All employees and any students studying or coming to campus must be fully vaccinated by January 2022 President William Heineman announced on September 20..
The decision was made unanimously by the Presidents of all the state’s 15 community colleges.
“During the last eighteen months, the Massachusetts Community Colleges have prioritized the health and safety of our communities while also recognizing that many of our students have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While a significant number of students, faculty, and staff are already vaccinated or are in the process of becoming vaccinated, the fifteen colleges are seeking to increase the health and safety of the learning and working environment in light of the ongoing public health concerns and current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” it was noted in a joint statement.
Students who seek to register for courses that do not include any in-person component, and who do not plan to come on campus for any reason for the Spring 2022 semester, will not be required to provide documentation of vaccination.
The announcement comes amid a rise in the number of new cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth, the increased access and availability of vaccines, the Food & Drug Administration’s full and pending approval of available vaccines, and CDC guidance that the COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be extremely safe and highly effective at preventing infection, severe disease, hospitalization, and death, the requirement is aimed at ensuring the safest learning and working environment possible for the more than 135,000 students served by the community colleges each year.
“The Massachusetts Community Colleges are committed to ensuring vaccination status is not a barrier to students and will continue offering a range of virtual learning opportunities and services,” Heineman said.