Students returned to Pasadena City College this week, taking the college’s first steps toward a return to normalcy while maintaining high standards of public safety.
Chief among those is the college’s COVID-19 vaccination program, which was announced earlier this month. Starting Sept. 30, only students and employees who have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or have been granted a valid exemption, will be cleared for campus access for instruction or services.
The vaccination program is backed by weekly free COVID-19 testing, mandatory masking in indoor public spaces and outdoor groups, air purification units in every office and classroom, revamped HVAC and cleaning protocols, and offering remote learning and services wherever practical.
“Preparing for this fall semester has been a lesson in flexibility and patience,” said Erika Endrijonas, PCC’s superintendent/president. “The rise of the Delta variant has shown us that we are not out of the woods yet – no matter how much we might want to bring our community back together. The steps we’re taking are simple things we can all do together to move beyond this pandemic.”
In addition to the measures to promote public health, the college provided all students additional sources of financial support. All students received a $150 bookstore credit to use for textbooks and other educational supplies, and also a U-PASS transit pass. In the program’s first week, more than 4,500 PCC students spent close to $700,000 in bookstore credits and over 550 U-PASS cards were distributed. Furthermore, students who submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination records will also receive a $200 Visa gift card to use as they see fit.
These funds follow more than $13.2 million the college has distributed to students since the start of the pandemic through Federal relief programs.
“The book voucher has definitely made this week easier,” said David Ramirez, a PCC student from Pacoima. “Having this extra funding meant that I didn’t need to pick up an extra shift at work. My financial aid doesn’t cover all of my school expenses, so I’m really grateful for these funds.”
PCC has also been a COVID-19 vaccination site for the general public since the first days the inoculation was available. Pasadena residents received their shots in campus parking structures this spring, and in the summer the college partnered with Rite Aid and Safeway to provide no-cost clinics on campus to students, faculty, staff, and the general community.
More information on campus protocols are posted to the COVID-19 update section of the website.