The University of La Verne is planning to return to appropriate face-to-face and on-campus operations in fall 2020, pending state and county approval, with a focus on prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. The La Verne Safe Return plan also honors the university’s historical commitment to a student-centered and personalized education.
The plan meets or exceeds all federal, state, and regional public health mandates. It includes a mix of face-to-face and remote instruction, enhanced safety protocols for students and employees, testing and tracing, and a limited reopening of the residence and dining halls. The university will also be prepared to quickly transition to fully-remote instruction and operations should public health guidance require it.
This plan is both flexible and adaptable and will be continually updated as additional information and public health guidelines become available.
The university will follow the established academic calendars. Fall classes are scheduled to begin on:
- August 17 for the College of Law
- August 31 for La Verne Campus semester-based programs
- September 28 for La Verne Campus and regional campus term-based programs.
The success of the La Verne Safe Return will be determined by the understanding, engagement, and commitment of the entire university community.
The 10 key aspects of the plan are outlined below, and the full plan can be downloaded by clicking the link on this page.
1. Criteria to Meet Prior to Returning
The university will follow state and county guidelines for the return of on-campus operations for higher education. State guidelines include the Resilience Roadmap. The university’s central campus in La Verne is located in Los Angeles County, which has developed a rigorous five-phased Roadmap to Recovery and whose Department of Public Health has been engaged with colleges and universities, including the University of La Verne.
California and Los Angeles County will allow universities to return during Phase 3 of their respective recovery roadmaps. On campus operations will not resume before state and county public health agencies have entered those phases and approved the reopening of colleges and universities, and all required health and safety protocols are in place.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has developed a compliance checklist and re-opening protocols for institutions of higher education which are the basis of this plan, even for campuses outside of Los Angeles County
The University of La Verne has campuses in six additional counties, and each campus will be compliant with the guidelines of the county in which it is located.
2. Student and Employee Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All employees, students, and visitors are required to wear face coverings in any settings where others are present. A cloth face covering will be provided to each student and employee. Employees and students may wear their own face covering rather than the one provided by the university.
3. Employee Training and Well-Being
The university will implement trainings, policies, and preventative measures for employees to reduce risks of community transmission while providing a productive working environment.
- All full-time and part-time employees must complete training on COVID-19 before returning to campus.
- Accommodations will be available for at-risk employees through the Office of Human Resources.
- The university will continue to allow remote and shift work where feasible to reduce the number of employees on campus at any given time.
- The university will have flexible sick leave policies and practices that enable faculty, staff, and students to stay home or self-isolate when they are sick, have been exposed, are caring for someone who is sick, or need to be with their children if there are school or childcare closures.
4. Student Life and Well-Being
The university will implement trainings, policies, and preventative measures for students to reduce risks of community transmission while providing a productive learning environment.
- Prior to returning to campus, all students will need to complete mandatory training provided by the university on COVID-19.
- All students are encouraged to receive the influenza vaccination.
- Vulnerable students (those with chronic health conditions, pregnant, over 65), international students, and others may take classes remotely.
Students must adhere to public health guidelines while on campus. Those include:
- Students must wear face coverings in any settings where others are present.
- Students must maintain six feet social distancing from others.
- Students may not congregate in any area, especially common areas or areas of high traffic such as bathrooms, hallways, and stairwells.
- Outside visitors will not be permitted. Exception include parents, guardians, or support persons assisting student in conducting university-related business.
- Student-athletes and all athletic programs will have modified training and competition schedules, policies, and protocols.
- Any student not complying with any provision of COVID-19 policy or guidance will be asked to leave campus. Any violation of this policy risks the health and safety of the university community and will be grounds for corrective or disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.
5. Academics, Instruction, and Virtual Student Support
The university will provide central resources and guidance for faculty to ensure a safe and successful learning and teaching environment.
- Faculty will need to prepare each class for remote teaching.
- To aid with tracing and tracking, all faculty are expected to log student attendance for each session.
- Deans will work with departments and programs to review their fall 2020 offerings based on faculty availability for face-to-face as well as the pedagogical importance of face-to-face (e.g., labs, experiential learning, seminars, etc.). Departments and programs are expected to offer an appropriate mix of course types (Alternating Hybrid, Hybrid Split, or Blended) and should prioritize those types of classes that should include face-to-face (FLEX, culminating experiences, labs, introductory graduate seminars, or other classes as determined by the department).
- Faculty development will be available through the combined resources of the Center for Teaching and Learning, LaFetra College of Education’s Curricular Innovation Lab, Wilson Library, and OIT, and other sources.
- The Office of Information Technology is retrofitting some classrooms with technology to enable video and teleconference instruction in support of remote learning.
- Faculty should have their own set of markers, erasers, or other teaching equipment that are not to be shared or left in the classroom.
- Classroom occupancy will be limited to maintain social distancing and room capacity will be posted on each classroom. No class should exceed 30 students.
- Outdoor locations will be identified for instruction.
6. Environmental Health and Safety
The University of La Verne is implementing an environmental health and safety plan built around increased cleaning, modifications to work and common areas, and changes to housing, dining, and other facilities.
- Buildings will have markings to encourage one-way traffic, with entrances and exits clearly marked.
- Office spaces will be modified to encourage social distancing.
- Elevator capacity will be limited and posted.
- Signage will be posted at every water fountain/bottle filling station to educate potential users of the safest alternative function.
- Access to on campus buildings will be limited to main entrances.
- Air conditioning and heating will be evaluated to enhance filtration and ventilation and water systems will be tested prior to the return of students and employees.
- Paper-based processes will be modernized to be paperless where feasible.
- Common areas will be modified to encourage social distancing, which may include furniture being marked as unusable. Occupancy will be limited with signs posted and cleaning will be scheduled more frequently.
- Housing occupancy will be limited and social distancing protocols will be in place.
- Dining halls will be modified for social distancing and hygiene. Meal service will move away from buffet and self-service to staff service and pre-packaged servings.
- Workout facilities will have dedicated protocols to ensure social distancing and hygiene.
7. Self-Screening, Testing, Tracking, and Quarantine
The La Verne Safe Return plan for testing and tracking focuses on broad syndromic surveillance, including daily self-checks of symptoms and temperature, as well as diagnostic testing of symptomatic individuals, and the tracking and testing of campus contacts. The plan prioritizes human contact tracing and case management with an emphasis on confidentiality, clear communication, and empathy. The university will maintain a compliance officer to oversee the COVID-19 Containment, Response, and Control Plan.
The university will implement protocols for employee health and safety.
- All employees will be required to conduct symptom and temperature checks prior to coming to work.
- All employees will be required to maintain a running log of their symptom and temperature checks.
- Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must engage in self-isolation and may not come to work.
- Employees who have had any contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or likely had COVID-19, are required to submit a Coronavirus Report and may not return to work until approved to do so.
The university will implement protocols that prioritize student health and safety.
- All student will be required to conduct symptom and temperature checks prior to coming to campus or leaving the residence halls.
- Students experiencing a fever, any respiratory symptom, or more than one symptom of COVID-19 must submit a Coronavirus Report. Students experiencing any single non-respiratory, non-fever symptom of COVID-19 must call the university Health Center and receive a risk assessment.
- The university will use available software programs to track attendance in class, presence at campus events, and entrance to dining and housing.
Any student who tests positive with an approved COVID-19 test must engage in self-isolation and may not come to campus.
- Students who have had any contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 or likely had COVID-19 are also required to submit a Coronavirus Report and may not return to campus until cleared to do so.
- Student living in residence halls and student-athletes will complete COVID-19 screening forms prior to entering housing or beginning their athletic season. Additional testing will also be required.
- Students living in residence halls who need to self-isolate will be moved to a single room on a separate floor with a personal restroom.
8. Campus Visitors, Events, and Travel
Any visitor to campus must be invited or approved by a vice-president or above. Approved visitors to campus are limited to those who are essential for the university’s operation, those who are applicants to the university’s programs, or parents/guardians/support persons assisting a student.
Event protocols includes guidance on social distancing and hygiene. Event participation and organizing will be limited to students, staff, and faculty.
Non-essential university-sponsored travel will not be permitted through at least January 2021. Individuals coming to campus from outside of the United States must first quarantine for 14 days.
9. Modified Operations
The university will be prepared to go fully-remote at any time, including after Thanksgiving break through the end of the semester/term, should public health agencies advise of increased risks of transmission or increased risks related to holiday travel behaviors.
The university will provide credible, trustworthy, and timely information to all stakeholders about the plan to return, as well as frequent reminders of best practices for social distancing and hygiene. Communications will include frequent virtual town halls, a dedicated web page, coordinated social media posts, campus signage, FAQs, and email. Signage will be posted across campus to remind the community and visitors to practice healthy hygiene, be mindful of symptoms, and other protocols.