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Latest update: August 10, 2020

Latest Updates

A message from Pierce College Chancellor, Dr. Michele Johnson.

Transcript - A message from Pierce College Chancellor, Dr. Michele Johnson

Following Governor Inslee’s recent Stay Home, Stay Healthy announcement, all Pierce College buildings are locked and closed to the public until further notice, with the exception of business deliveries. The college and our staff are still available virtually, and instruction will be delivered remotely for the entire quarter.

All Pierce College employees should continue to work remotely until further notice, with a few exceptions for core staff.

Pierce College students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now access emergency funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

If you have questions about our work with our COVID-19 response or other related questions, you can email COVID-19@pierce.ctc.edu. We will make every effort to respond to your questions promptly. Students can also access many of our support services online or by phone.

Be safe and healthy!

Read Pierce College's latest public announcements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Check out our frequently asked questions about COVID-19, including tips on staying healthy and information about how Pierce College is responding to this outbreak.

Learn more about what our state is doing to combat the pandemic at the official Washington COVID-19 site.

Alerts

Please sign up for Pierce College Emergency Alerts to have important messages sent right to your cell phone.

Public Announcements

August 10, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Following up on our recent notification that a person tested positive for COVID-19, we are pleased to report that the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department completed a thorough review of our practices, pursued contact tracing, and approved all dental hygiene on-campus labs to resume on August 4.

The clinic will resume on August 10 continuing their established and strict dental infection control procedures in providing quality and safe care to protect students, patients and staff.

This incident emphasizes the importance of following safety measures both on and off campus; we care about you and your family’s safety. It is also important to remember your commitment to safe behavior while out in the community, as it affects the safety of students, faculty and staff when you come back to campus.

Safety measures include:

  • Wear a facial covering (mask) any time you are on campus and in public.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly on a regular basis.
  • Maintain six feet of social distancing at all times
  • Assess for symptoms daily, and if symptoms arise on campus, inform your professor/supervisor and leave immediately.

Note: The standard for a potential exposure, known as “Close Contact,” is defined by the CDC as follows: Close Contact with a known or potential COVID positive person that is longer than 15 minutes, less than six feet apart, and without a mask.

For more information about safety practices and precautions, please contact our District Safety and Health Specialist, Jose Nieves, (253) 964-6632, jnieves@pierce.ctc.edu.

August 4, 2020 - Email to District

Dear Pierce College District,

Yesterday afternoon our campus health officer was notified that a Pierce College Dental Hygiene student tested positive for COVID-19. The student was last on campus July 31 and noticed symptoms Aug. 1. Those who were in close contact with the person have been notified and given information on symptom monitoring and testing options.

We are following guidelines of the Center for Disease Control, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Washington State Health Department and the Governor’s Higher Education and Workforce Training COVID-19 Requirements Plan, and taking every precaution to prevent the spread of the virus.

We have moved the program to remote operations with plans to return it to in-person instruction by Aug. 15.

Pierce College staff have been in regular contact with this student to ensure they get the care they need. We wish them the best for a quick and full recovery.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please email Jose Nieves, our District Health and Safety Specialist at JNieves@pierce.ctc.edu. Any updates, information about the virus, and links to resources continue to be updated and available on our COVID-19 resources website.

Take care and be well

June 22, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Pierce College is required to be in compliance with a new Phase 2 directive as outlined in the governor’s reopening plan.

Proclamation 20‐25 requires that any person who is coming from or has traveled to any state that is not contiguous to Washington (Oregon and Idaho) must self‐quarantine for 14 days in order to work or attend class on campus. If this applies to you, please contact your instructor to discuss accommodations.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published travel guidance: Considerations for Travelers—Coronavirus in the US.

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

June 2, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

As Pierce County moves closer to entering Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, please be aware that to safeguard the health of our entire college community, nothing will change for Pierce College in Phase 2.

The college and our staff continue to be available virtually, and except for a few labs, instruction will continue to be delivered remotely for all of spring and summer quarter.

Be sure to contact your instructor for any classroom specific questions.  And please respond back to this email if you have any other questions.

Thank you and take care.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

June 2, 2020 - Email to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

As Pierce County moves closer to entering Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan, please be aware nothing will change for Pierce College in Phase 2.

In order to safeguard the health of our district, all Pierce College employees will continue to work remotely until further notice, with a few exceptions for core staff and labs.

As a reminder, here are the steps required for getting onto campus:

  1. For departments or individuals who need to come to campus on a regular basis, (such as custodial, facilities, safety staff, etc.), a safety plan must be submitted and approved by Choi Halladay.
  2. Or, if you need to come to campus on a one-time basis, for example to pick up equipment or files required to do your job from home, then you must get advance approval from your supervisor.
  3. Your supervisor will then alert campus safety that you will be on campus.
  4. If approved, complete and submit an Employee Self-Screening Questionnaire to your supervisor in advance of coming to campus.
  5. On arrival, contact Campus Safety for access or to alert them that you will be in the building.
  6. Wear a mask on campus at all times and adhere to social distancing.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please ask Jose Nieves, District Safety and Health Specialist, at JNieves@pierce.ctc.edu.

We continue to evaluate on a daily basis when and how we can safely re-open the college.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

May 13, 2020 - Email to Employees

Dear College Community,

We would like to remind you that most of us are still required to telework in accordance with the governor’s mandate. We continue to discourage employees from coming to campus if possible. Please know that if you do need to come to campus for any reason, you must first have written approval from your supervisor.

Washington is currently in “phase 1” of the governor’s reopening plan. This phase places a lot of restrictions on employers for on-site work. The work must be essential, and employees must follow certain guidelines (below). Departments must have an approved safety plan in place prior to any activity that involves employees coming to campus.

If you are approved to come to campus for essential business purposes, there are a few steps you must follow (your department’s safety plan and your supervisor will have more details):

  • Check your temperature prior to coming in to work; if it is 100.4 degrees F or higher, you cannot come in
  • Complete and submit a health screening questionnaire prior to coming to campus.
    • Those who indicate symptoms of illness on the questionnaire must stay home.
  • Wear a face covering and follow social distancing protocols.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please ask Jose Nieves, District Safety and Health Specialist, at JNieves@pierce.ctc.edu.

Thank you!

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

May 6, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying spring quarter. As we continue adapting to these challenging times, we all are working hard to provide you with quality educational opportunities in a safe and healthy way.

To find out where we are now with our plans for summer and fall quarter, please click on our student support FAQ page, then click “Classes”. Please respond back to this email if you have any questions.

Thank you and be safe!

April 29, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Pierce College students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now access emergency funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding is now available through the Pierce College Financial Aid office to assist students with expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the pandemic. We wanted to share with you a few details about how these funds will work, and how you can apply:

  • Students will apply for funding via an application process, where you will explain how you have been impacted and your overall financial need.
  • All students who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to apply for funding – even if you have never applied for Financial Aid before.
  • These funds are similar to grants, and do not need to be repaid.
  • Although there is no standard award amount for these grants, Financial Aid representatives will look into all funding options available to each student to fill in any gaps in your financial need.
  • We anticipate a high volume of applications, but expect to process them quickly.

Thank you for your time, and please let us know if you have any questions.

*** This message is from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

April 20, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We hope this message finds you healthy. Please check out these resources available for you!

  • IMPORTANT DEADLINE: Graduation Applications Due Wednesday, April 23, 2020: Submit the Degree and Diploma application form to the Evaluations Office by 5 p.m. in order to have your name printed in the commencement program. If you apply after that date, you are still eligible to participate, but your name will not appear in the program.
  • Find out more about participating in our first-ever virtual graduation happening on June 19.
  • You may qualify for emergency CARES Act funding. At the Student Support page, expand the “Financial Support” FAQ and scroll down to find the link to the application in the CARES Act section.
  • Access WiFi in our Parking Lots. At the Student Support page, scroll down and expand the “Technology” FAQ for details.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

April 10, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

We made it through a monumental first week of classes together! Some of you may still be working through the challenges of learning remotely. Don’t forget that we’re all in this together. We may be operating remotely this quarter, but all of our student services are available to support you through these challenging times. Our Basic Needs Resources page provides critical information that can help you find immediate food, medical, mental health, childcare and financial assistance. For even more resources, visit our Get Help page. You can also call 253-964-6500 or 253-840-8400 with general questions.

We understand some of you may be having greater challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know, is dealing with anxiety, sadness or emotional distress, we encourage you to reach out to our counselors. They are here to help. You can also visit the Crisis Text Line or text 741741 to be connected with a Crisis Counselor.

Other things you can do to protect your health include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home as much as possible

We are impressed and inspired with how our entire Pierce College community has moved through this transition. Even though we’re apart, we’re adjusting to our new normal together. We wish you all the best this quarter and hope you reach out with any questions.

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

April 10, 2020 - Email to District

Dear Pierce College Community,

We are inspired by the spirit and dedication of our students, faculty and staff as we began our virtual spring quarter. Over the last few weeks, we have seen bonds strengthened between people working and learning together through the virtual connections on our screens. We are all developing new strategies to be successful while balancing school, work, and life. We are adapting well to this new normal. Although spring quarter has just begun, we are also looking ahead.

We are excited to announce we will still be celebrating our 2020 Commencement Ceremony, virtually! We will hold a ceremony that captures the traditional experience, with every graduate recognized by name with a personalized photo. We’ll have the same speeches and awards, all enjoyed from our homes, with our families watching in real time. Every graduate will receive instructions in advance for how to prepare their photo for the slide that will represent their moment in the spotlight.

Please know you can also walk in next year’s ceremony if you like. Both options are available. We will be sending you more details on the process in the near future.

Pierce College’s mission is to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world. We’ve been creating and evolving at a rapid pace this spring. We're proud to see such tremendous effort going into quality educational experiences today, through commencement, and beyond.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

April 8, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Welcome to a ground-breaking spring quarter! We are all in this together as we continue to deal with the new challenges and opportunities of working remotely throughout the quarter.

As you know, our mission is to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world. We are committed to your success and the success of our students.

As part of your learning, we invite you to engage in courageous conversations about the tough issues of our times. This builds skills that advance democracy and includes certain responsibilities. Our Civility Policy clarifies the responsibilities.

We can choose to make a positive difference by connecting with each other as people through our common humanity. Here are some ways we can do that:

  • Speak and behave with respect.
  • Recognize, celebrate, and value each other’s work and accomplishments.
  • Offer support and help.

These expectations carry over to the online and virtual environment as well. Any inappropriate language, hate speech, or harassment will not be tolerated and will be addressed. It’s also your right to speak up. If you see something, say something.

Here are links to resources that may be useful for you: Student Conduct Code and the Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion site. Please use them and spread the word to others who may have significant needs and concerns that may impact their ability to succeed.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are at the center of our work. Each of you contribute to the amazing diversity of identities and perspectives at Pierce. In these difficult times it’s important for us to remember our desire to build and learn together in community.

We encourage you to be prepared with a mindset to both share and to listen to perspectives in ways that benefit you and our college community.

Please, let us know how we can support you, stay safe, and have a successful quarter.

Sincerely,

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

April 6, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Pierce College Students,

Welcome to our first-ever virtual spring quarter! We are excited to have you here. We are so inspired by your resilience and dedication to continuing our educational journeys together!

Many things bring our community together. Computers and other devices are our gathering spaces for this term. Software like Canvas and Zoom keep us close as a community, while we maintain distance in the physical world. We encourage you all to find creative ways to strengthen personal connections as we move through the entire quarter in our new form of virtual reality.

Student Life is planning engaging online events and activities throughout the quarter to draw us together in fun new ways. We hope you will join us for these virtual events designed to help deepen our relationships and understanding of one another this quarter. Stay tuned for details.

Many resources are available to help students access a variety of remote resources on our Student Support Center website. Be sure to visit our new Virtual Welcome Desk if you have a question and you’re not sure who to ask. You can also call 253-964-6500 or email COVID-19@pierce.ctc.edu during business hours for help with answering questions or finding resources.

This is the beginning. We expect there will be a few bumps in the road as we navigate this new world together. But know we are listening, we are here for you, and our commitment to providing high quality Pierce College instruction and services is unwavering.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

April 3, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We are looking forward to seeing you, virtually, for spring quarter, starting this Monday, April 6.

In the meantime, here is a little video we put together just for you.

https://youtu.be/NbfI8foVL_o

Also, don’t forget to look at our website for information on how to navigate through this historic quarter.

Stay safe, and see you online soon

April 3, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We are looking forward to our virtual spring quarter that starts Monday. One thing all students and faculty have in common is Canvas, where all of our courses will be meeting. Please be sure to log into Canvas. We have compiled a set of resources in our eLearning Student Orientation to prepare you for successful online and virtual learning throughout spring quarter.

This email contains details about resources and contact information for all your instructional support, as well as answers to questions about learning with technology. Additional remote resources are available on the Student Support Center website.

Pierce College continues our commitment to provide high-quality instruction and support services in an online environment. All of our student support services, tutoring, library and other academic support services are now online and ready to assist you, and will provide the same great services remotely from the comfort of your home.

eLearning

The eLearning staff are here to help with you with technology:
In response to COVID-19, the eLearning department has increased its hours of phone and email support to include evenings and weekends. While the physical eLearning office, located in Cascade 322, is closed for in-person help at this time, we are eager to assist you via phone or email. Due to the volume of support needs, we will do our best to connect you to the appropriate person to assist you as soon as possible.

Phone: 253-964-6244
Email: distedu@pierce.ctc.edu
Hours: M–F: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

How will I know how to access my online and virtual classrooms on the first day of class?

Go to the Canvas login page and follow the directions. Once logged in, you will have access to your course information.

What do I need to know about getting started with online and virtual learning?

Our eLearning team has put together a page of frequently asked questions that will address a lot of helpful information for getting started this quarter.

This list of video tutorials will help you learn how to use Canvas. Watch them all at your own pace, or skip right to the information you need now.

I am uncomfortable taking online classes. How can you help me?

We completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with online classes. This quarter, instructors are teaching remotely using a variety of methods and technology. Your instructors will explain more about what you can expect from your classes once the quarter begins.

And, for those who would like to practice with some of the new technology, like Zoom and ConexED/Cranium Cafe and Classrooms (which your professors and student services staff members may use for office hours, 1:1 appointments, review sessions, etc.). We encourage you to join us in one of our interactive workshops for students.

Friday April 3rd

  • 1PM – 2PM Cranium Classrooms
  • 7PM – 8PM ZOOM

Monday April 6th

  • 1PM – 2PM Cranium Classrooms
  • 7PM – 8PM ZOOM

Tuesday April 7th

  • 1PM – 2PM ZOOM
  • 7PM – 8PM Cranium Classrooms

Library Contact Information

Although the physical libraries are closed, our online resources are available! As always, you can access tons of e-books, streaming video, and electronic periodical articles by searching in Primo, or through links to Key Databases, found on the Library’s homepage.
Librarians will also be available to help you access information and do your research over the phone, through chat, or through Zoom videoconferencing, starting April 6.

Phone:
Reference Librarians: 253-964-6555 or 253-840-8302
Library Circulation Staff: 253-964-6547 or 253-840-8300
Email: library@pierce.ctc.edu

Hours:
Reference Librarians are available:
M-Th: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Library Circulation Staff are available:
M-Th: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
F: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How can I access print materials, like textbooks, that are normally on Reserve in the Library?

Since the Library is closed, print materials are unavailable. But we are working with your professors to try to find ways to make materials that you need available to you. If there are materials you need that you don’t have, call or email us.

Student Technology Assistance Team (STAT) Contact Information

Pierce College’s Student Technology Assistance Team helps students access and better understand the technology utilized at Pierce College. We are pleased to offer online technology support assistance to all Pierce College students. A friendly STAT member is available to help answer technology-related questions online using the Cranium Café platform in Canvas.

Cranium Café provides students access to a dedicated STAT member from their home computer, to provide timely support that eLearning students may need to be successful. Cranium Café provides one-on-one, face-to-face video conferences, so that questions can be addressed in real-time. There is a convenient chat feature for quick questions, screen sharing technology, and resource sharing.

In the modules section of the Canvas site, students can find many quick resource guides, step-by-step instructions on how to use Cranium Café, a discussion thread to ask offline chat questions for our team to answer when a STAT member becomes next available, and even a module to apply to be a member of our STAT team.

Phone: 253-964-6310 or 253-840-8437
Email: STAT@pierce.ctc.edu
Canvas: Student Technology Assistance Team Canvas

Hours:
Online and Phone Assistance:
M-F: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

How do I get assistance with my device, Canvas, or Office365 while I am at home?

Log into Canvas and click on the Student Support link in the left-hand navigation bar, and click on Student Technology Assistance Team. You can join this course and access all our resources. This includes the ability to chat with a Student Technology Assistant or view helpful tutorials in the modules section.

How do I access or reset my student email or login for the first time?

Log into your MyPierce, on the left navigation pane click Microsoft Office365, click “Reset your Office365 Password”, copy the temporary password and click the blue link to log into Microsoft Office, enter your student email: first initial of first name, last name, last 4 of SID# @smail.pcd.edu (jsmith1234@smail.pcd.edu), and enter your temporary password. Once into your student email, click the Settings cog at the top left of your screen, then click Passwords to be directed to change your password.

Students have access to 5 free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to download on personal devices. By downloading the software, you are able to access Office programs from home offline.

Ensure pop up blocker is turned off, log in to your student email, click Office 365 in the top left corner, click install Office 2016 in the top right corner, after you click Install and a pop up appears, and click Save. The application will save and download, and should appear at the bottom of the page, click the download and when the box opens, and click Run. After the program downloads, you will have offline access to the Office products.

Tutoring Contact Information

The P.A.S.S. Centers will continue to provide students with quality tutoring and mentoring support in an online environment. Our offices will remain accessible by phone, email, and through our P.A.S.S. Canvas course.

Students will be able to meet with tutors and mentors, schedule appointments, and explore resources through our new Canvas space. Tutoring and mentoring sessions will be conducted in Cranium Café using webcams and microphones to make the experience as seamless as possible. Students will have an opportunity to interact with the tutor or mentor via video, audio, or chat while uploading and sharing documents.

We are working to offer expanded hours and resources: More details to come as the quarter gets closer. Should you have questions, feel free to call or email our offices. We are here to help you through this unique quarter, just let us know how we may be of service.

Phone: 253-964-6737 (FS) or 253-864-3258 (PY)
Email: tutoring@pierce.ctc.edu
Canvas: P.A.S.S. Canvas Space

Hours: Phone Assistance, Online Drop-in, Individual and Group Study Online Appointments:
M-T: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
F: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Extended hours available upon request as available

How do I access tutoring to get help with homework?

P.A.S.S. offices are accessible by phone and by email. You can also complete an appointment request form available on the P.A.S.S. Canvas space under the P.A.S.S. Resources module.

Where do I find the P.A.S.S. Canvas course?

Students can join the P.A.S.S. Canvas course by logging into their Canvas account and scrolling down the global menu on the left to Student Support. There you will find the P.A.S.S., along with many other valuable student resources.

How will tutoring or mentoring work online?

Students will be able to meet with tutors and mentors, schedule appointments, and explore resources through the P.A.S.S. Canvas course. Tutoring and mentoring sessions will be conducted in ConexED/Cranium Café and Zoom using webcams and microphones to make the experience as seamless as possible. You will have an opportunity to interact with the tutor or mentor via video, audio, or chat while uploading and sharing documents.

Writing Center Contact Information

The Pierce College Writing Center will operate remotely during spring quarter with online consultations. Our staff will be available for both online pre-booked appointments and online drop-in starting April 13. These online appointments can be booked on our scheduling system.

Students will be able to find up-to-date information and explore resources through our Canvas course. We will also have some online drop-in consultation hours through the ConexED Cranium Café platform available through this Canvas course.

Students can also contact the Writing Center by phone or by email to ask any questions or to get assistance making an appointment. You can leave a message as well after hours and we will respond as soon as we return.

Phone: 253-964-6252 (FS) or 253-864-3378 (PY)
Email: writingcenter@pierce.ctc.edu
Canvas: Writing Center Canvas
Online Booking: WC Online

Hours:
Phone Assistance:
M-T: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
F: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Online and Drop-in Assistance:
M-Sun: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How do you make an appointment with the Writing Center?

Go to the homepage of the Pierce College Writing Center website (under Student Resources on any webpage), and click on the button: “Book a consultation.” This will take you to our scheduling system. If you haven’t done so, register for an account on this system using your student email address and then log in. Click on any white time block to make a booking with a tutor.

What does an online writing appointment look like?

The online writing appointment is a platform built right into our scheduling system. It is a live, face-to-face meeting with a writing tutor, with video, audio, text chat, and document sharing capabilities. It is much like a face-to-face appointment in the writing center.

Can I just send my paper to you for feedback?

We have a few tutors who have been trained to also do this kind of consultation. Go to our online schedule and look for the tutors who are doing “e-tutoring” appointments and book an appointment with them.

How do I access your Canvas resources?

Log into Canvas and click on the Student Support icon in the left-hand navigation bar, and click on Writing Center Resources.

See you all remotely soon!

April 1, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hot spots will be available for students to borrow during spring quarter – an additional number of devices will be available since classes are online.

Please fill out our online application by April 5 in order to borrow technology for spring quarter.

Students who apply will be contacted with more details about picking up the devices the week of April 6, so check your Pierce College student email daily.

If you have any questions, please email library@pierce.ctc.edu.

Take care.

March 28, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We hope you all are staying healthy as an exciting spring quarter approaches.

We have sent a number of emails recently, so we thought it might help to provide a summary of key points:

  • Instruction will be delivered remotely for the entire quarter.
  • The first day of the quarter is April 6.
  • Student services and course supports are now available online.
  • Students can purchase textbooks online with free shipping from Pierce College bookstores, and students with financial aid or other third party payment such as VA funding can apply those credits to online purchases.
  • For those facing unexpected hardship, the Get Help site lists a range of supports, including food banks and housing resources.
  • When buildings re-open, the college will continue to maintain minimal on-campus staffing and social distancing for as long as required.
  • Under no circumstances should you show up on campus unless you are directed to do so by the college. Once the Governor’s order to close our buildings is lifted, updates will be provided.

 

We understand people may be feeling anxious as we embark on an unprecedented quarter. We encourage you to reach out with any questions by emailing COVID-19@pierce.ctc.edu.
You can learn more about all the steps needed to get started working remotely by going to our Get Ready for Spring Quarter Online site. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions on our web site.

Please take care of yourselves and have a great spring break!

 

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation. ​

March 26, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear students,

We hope that your preparations for Spring Quarter are going well. To support you, we have extended the final day to pay tuition to March 31th.

There are multiple ways to pay:

  • ​Pay Online (Check or Credit Card). The absolute best way to submit payment is to pay online by credit card or check.
  • Installment Plan (Interest Free, No Fee). When using the interest free Tuition Installment Plan (TIP), your first payment, a third of tuition and fees, is due April 7. Send an email to cashiering@pierce.ctc.edu with your name and Student ID Number to get started. We are waiving the TIP service fee for Spring Quarter and students who have already paid the TIP service fee will be refunded.

Please watch for a survey in your email today that will help us understand and respond to your needs to attend classes remotely spring quarter. Please contact Financial Aid if you have concerns about paying, even if you haven’t needed or used financial aid before.

We are looking forward to seeing you virtually spring quarter!

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

March 24, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

We want to inform you about the latest COVID-19 developments. Last night, in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Governor Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, which will go into effect at the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, with an anticipated end date of midnight, April 6.

While our staff remain available virtually, buildings are closed and locked during this time, and we are busy getting ready for spring quarter, which begins Monday, April 6. Instruction will be delivered remotely for the entire quarter. The exception may be for certain labs and performance sessions. You’ll hear more from your faculty at the beginning of the quarter.

Please know that we are here for you during these challenging times. Please see the following tips that will help you prepare for spring quarter:

We will keep you updated on any new developments. Please monitor your student email account for important information on how to access your spring quarter classes. You can forward your Pierce email to your personal email account, so you only need to check one.

If you have questions about our work with our COVID-19 response or other questions related, you can email COVID-19@pierce.ctc.edu. We will make every effort to respond to your questions.

We look forward to seeing you virtually and supporting your academic progress!

** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

March 23, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Pierce College community,

As winter quarter draws to an end, and finals are over tomorrow, we hope you all will find time to catch up on some much needed rest and regroup a bit.

Take a deep breath, stay healthy, and always feel free to reach out. We are all here to help.

Have a restful spring break!

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

March 20, 2020 - Email to District

Hello to all students, faculty, and staff,

Spring quarter will begin on April 6. We are still open, we’re just doing things differently. We have moved services and instruction online to the greatest extent possible to keep you and our community healthy, while also serving your educational needs.

All of our support services are available online, and certain core functions like the cashier and financial aid are available on-campus with an appointment. You can also take advantage of resources we have posted on our COVID-19 web site with answers to a wide range of questions. Visit the Get Help website to find a whole range of services available from Pierce College and in the community, including food and housing assistance.

Soon we will be sending details about how classes that previously were on campus will be offered remotely.

Please reach out to us for support at any time. And be careful to not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race, or national origin. Stigma will not help to fight the illness.

These are challenging times and things are changing day-by-day, sometimes even hour by hour. But one thing that won’t change is our dedication to ensuring students, faculty, and staff have the information, tools, and supports they need to be successful.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

March 19, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Thank you again for your patience, flexibility, and resilience as we wrap up a challenging winter quarter. We are working hard to prepare for spring quarter, and would like to share a few important details with you.

Spring quarter will begin on April 6 as planned. We are finalizing plans for how courses that would normally be taught on campus will be taught remotely, as well as how labs, clinicals, and some technology courses will meet in groups of 10 or less to assure social distancing, in compliance with the Governor’s orders. Many hours are going into making these changes to assure our standards of high quality instruction are maintained. We’ll share full details next week.

Registration is open: As a reminder, spring quarter registration is open now. Students can register online through the MyPierce Portal with your SID and PIN. If you cannot register online, you can email a signed registration form to reg1rec@pierce.ctc.edu from your Pierce College student email. If you need help, call the Registration office at 253-964-6615 (Fort Steilacoom) or 253-840-8400 (Puyallup).

Student services are here for you: We continue to offer student services on campus, with limited staffing and social distancing protocols in place. A full range of services will be available virtually, including Financial Aid, Veterans Services, Registration, Advising, and more. To streamline access to services, we will soon send you a list of contact phone numbers for each department, along with the hours they will be available to meet with students in-person. This information will also be posted on our website as soon as possible. Meanwhile, you can email or call these offices using contact information on our web site for service or to make sure they are open when you plan to come by.
Bookstore on campus and online: Our Barnes and Noble Bookstore is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, while enforcing social distancing protocols. They are also providing free shipping for online sales and for returning books at the end of the quarter.
Get help with food, housing and more: Visit the Get Help website to find a whole range of services available from Pierce College and in the community, from food pantries and low-income housing opportunities, to counseling and child care supports.

We are impressed with the resiliency and dedication of our students, and we promise to do our best to help you accomplish all your goals! We look forward to a rather unprecedented but highly successful spring quarter.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

March 18, 2020 - Email to District

Dear faculty, staff and students,

We wanted to take a moment to reiterate there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Pierce College location.

We have heard concerns about students and employees self-reporting a positive test for COVID-19. We assure you that if we are notified by the health department that someone with COVID-19 was on a Pierce College campus or facility, we will inform you immediately.

We have been in contact with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department several times about suspected cases and, to date, there are absolutely no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among any member of the college community.

We want people to be conscious of not spreading rumors, which can create anxiety during these uncertain times.

Anyone concerned they may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can take advantage of FREE virtual urgent care visits through MultiCare or CHI Franciscan to determine if they should be tested.

It is important that everyone understands the process that the local health care authorities use for communicating positive cases with schools and workplaces. Here is the process:

  • When a patient exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 sees their health care provider, the health care provider orders a test.
  • The test is sent to one of several laboratories in the local area for analysis. The test takes 72 hours to show a result. For more information about this please click here.
  • If the test is positive, the laboratory simultaneously contacts both the patient’s doctor, and the local health care authority where the patient lives. In our case, that would be Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD).
  • TPCHD contacts the patient and family to find out workplace and school information, at which time a public health official contacts schools, workplaces, and other places where the patient may have spent significant time.
  • The health care authority works with the school or workplace to identify which other students or staff may have had “close contact” with the patient and to help with communication to those who may have been affected.

If you have information about a reported case of someone having COVID-19 you feel has not been acted upon, please report the details as follows:

  • Students contact Campus Safety.
  • Employees report details to your supervisor who will contact either the Director of Campus Safety, the District Health and Safety Specialist, or the Vice President of Administrative Services.

Thank you again for your patience and efforts in helping to stop the spread of misinformation.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

March 17, 2020 - Email to District

Dear Pierce College Community,

As Washington state continues to strengthen its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, Pierce College is working hard to operate in the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and the greater community. We are asking you to do your part in the effort to slow the spread of this virus.

Our expanded leadership team meets daily to discuss the transition of college operations to virtual and alternative delivery. With the strong guidance recommended by federal and local public health agencies, and Gov. Jay Inslee’s new executive orders, it is imperative we practice safe social distancing measures to stop the spread of this disease.

Effective today, March 17 through Sunday, April 26:

  • Please keep your distance: If you are on campus, please maintain six feet of distance from others while in the Library, advising offices, computer labs and other areas. We will be asking those sitting in closer proximity to move to comply with the minimum of six feet, as directed by the Governor.
  • Help for staff to work remotely: From technology to how the software works, we’ve compiled tips and contacts at our COVID-19 Information Center and on the Coronavirus/COVID-19: Online Access Resources site on our Intranet.

Now that we have transitioned into a mostly remote delivery for the remaining classes and services for winter, we are finalizing plans for spring quarter and strengthening services and supports to ensure we continue to offer high quality educational opportunities. More on this soon.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

March 16, 2020 - Email to District

Greetings to the Pierce College community,

We are writing with the latest news, including updates to campus operations and services implemented in response to the COVID-19 virus situation.

Today is the last day we will be able to hold most classes on campus. On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee gave a directive consistent with measures Pierce College was already putting into place, calling on higher education institutions to restrict activities at colleges, including in-person courses, from Tuesday, March 17 through April 24. He called on colleges to maintain social distancing in all aspects of operations. Labs, clinics and other on-campus activities can continue if social distancing is imposed, which is defined by the Governor as keeping people at least six feet apart.

While the Governor’s mandate takes effect tomorrow, we should all be striving to practice social distancing now.

To be clear, Pierce College is not closed and spring quarter classes will be offered. We are moving to a predominantly online instructional environment for now. A full range of support services are available online and on campus. Financial Aid and other services continue to be fully available.

Staying in compliance with the social distancing mandate, here are some updates:

  • Concerts that were to be streamed are now fully cancelled.
  • Our Barnes and Noble Bookstore is open and enforcing social distancing protocol. They are also providing free shipping for online sales and for returning books at the end of the quarter.
  • Food services will be closed March 17 to April 24. Food is available in the Bookstore and vending machines.
  • The Nourish Food Truck will continue to be available on its regular schedule.
  • The Library and other campus resources will take measures to enforce social distancing.
  • The Northwest Athletic Conference has suspended all spring sports competition until April 13.
  • Human Resource interviews for new employees will be moved to online interviews.

An interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and administrators is working on details for how to best deliver instruction and services during spring quarter that meet community health requirements and quality learning experiences in a way that meets state guidelines. Details about spring quarter will be available soon.

We will continue to keep you informed as the situation evolves. The COVID-19 FAQ page is frequently updated. Email COVID-19@pierce.ctc.edu if you have a question that has not been addressed.

We understand this is a challenging time and deeply appreciate everyone’s commitment to supporting our students, and each other, as we work through this unprecedented situation.

*** These messages are coming from the Executive Team and college emergency management leaders as we monitor and make decisions about the evolving situation.

March 13, 2020 - Email to District

Dear College Community,

We know that many things are changing quickly, which can be confusing, so we are writing to reinforce our plans. Earlier today, Governor Inslee restricted face-to-face courses in all public and private colleges and universities across the state, effective March 17 through April 24. Our current plans are in alignment with the governor’s executive order, as we continue to deliver as much coursework in an online environment as possible. During this time, courses not easily delivered remotely, such as labs and clinics, may continue in person using social distancing protocols, which means limiting personal space interactions within six feet. Support services will be available but limited to restrict large group gatherings.

We will offer a full schedule of spring quarter courses, delivering instruction and services that meet community health requirements and quality learning experiences for our students. We are still determining the current start and end dates of spring quarter. Students, we will communicate with you as soon as we know if there are changes to the dates and format.

Again, we thank you for your patience and resilience during these uncertain times.

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom​

March 13, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Pierce College Students:

We recognize this is a difficult and stressful time for you as our community grapples with the impacts of COVID-19. While Pierce College currently remains open, we are moving to minimize face-to-face interaction. We are striving to move as much coursework and student support services to an online environment as possible by Tuesday, March 17, while ensuring you, our students, can meet your learning outcomes. We will still have some on campus services for those of you who have limited access to online technology. We will follow social distancing guidelines as we provide these services.

We encourage you to work with your faculty and student services staff to help achieve your learning and support needs. We will be providing a full schedule of classes for spring quarter. We are working on the best ways to deliver instruction and services to meet community health requirements and quality learning experiences for you.

Thank you for patience and resilience. We know this has been a balancing act between maintaining personal health and educational goals. We are always amazed and humbled by the challenges you have faced as a diverse community of learners, striving as you make a better life for yourself and your families. We are hopeful that together we will conquer this unprecedented health crisis.

Respectfully,

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

March 13, 2020 - Email to Employees

Dear Pierce College Community,

We want to thank you for the support and care you have shown as we endure this uncharted territory. You have stayed committed to supporting and advancing the needs of our students. Your dedication is what makes Pierce College a special place to work.

We recognize this is a difficult and stressful time for faculty, staff and students as our community grapples with the impacts of COVID-19. While Pierce College currently remains open, we are moving to minimize face-to-face interaction. We are striving to move as much coursework and student support services to an online environment as possible by Tuesday, March 17, while ensuring students can meet learning outcomes.

The executive team has been in ongoing meetings to adopt measures to preserve health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, to preserve student learning outcomes, and to minimize financial impacts to our employees and students.

We are convening a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff and administrators, to explore ways to further minimize face-to-face interaction going into spring quarter, including instruction, student support services, and technology support. We are also putting into place measures to ensure access to online learning resources.

Later this morning you will receive specific details for working remotely, resources to remain open on campus, and HR protocols.

Thank you for your continued dedication to serving our students so they can achieve their goals. We will get through this unprecedented health challenge with collaboration, communication, and compassion.

 

Respectfully,
Michele, Darrell, Julie

March 11, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Pierce College Students,

These are exceptional times as news of the COVID-19 virus, and responses in our region and across the world continue to evolve. We appreciate all your help in completing winter quarter in the least disruptive manner as possible.

At present, there are no known COVID-19 cases at Pierce College, and we are not closing the college or moving to online-only classes. We continue to follow the advice and direction from the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department to inform decisions about campus operations and are actively preparing to take fast action if needed. 

We have three guiding principles that help us with our decisions:

  • Preserve the health and safety of students and staff
  • Preserve student learning outcomes
  • Preserve financial well-being of employees and students

Currently, the Departments of Health are recommending against campus closures. However, this is an evolving situation, so circumstances could change rapidly and we are monitoring all of this closely and working “behind the scenes” to assure we can uphold our three guiding principles to the greatest extent possible. We will provide regular updates.

For the remainder of the quarter:

  • Classes: At this time, classes are continuing as planned. In the event of a full or partial closure, class formats may vary from course to course. Please check your email and Canvas for details about your individual course(s) from your instructors, or contact your instructor for further information.
  • Events: Following the guidelines of local and state officials, we are cancelling all events in the next few weeks that have gatherings of 50 or more people.  More info will be distributed to those affected.
  • Stigma: Please be mindful that the risk of novel coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help to fight the illness.

Please refer to our website regarding the coronavirus to find recommendations for the prevention and spread of the virus, as well as our Frequently Asked Question page.

Thank you all for your calm, resilience, empathy and grace that you demonstrate toward each other as we make our way through this challenge.

Sincerely,

Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor and CEO

Darrell L. Cain,  Ph.D. 
President, Pierce College Puyallup

Julie A. White, Ph.D.
President, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

March 10, 2020 - Email to Employees

Dear Employees,

These are exceptional times as news of the COVID-19 virus, and responses in our region and across the world continue to evolve. We appreciate all your help in completing winter quarter in the least disruptive manner as possible.

At present, there are no known COVID-19 cases at Pierce College, and we are not closing the college or moving to online-only classes. We continue to follow the advice and direction from the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department to inform decisions about campus operations and are actively preparing to take fast action if needed. 

We have three guiding principles that help us with our decisions:

  • Preserve the health and safety of students and staff
  • Preserve student learning outcomes
  • Preserve financial well-being of employees and students

Currently, the Departments of Health are recommending against campus closures. However, this is an evolving situation, so circumstances could change rapidly and we are monitoring all of this closely and working “behind the scenes” to assure we can uphold our three guiding principles to the greatest extent possible. We will provide regular updates.

For the remainder of the quarter:

  • All Pierce College locations remain open. Unless otherwise discussed with your supervisor, there are no changes to work schedules and expectations. However, consult with your supervisor in these circumstances:
    • If you fall into a high-risk group and would like to pursue working remotely from home;
    • Before advising a student or employee to stay home due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Events: Following the guidelines of local and state officials, we are cancelling all events in the next few weeks that have gatherings of 50 or more people.  More info will be distributed to those affected.
  • Stigma: Please be mindful that the risk of novel coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help to fight the illness.

Please refer to our website regarding the coronavirus to find recommendations for the prevention and spread of the virus, as well as our Frequently Asked Question page.
Thank you all for your calm, resilience, empathy and grace that you demonstrate toward each other as we make our way through this challenge.

Sincerely,

Michele, Darrell, and Julie

March 6, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

While there are still no cases of COVID-19 in Pierce County, we are continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus and its potential impacts to the college.

Pierce College is working closely with the Health Department, and we are preparing emergency management plans should there be an outbreak in our area. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for our text, phone, and/or email alerts. You can also refer to our website for current information and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Our top priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Public health officials have recommended that people experiencing flu-like symptoms stay home from school and work. If you are ill, please do not come to the college.

At present, impacts to the current instructional program and college activities are still modest, and classes and scheduled activities are currently continuing as planned. This is an evolving situation, both in Washington and globally, so circumstances could change rapidly. In addition to signing up for alerts, it is also important to check your student email and review updates in Canvas regularly.

We urge you and your family members to stay informed. The following resources can help keep you up to date and knowledgeable:

  • Pierce College Website, as well as signing up for alerts (the most up-to-date Pierce College impacts)
  • Pierce College Email and Canvas (communication from faculty and other college support services to assure you are supported and informed about impacts to class and other resources)
  • Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department (includes guidelines about the local situation and provides information on how to keep healthy and help limit the spread of the coronavirus)
  • Center for Disease Control & Prevention website (includes COVID-19 tracking info, guidance about travel, and the most current information about the situation)
  • Washington State Department of Health (provides accurate information pertaining to the state)

Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to reduce stigma, anxiety, and panic. Speak up if you hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation. Show compassion and support for individuals and communities more closely impacted. Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race, or national origin. Stigma will not help to fight the illness.

Thank you for the calm, resilience, and care that you demonstrate toward each other as we work together to minimize the impact of the virus on our community. Our focus remains keeping our community healthy as we fulfill our important educational mission.

March 6, 2020 - Email to Employees

Fact of the Day: What’s the difference between Coronavirus and COVID-19?

You may see in the news that people are referring to both COVID-19 and Coronavirus. Coronavirus, and more specifically in this case, “novel Coronavirus-2019” or “2019nCoV”, is the scientific name of the virus that causes the current flu-like disease. The disease itself has been named COVID-19.

Update for March 6, 2019

You probably have heard about colleges in the Puget Sound area moving all their instruction online. While we are preparing for higher levels of response, because there are no confirmed cases in Pierce County, we are not ready to follow in the same path as those colleges yet.

Earlier this week Patrick Carter and Robert Britten sent out information about our custodian’s daily disinfection routines, and a reminder to clear your desk and notify them if you want your desk disinfected. The college also has large quantities of disinfectant and hand sanitizer on order so that we will continue to have a supply in the upcoming weeks.

In order to continue our preparations, we have increased the number of licenses for employees to connect back to the college to work remotely. Instructions on how to connect your home computer back to the college will be distributed very shortly.

If you don’t have a remote/telework agreement on file, don’t worry. For the purposes of this emergency situation, the College is waiving the need for the agreement for the specific purpose of connecting during a Coronavirus related campus shutdown.

For personal safety, remember to stay home if you are sick, use hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently. Start making plans at home for the chance that there might be shutdowns of large gathering spaces, and be flexible in your plans as we all face uncertainty in the next weeks.

And finally, remember to follow the latest information on the Pierce College website for college specific Coronavirus information.

March 3, 2020 - Email to Employees

After receiving more direct information from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), the Leadership at Pierce College is sharing some additional information about our plans as the Coronavirus disease progresses in our area.

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health authorities continue to emphasize that medical steps for Coronavirus such as seeking Coronavirus specific medical care and self-isolation is warranted only if
    • The person has the symptoms of Fever, Cough, and Difficulty Breathing
    • AND
    • The person has recently visited one of the areas of ongoing spread OR has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • Any decision to close one of our colleges or sites will be done in consultation with and recommendation of TPCHD. Their public health officials and epidemiologists are trained specialists and we must rely on their expertise to guide our decision-making process.
  • Official College travel to international destinations will be authorized by the Chancellor on a case by case basis. As of right now, Pierce College will not authorize travel to any locations that are identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a Level 3 advisory, or to any country identified by the State Department as a Level 3 or Level 4 advisory.
  • If an individual program has a need to vary from the overall policies of the college during this time, members of the E-Team will make the determination after weighing evidence as presented by the Director and/or Dean of that program area. We are developing a form that must be filled out to help in the organization and accumulation of evidence to support the decision.
  • The college has expanded its capability for remote access to work computers in case of longer-term shutdown. Information will be shared in a separate message about how to access and how to prepare for remote work

 

In addition, here is information that we are passing on from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department regarding personal ways to be safer and prepared.

  • Please do not buy and use/wear medical masks if you are not showing symptoms of the flu. It does not help, and just creates shortages for public health facilities.
  • Washing hands, using hand sanitizer, covering your cough, and staying home when sick are best practices to help prevent spread of the disease
  • If you have children in school, make personal plans for the case when individual K-12 schools may be closed
  • Rethink personal travel plans that may include any transit through or visit to an area with ongoing spread.

March 2, 2020 - Email to Students

Dear Students,

Pierce College is closely monitoring the coronavirus and associated COVID-19 disease. Pierce College leadership is working closely with public health officials to keep up to date on recent events regarding the virus and potential impacts to the college, and we are developing plans to mitigate those impacts.

Public health officials have recommended that people experiencing flu-like symptoms stay home from school and work. If you are ill, please do not come to the college.

We urge you and your family members to stay informed. The Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) provides detailed information about symptoms, risk levels, and how to keep healthy. TPCHD also posts updates on their blog about the local situation, including their efforts to help limit the spread of disease if we do experience any cases in our county. We also encourage you to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which is tracking COVID-19, issuing guidance about travel, and providing the most current information about the situation.

Faculty, staff, and students have asked about anticipated impacts to instruction and other college operations, as well as what steps they should take. At present, the number of people in Washington with confirmed infections is low. Correspondingly, impacts to the current instructional program and college activities are modest, and classes and scheduled activities are currently continuing as planned. This is an evolving situation, both in Washington and globally, so circumstances could change rapidly.

Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to reduce stigma, anxiety, and panic. Please find more information and updates through the Washington State Department of Health, to help assure that any information you do share is accurate and up to date.

A webpage on our Pierce College site is forthcoming, to keep the college community updated on the latest coronavirus developments.

March 2, 2020 - Email to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

Pierce College is closely monitoring the coronavirus and associated COVID-19 disease. We have existing plans for emergency management with specifics for responding to a pandemic outbreak. Currently, leadership is working closely with public health officials to keep up to date regarding the virus and potential impacts to the college, and we are developing additional plans to mitigate those impacts. More information about the coronavirus can be found on the Washington state Department of Health website. In addition, Pierce College has an active Policy Advisory Group that is determining appropriate steps in a variety of areas ranging from housing to clinics to options for remote work.

Faculty, staff, and students have asked about anticipated impacts to instruction and other college operations, as well as what steps they should take. At present, the number of people in Washington with confirmed infections is low. Correspondingly, impacts to the current instructional program and college operations are modest, and faculty and staff are encouraged to continue the normal course of operations. This is an evolving situation, both in Washington and globally, so circumstances could change rapidly. This is an ideal time for faculty to assure that their Canvas course shells are up to date with communication and plans for how courses can continue in a circumstance of suspended operations.

Public health officials have recommended that people experiencing flu-like symptoms stay home from school and work. If you are ill, please do not come to the college. Guidance on sick leave will be sent by HR later today. For faculty, if a student in your class is sick and stays home, please accommodate them while they are away.

  • Pierce College does not require a doctor’s note for student absences. In addition, access to health care providers may be limited due to high demand.
  • Provide course materials and offer the opportunity for make-up work as you normally would.
  • Make course materials and assignments available through Canvas to the greatest extent possible, to allow for the distribution of materials and assignments.

We also ask everyone to be mindful of their communications to in order to reduce stigma, anxiety, and panic. Please find more information and updates through the Washington State Department of Health, to help assure that any information you do share is accurate and up to date.

A webpage on our Pierce College site is forthcoming, to keep the college community updated on the latest coronavirus developments.