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Students: Pierce College Requires Vaccinations This Fall

What does that mean?

In order to register for classes for fall term, students taking hybrid or in-person classes must attest to their vaccination or exemption status. 

Students taking online courses only are required to complete the attestation process if they plan to come to campus at any point during the term. We encourage online students to complete the attestation process if they plan to use any on-campus support services such as the library, tutoring center, health education center, etc.

If you have already attested, you are all set to register for any course this fall, and do not need to take further action. Thank you again.

Attestation Process

Students must attest to register for hybrid or in-person classes for fall term. Students taking online classes are highly encouraged to attest.

Employee Vaccination Requirements

Per state mandates, higher education employees needed to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021, as a condition of employment. This applied to all employees, including full-time, part-time, student employees, and those who work remotely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Vaccination Information

What is the student deadline for vaccination?

Students must be fully vaccinated or attest to an exemption to register for in-person and hybrid classes in fall. Students must attest to their vaccination or exemption status in order to register for in-person or hybrid classes.

What if I will only have one dose of my vaccine by the first day of classes?

You need to be fully vaccinated by the first day of class if you are enrolled in in-person or hybrid Fall Term 2022 classes. If you are still in the process of becoming fully vaccinated please email helpverifyvax@pierce.ctc.edu for assistance.

Do I need to be vaccinated or get an exemption if I am only taking online classes?

Students taking their classes fully online are not required to be vaccinated as long as they do not physically come on to campus for support services or any other reason.

What happens if I don’t get vaccinated or get an exemption?

It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if you either misrepresent your vaccination status or exemption or come to campus without taking the necessary steps to verify your vaccination status or exemption.

You cannot register for in-person or hybrid classes if you have not been vaccinated or received an exemption. If you know that will be the case, we encourage you to talk to your advisor and switch to fully online courses. 

If I am not going to get vaccinated or get an exemption, do I need to withdraw?

No.  If you do not think it will be possible to be vaccinated or acquire an exemption, we encourage you to look for courses that are offered fully online.  

Where can I get vaccinated?

You can find opportunities to get vaccinated free of charge at Vaccinate WA.

Does the vaccination proclamation apply to Running Start students?

The rules for Running Start students are the same as any other college students. Running Start students are considered college students and need to follow the same rules of being vaccinated or having an exemption for in-person classes or student services. 

Does the vaccination proclamation apply to Community and Continuing Education students?

Yes. Community and Continuing Education students attending an in-person class are required to be vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption. However, you do not need to complete an attestation in ctcLink. Instead, please bring your proof of COVID-19 vaccination, picture ID and vaccine verification form or exemption verification form to the first class session. If you cannot attend your first class session or have other questions, please contact the Community and Continuing Education Director at 253-840-8450 or rmcginnis@pierce.ctc.edu.

If I am granted a religious or medical exemption, can I attend face-to-face classes?

A student who is granted a religious or medical exemption is entitled to a reasonable accommodation. The exact format of the accommodation will depend on the individual situation that the student and Pierce College faces. Students and employees with approved exemptions must still wear masks indoors.

If I am vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?

Masks are no longer required indoors, but they are encouraged. In certain places on campus, you may be asked to mask up. Please respect personal choices. Guidelines can change, so please bookmark the Coming to Campus page and check it frequently before you come to campus to see the current requirements.

If I have a vaccine exemption, do I still need to wear a mask?

If a student or employee has been provided an exemption to vaccination, they are still required to wear a mask when inside any Pierce College building in order to help maintain a healthy learning and working environment.

Employee Vaccination Information

What is the employee deadline for vaccination?

Per Governor Inslee's latest COVID-19 vaccination announcement, higher education employees must be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment. The mandate applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, student employees, and those who work remotely. Medical and religious exemptions will be offered.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to student employees?

Yes, the vaccination requirement applies to student employees. Employees are considered to be anybody who is on the college payroll and who receives a W-2 form. For student employees with off-campus placements, the vaccination requirement still applies.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to employees who work remotely?

Yes, the proclamation applies to all employees, even if they work entirely online. This includes employees who work remotely from other states or countries.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to volunteers who come on campus?

Yes, the proclamation applies to volunteers who come on campus.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to visitors who come on campus?

No, the proclamation does not apply to visitors who come to campus. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and observe other safety precautions that apply to unvaccinated individuals.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to trustees and foundation board members?

The vaccination mandate applies to college trustees and to members of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, regardless of whether they come to campus or work remotely. Foundation board members are considered volunteers, so the proclamation applies only if they come to campus.

Is the vaccination mandate subject to collective bargaining?

Yes, unions may request to bargain the impacts of mandatory vaccines. Faculty will bargain at the college level through the Washington Education Association (WEA) or the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

For classified staff, bargaining will occur at the state level, between the Labor Relations Office (within the Office of Financial Management), the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), and the Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA). Classified staff at technical colleges will bargain locally with their colleges, as will classified staff at colleges that are not part of the bargaining coalition represented by OFM.

How are employee medical or religious vaccine exemptions determined?

Being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment with the state, and Pierce College’s process for exemptions from this requirement is guided by state government.

Medical or religious exemptions and accommodation are two separate things.  First an employee requests an exemption. The state has created forms for employees to request a medical or religious exemption. Once an employee indicates in ctcLink that they need an exemption, Pierce College Human Resources will send them the appropriate form through email. If the exemption is granted, the next step of the process is to do an assessment to determine if there is a reasonable accommodation available.

Once an exemption is requested, the employee can expect an interactive process to determine whether the circumstances qualify under the exemption requirements. Then, if the exemption is approved, they will engage in an interactive process about whether an effective reasonable accommodation exists to allow the employee to perform the essential functions of their job.

Each case will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if an effective reasonable accommodation may exist, or a reasonable accommodation does not exist. Following the interactive process, the employee will be notified of what accommodations, if any, are available to permit them to continue in their position absent the vaccination. While separation could be a result of the process if no accommodations are available, each accommodation is evaluated uniquely.

Do we have to verify for booster shots?

Booster shots do not need to be verified at this time.