCR testing for 90 days?
It is known that recently infected individuals typically have robust COVID-19 antibodies for up to 90 days after. With this evidence, the LA County Department of Public Health supports Institutions of Higher Education in providing recently infected individuals with what is known as a “90 Day Test Exemption for PCR testing”.

Rules and Compliance

What are the consequences for missing required weekly surveillance tests?

  • 1st missed test – written conduct warning and reminder of requirement
  • 2nd missed test – conduct probation and meeting with DOS staff member to discuss any barriers to compliance and coach student on plan for not missing any further tests.
  • 3rd missed test – parental notification, Restorative Practices Reflection Questions Paper assignment
  • 4th missed test – immediate suspension from the current semester

Students will be permitted one make-up test opportunity, which can be taken on Friday. They must request the make-up test appointment with covid19@cmc.edu, and if granted, they will be tested at the Hamilton Health Box Clinic at an assigned time.

Academics

What is the academic calendar for the remainder of the semester?

Friday, April 15
Last day to opt for CR/NC grading in elective courses *
Last day to withdraw voluntarily from a full semester course with a grade of “W”

Tuesday – Thursday, April 19-21
Pre-registration for Fall 2022

Monday, April 25
Senior Theses due by 3:00p.m.

May
Monday, May 2
Senior Thesis grades due to Registrar by 3:00p.m.

Wednesday, May 4
Last day of CMC classes

Thursday & Friday, May 5 & 6
Reading Days

Friday, May 6
Senior grades due to Registrar by noon

Monday – Friday, May 9-13
Final examinations

Saturday, May 14
Commencement

What is the due date for thesis?
Spring thesis is due April 25, 2022

What is the grading policy for academic year 2021-22?
The grading policy can be found in the CMC Course Catalog. Please note that starting fall 2021, all of the Claremont Colleges are on a 4.0 grade point system. Previously, CMC had been on a 12.0 grade point system.

Will the Athenaeum be open for in-person events?
The resumption of indoor dining also applies to dinner programs at the Athenaeum, and Ath Tea will continue as always from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on the North Patio.

Academic Support Resources

I usually get my books from the CARE Center Next Room Book Loan Program. Will the program continue this spring?
Yes, the book loan program is active. We encourage students to contact the Dean of Students Office if they are interested in donating their books from the end of the fall semester to help populate the loan library.

Are there support resources available in the spring?
This has been a year of adjustment for all members of the CMC community. The Dean of Students and Dean of Faculty Offices remain prepared to help as we continue to work through this unusual year. Visit DOS for support resources to assist with issues such as: test anxiety, time management, managing your health and well-being, finding your voice in class, building relationships with faculty, sleep strategies, etc.

Are there resources for students who have faced trauma and loss due to the pandemic?
Students who have faced trauma or loss for any reason, including the pandemic, are supported by the College in a range of ways such as academic, financial, and mental health resources. Students are encouraged to reach out to the Dean of Students Office if they have specific concerns related to their continued transition back to campus. We ask that all students build a community of care for one another, as we will each return to campus with a set of lived experiences that should be honored and respected.

Accessibility Services

Will my accessibility (ADA) accommodations change this spring?
In most cases, students with existing accommodations should expect to maintain their accommodations in the spring. Students should check in with Accessibilty Services in the DOS office each semester to review their accommodations with the Assistant Dean. Email accessibilityservices@cmc.edu with any questions.

Athletics and Recreation

Will athletics continue during the first two weeks while classes are virtual?
The vast majority of CMS student-athletes have already moved in and created a baseline amongst themselves and are part of ongoing surveillance testing. CMS student-athletes are also submitting to additional requirements as imposed by the SCIAC and NCAA to ensure the highest level of risk mitigation. Club sports will resume once those athletes have returned and also tested negative. This holds true for other club and organization activities outside of athletics.

What will happen to CMS Athletics in the spring semester?
We expect to continue our full Varsity athletics program in the spring. Each program will adhere strictly to NCAA, SCIAC, LA County, and CMS guidelines for health and safety. If you are a student-athlete, please reach out to your head coach for the most up to date information on spring return.

Will fans be allowed at CMS Athletics Events?
CMS will continue to follow all state and county guidance regarding fans at athletic competitions as well as adhere to all SCIAC and NCAA Guidelines for a safe return. Spectators are welcome at all events within safety protocols.

Financial Aid and Campus Employment

My family experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19. Can I apply for additional financial aid?
Yes, the Office of Financial Aid has an appeals process for such circumstances.

How can students access emergency funds?
The College has limited emergency funds for academic year costs that fall outside the cost of attendance. Students can apply for the funds here.

Health Services and Insurance

Can students access general health services when they return to campus?
Student Health Services (SHS) will continue to be open this springl. Students should anticipate that medical services through SHS will be received on an appointment basis only. Same day appointment availability will be expanded to accommodate most students in a timely manner. SHS can be contacted at 909-621-8222. SHS also advises you to review their website to get more detailed information about the services provided.

Students will continue to have the option of using the contracted telemedicine service, 7C.Health. This no cost option is available to ALL students at The Claremont Colleges, regardless of whether they are living on campus, locally off campus or in a different part of the country. Please note that all telemedicine services will be provided through 7C.Health, not SHS.

Housing and Residential Life

CMC is fortunate to have a large number of isolation housing spread out over three locations (the cottages, Arbol Verde houses, and Alexan Kendry apartments). Nevertheless, our principal challenge is that the number of students requiring isolation during this surge exceeds our available dedicated housing units. The temporary mitigation measures we put in place this week are designed to end the surge as quickly as possible so that the demand for isolation housing subsides. Thank you for doing your part by adhering to them.

Because we have reached capacity in isolation housing, we have been isolating students in place if they are in singles or if their roommate is also positive. Thus far, we have not had to isolate COVID positive people in the same bedroom as COVID negative people. CMC is not the only college in the consortium isolating students in place. These arrangements pose challenges on numerous fronts and require cooperation by many – the positive students who remain extra vigilant in staying in their rooms and minimizing the amount of time in common spaces; our hard-working Collins and Bon Appetit staff who are shouldering the increased burden of delivering meals to isolated students; our caring dorm attendants and ABM independent contractors who work tirelessly to keep the campus clean; and of course, our HHB medical staff and DOS employees who are working around the clock to care for and relocate students.

If we ever have to require a COVID-positive student to isolate in place when a roommate is not COVID-positive, the roommate will have the option to temporarily relocate.

What about cross-campus dining options?
Cross-campus dining has been temporarily suspended.  We hope to return to this option soon.

Are RAs responsible to enforce health guidelines and to notify the Dean of Students Office of any students who choose not to follow them?
To avoid COVID-19 outbreaks, we will lean on all students to respect any rules related to health guidelines. Resident Assistants are important student leaders who will help reinforce these expectations, but we expect all students to self-enforce and to hold one another accountable for the health and safety of the community.

If I live in Alexan Kendry, will I have access to transportation to and from campus?
Yes. A shuttle service will run between Alexan Kendry and campus at regular intervals.

How will the College support a diverse and inclusive campus community, including at the Alexan Kendry Apartments?
Consistent with CMC’s mission and values, and in alignment with the President’s Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America, the Dean of Students Office and student leadership groups are committed to programs and policies that support all students, regardless of their housing arrangements. It is the responsibility of all members of our campus community to contribute to the vitality and overall inclusivity of our campus climate.

International Students

Will international students in the U.S. be able to access treatment for COVID-19 under student health insurance?
Yes. International students will be able to use the SHIP coverage for COVID-19 treatment.

Mental Health Support

Should we expect any changes at Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS)?
MCAPS will continue to offer the same amount and quality of counseling, assessment, crisis services and groups as they have in the past. At this time, MCAPS plans to have both, in person and virtual, therapy modalities.

To improve equity and timeliness of access to mental health services, MCAPS now offers a Rapid Access Initial Assessment. Every student at The Claremont Colleges requesting MCAPS services will be seen for a 20-25 minute appointment within a few days. During that appointment, students may be assessed as appropriate for brief, goal-directed therapy at MCAPS or referred out for long-term, more intensive, or more specialized treatment. MCAPS will no longer use a session-limit model where all students are entitled to 8 sessions specifically; rather, MCAPS will offer this Rapid Access Initial Assessment universally, with the goal of connecting each student as quickly as possible to appropriate mental health care. Brief therapy through MCAPS will be provided to those students who are appropriate candidates for short-term care.

To access services at MCAPS, please call 909-621-8202. For after-hours crisis services, which are available 24/7/365, the voicemail message will prompt you to press “1” to be connected to an on-call therapist.

How will psychiatry at MCAPS work?
Psychiatry appointments will continue to be offered, either in person or via telemedicine.

What 24/7 therapy options are there?
Students have access to two 24/7 on-demand supports. Both are free of charge.

ProtoCall: Connect with a counselor over the phone (909.621.8202 & Press 1)

7C Health: Students can access a licensed counselor through this web-based platform by clicking here: http://7c.health and signing up using their @cmc.edu email address. Students are able to take advantage of unlimited visits, though should be aware that these are not meant to be used in place of regularly scheduled, ongoing visits, meaning each time they log in, they may be connected with a different clinician.

If I’m currently seeing a therapist at home and want to find a new therapist in the Claremont area, what should I do?
Jess Neilson, Assistant Dean of Mental Health & and Case Management (jneilson@cmc.edu), serves as a connection point for those who would like to explore therapy or other emotional wellbeing options both on and off campus. For students who are looking to pursue mental health care options in the Claremont community, Jess can assist with relevant information and referrals.

Will CMC offer supplemental mental health counseling services and support resources as it has in the past?
Yes, CMC will continue to offer supplemental mental health support (either in person or via teletherapy) by contracting with a number of local therapists. A list of mental health resources can be found here.

Is there a process to follow if you are struggling? Yes, absolutely. Support services on campus are available and ready to work with you! The Dean of Students office provides support in a number of areas, including academic, mental health and emotional wellbeing, disability and accessibility services, social connectedness and more. The DOS staff can be reached via email or phone, and can help connect you to other campus resource offices as needed.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, you can reach a licensed therapist 24/7 either by phone (909.621.8202, dial 1) or video tele therapy (7C.Health).

If you are worried about a friend, you can let us know by completing our CMC Cares referral and someone from our office will reach out.

DOS also offers a range of health and well-being programs to develop academic, well-being, and life skills and strategies as you navigate life at CMC.

Soll Center for Student Opportunity

Career Services support and programming will continue to be available in both in-person and virtual formats. In the fall, students enjoyed employer interactions, virtual networking treks, our job shadow program, skills-building workshops, and alumni and parent networking panels. We are continuing the new coaching program where a dedicated career coach will individually connect with every student. We recognize that our sophomores have missed out on a whole year of on campus activities, so we will be designing additional programming to help bring them fully up to speed on anything they have missed during their first year at CMC.

What about employee recruitment?  
All employee recruiting activities such as interviews, networking events and information sessions, continue to be offered in-person or remotely.   

Tuition and Enrollment

I do not feel comfortable living on campus this semester. May I live off-campus?
Yes, students who would like to be released from their housing contacts can contact residentiallife@cmc.edu to request to live independently off-campus or at home and commute to campus for classes. Off-campus students must still test regularly with HHB and follow all guidelines on COVID mitigation when at CMC.

Will we be prorated room and board if we arrive later than Jan 17?
No. Campus is open and we welcome students to move back in starting January 16. Students may choose to move in a week later, but will not be prorated for room and board.

Will CMC offer tuition discounts?
No. There will not be tuition discounts for the semester.

Campus Cultures and Values

Throughout the summer, the working group discussed the importance of building a strong community that emphasizes a culture of inclusion among all the class years and students. This is all the more important since the first-year and sophomore classes have never experienced our residential campus before. We will work with ASCMC to coordinate “getting to know each other” events beyond those at Orientation to help all of our students acclimate to campus life and build their social networks and sense of belonging.

Some key values the working group identified as important for the student experience include:

  1. Support for freedom of expression and diversity of opinion
  2. Commitment to anti-racism and personal as well as collective accountability
  3. Respect for one another and an expectation to take care of one another
  4. Promotion of healthy relationships and the prevention of all sexual misconduct
  5. Respect for all faculty and staff
  6. Expressions of gratitude for building attendants, grounds crews, dining hall staff, and all staff whose work is of critical value to the student experience
  7. Respect for our campus and all its property

These Frequently Asked Questions  are subject to change as additional questions are added and as new or more informed answers emerge.