FAQs

Returning to Campus

Who should plan to return to campus this fall?

(Modified July 8, 2021) All students and employees should plan to return to campus in-person this fall. The college intends to offer a full college experience, featuring face-to-face instruction, full residence halls, and in-person events and activities. Employees are expected to return no later than August 2, 2021. Students should review the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar for more information about when classes begin.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Who is required to be vaccinated for the Fall 2021 semester?

(Modified August 9, 2021)

Students: All undergraduate and graduate students taking in-person/face-to-face courses and those who wish to come to campus for any reason including utilizing campus resources and attend in-person college activities (such as commencement), must provide proof of vaccination or receive an approved medical or religious exemption.

Students must provide proof of the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or receive an approved exemption prior to coming to campus or attending in-person college activities.

Employees: All employees, regardless of modality (in-person, remote, or full online), must provide proof of vaccination or receive an approved medical or religious exemption no later than August 2, 2021.

I’m coming to campus for pre-season, do I need to be vaccinated before pre-season begins?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, all students must be vaccinated and submit proof of vaccination before returning to campus for any reason.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

(Added June 25, 2021) Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

Are there exemptions to the vaccination requirement for students?

(Modified August 17, 2021) Yes, students can apply for a medical exemption or an exemption due to firmly held religious beliefs.

Medical Exemptions: Students must submit documentation to Health Services from a medical provider indicating the specific medical reason the student is unable to receive any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines. All medical exemptions should be submitted by Friday, August 20, 2021 to provide enough processing time before the start of the fall semester.

Religious Exemptions: Students must submit a notarized Student Religious Exemption Request Form to Health Services. This form must indicate why receiving any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines is against their firmly held religious beliefs and should be signed by a religious leader to assist the committee with making a decision quickly. Once approved, a $500 non-refundable fee will be applied to the student’s account each semester to pay for the cost of required COVID-19 testing. All religious exemptions must be submitted no later than Friday, August 20, 2021.

Are there exemptions to the vaccination requirement for employees?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, employees can apply for a medical exemption or an exemption due to firmly held religious beliefs.

Medical Exemptions: Employees must submit the “Reasonable Accommodation Request Form,” located on the Human Resources page of myAIC, along with required documentation, to Human Resources. Required documentation from a medical provider should indicate why the employee is unable to receive any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines.

Religious Exemptions: Employees must submit the “Religious Accommodation Request Form,” located on the Human Resources page of myAIC, along with required documentation, to Human Resources. Required documentation must indicate why receiving any of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines is against their firmly held religious beliefs.

Which vaccines are accepted by AIC?

(Added June 25, 2021) AIC accepts the following authorized vaccines in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health and World Health Organization guidelines: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, Covishield and Sinovac.

Will I be able to register for classes for Fall 2021 without having yet been vaccinated?

(Modified September 10, 2021) Vaccinated individuals who are deemed a close contact, through contact tracing, to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, are not required to quarantine but should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure. Vaccinated close contacts should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result from the test taken between days 3-5 after exposure.

Do I have to get vaccinated if all of my courses are fully remote and I will never come to campus?

(Modified August 9, 2021) No, students in programs that are fully online or remote are not required to be vaccinated to attend online or remote courses. Students who wish to utilize on-campus resources (such as the library), attend in-person events (such as commencement), or come to campus for any reason, must provide proof of vaccination or receive an approved medical or religious exemption.

How do I upload my COVID-19 vaccination information to my AIC Health Services medical record?

(Added June 25, 2021)

  1. Go to https://aic.medicatconnect.com/
  2. Login using your AIC email and password.
  3. Select the large “Upload” button.
  4. Choose “COVID Vaccine Record Card” from the drop-down list.
  5. Click “select file” and upload the file.

Note: many cell phones take photos using a “.heic” file format that is not supported. You will need to save it as one of the supported file formats listed on the page. If you have difficulty uploading your vaccination card, please email dexter.health@aic.edu for assistance.

Who has access to my AIC medical record?

(Added June 25, 2021) Medical records submitted to Health Services are covered by HIPAA. Only staff working in health services have access to these medical records. This includes the proof of vaccination submitted through the Health Services portal.

What happens if my second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine isn’t scheduled until after I am supposed to come to campus?

(Added August 24, 2021)
Students cannot come to campus for any reason until they have provided proof of their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or received an approved exemption. If your second dose is scheduled for after you should be coming to campus to move-in or attend classes, you have to wait until you receive your second dose. Additionally, all students must provide proof of their final dose no later than September 10, 2021 or they will be withdrawn for the Fall 2021 semester. Students should not begin a 2-dose vaccine if they cannot receive the 2nd dose prior to their intended arrival to campus and should instead choose a single dose vaccine (such as the Johnson and Johnson).
Employees should contact Human Resources if they have questions about their arrival to campus for the first time.

Testing and Tracing

Will I have to participate in ongoing surveillance testing?

(Added August 17, 2021)
Vaccinated Students and Employees – No surveillance testing requirement.

Unvaccinated Students – Students who receive an approved exemption are required to participate in weekly on campus COVID-19 surveillance testing. Tests from external sources will not be accepted from students. Students who receive an approved religious exemption will be charged a $500 non-refundable fee per semester to cover the cost of testing.

Unvaccinated Employees – Employees who receive an approved exemption must be tested for COVID-19 weekly. Employees may choose to get tested on or off campus. Employees who would like to be tested on campus to comply with testing requirements must notify Human Resources no later than August 27, 2021. Employees choosing to get tested on campus will be responsible for the cost of testing materials for the full semester.

Will I need to quarantine if I’m a contact of someone who tests positive and I am vaccinated?

(Modified September 10, 2021)

If you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19: Vaccinated individuals who are deemed a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 through contact tracing and who are not experiencing symptoms, are not required to quarantine. Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure. Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result from the test taken between days 3-5 after exposure.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19: Vaccinated individuals who are deemed a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 through contact tracing and who are experiencing symptoms, should quarantine immediately and get tested for COVID-19 right away. If this test is negative, you may discontinue quarantine and follow the quarantine guidance above for vaccinated close contacts who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Will I need to quarantine if I’m a contact of someone who tests positive and I’m not vaccinated?

(Modified September 10, 2021) Unvaccinated individuals who are deemed a close contact, through contact tracing, to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, are required to quarantine. Students under quarantine must comply with testing requirements and maintain strict quarantine until they have completed the required quarantine period per Health Services and consistent with current government regulations (typically a 10-day quarantine with an 11th day release if not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19). Individuals under quarantine must not enter the on-campus dining facilities. Resident students who must move to temporary quarantine housing will be allowed to place a take-out order from Dining Services using the instructions provided by Health Services and Residence Life. Meals will be delivered to students in quarantine. Unvaccinated employees who are required to quarantine, should not come to campus and should work with their supervisor to determine appropriate next steps.

Will I need to isolate if I test positive for COVID-19?

(Modified September 10, 2021) Individuals who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to isolate. Resident students are required to temporarily move to designated isolation housing. While in isolation, students will not be permitted to enter any buildings on campus, may not have guests in the building, and cannot leave their temporary assignment (if applicable) except for emergencies. Students in isolation housing must comply with monitoring requirements from Health Services and will have meals delivered to them, so as not to enter the dining facilities. Students must follow all instructions from Health Services and the Office of Residence Life before returning to their regular housing assignment (typically a 10-day isolation with an 11th day release). Employees should not come to campus for any reason and should work with their supervisor to determine appropriate next steps.

Health and Wellness

Will masks be required on campus?

(Modified September 10 2021)

Effective immediately per order of the City of Springfield, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering while indoors and while outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing with the following exceptions:

  • Individuals are not expected to wear a face covering when they are in their private residence hall room, while alone in their private office, or while seated and actively eating or drinking.

This mask requirement extends to the campus shuttle and all athletic transportation vehicles.

Additionally, all individuals should wear a mask if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Students should call Dexter Health Services at (413) 205-3248 for evaluation and testing. Employees should remain home until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.

What if I will have a COVID-19 vaccine waiver and am unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition?

(Added June 25, 2021) All unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask. If you have a medical condition that limits your ability to wear a mask:

Students: must request an accommodation through the Center for Accessibility Services and Academic Accommodations following the process outlined HERE.

Employees: must submit the “Reasonable Accommodation Request Form,” located on the Human Resources page of myAIC, to Human Resources.

What are the cleaning protocols?

(Added June 25, 2021) CDC reviewed research suggests that COVID-19 is not transmitted through surfaces as was once believed. Therefore, Massachusetts has indicated that businesses can return to their normal cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

What do I do if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

Emergency

Call 9-1-1 or Campus Police at (413) 205-3333.

Non-Emergency

Students: contact Health Services during business hours at (413) 205-3248 and don’t attend in-person classes or activities until cleared to do so by Health Services.

Employees: stay home, contact your medical provider, and get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

Classes and Academic

Will classes be taught in-person?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, classes normally taught in-person will return to that mode of instructional delivery in the fall.

Are there any modifications to the academic calendar?

(Added June 25, 2021) The Academic Calendar will follow a schedule similar to years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, including traditional start and end dates as well as regularly scheduled breaks and holidays.

Will the college allow students to stay remote for learning as a reasonable accommodation even if the state has rescinded the state of emergency regarding the pandemic?

(Added June 25, 2021) Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation due to a disability:

Students: follow THESE INSTRUCTIONS or contact accessibility.services@aic.edu.

Employees: must submit the “Reasonable Accommodation Request Form,” located on the Human Resources page of myAIC, to Human Resources.

Do I need to be vaccinated prior to attending classes?

(Modified August 9, 2021) Students must provide proof that they have received the final dose of a vaccine (2nd dose of a 2-dose vaccine or only dose of a 1-dose vaccine) or receive an approved medical or religious exemption prior to coming to campus, attending in-person classes, or attending in-person college-sponsored activities.

Residential Housing and Dining

When can I move into my residence hall?

(Added July 26, 2021)

Students must provide proof that they have received the final dose of a vaccine (2nd dose of a 2-dose vaccine or only dose of a 1-dose vaccine) or receive an approved medical or religious exemption prior to moving in.

First-year students may begin moving in on Friday, August 27, 2021.

Returning second-year students may begin moving in on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

All other students may begin moving in on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

Athletes arriving for a scheduled preseason should contact Residence Life for arrival information.

Will visitors be allowed in the residence halls?

(Added July 26, 2021) Yes, resident students will be allowed to have AIC and non-AIC guests in the residence halls consistent with the standard Residence Life visitor policy. Unvaccinated guests will be required to follow all policies in place for unvaccinated individuals including wearing a mask at all times while on campus. All overnight guests must be fully vaccinated.

Athletics

Will fans be allowed to attend AIC Athletic home competitions?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, fans will be allowed to attend AIC athletic home competitions provided they follow college policies on masking and social distancing for those who are unvaccinated.

Will I be able to come to campus early for pre-season if I am not fully vaccinated?

(Added June 25, 2021) No, all students must be fully vaccinated prior to coming to campus. If you are an international student and will not have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in time to return to campus, please contact Kim Beebe at international.advisor@aic.edu for guidance.

Visitation and Events

What are the policies regarding AIC-sponsored events?

(Added September 10, 2021)

Effective immediately per order of the City of Springfield, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering while indoors and while outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing with the following exceptions:

  • Individuals are not expected to wear a face covering when they are in their private residence hall room, while alone in their private office, or while seated and actively eating or drinking.
Will Summer Summit Days be in-person?

(Added June 25, 2021) No, Summer Summit Days will be held remotely during the summer. CLICK HERE for more information.

Will Fall New Student Orientation (NSO) be in-person?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, NSO will be in-person. CLICK HERE for more information.

What will life on campus be like?

(Added September 10, 2021) AIC plans to provide a close-to-normal on campus experience including full classrooms, visitation in residence halls, and resuming large-scale/high-capacity programming on campus.

Will Counseling Services resume in-person sessions?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, in addition to a high-quality in-person counseling experience, Counseling Services is exploring the ability for students to opt-in to remote sessions as well.

Will buildings be open and unlocked as they were prior to the pandemic?

Yes.

Will telecommuting be allowed?

(Added June 25, 2021) Please see the policy on telecommuting within the Employee Handbook on the Human Resources Page of myAIC.

What is the visitor policy?

(Added September 22, 2021)

Effective September 13, 2021, by order of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Board of Health, the City of Springfield will implement a citywide mask mandate policy, regardless of vaccination status until November 1, 2021, unless otherwise amended or rescinded. The mask mandate is for all public places including municipal buildings, private businesses, and public gatherings and events to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. There are no changes or restrictions to capacities in this order.

During this period, American International College (AIC) will remain open and welcomes alumni, friends, and visitors to the College. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask when indoors. Masks will be required outdoors where social distancing is not feasible. This includes athletic events and non-athletic events such as Homecoming.

Visitors should visit the AIC website (www.aic.edu) for updates to this policy as they may change according to city and state requirements and guidelines.

Will virtual meetings continue?

(Added June 25, 2021) Regularly scheduled meetings will begin to be held in person; however, employees and students who wish to request a meeting be held virtually can do so. Not all requests may be granted.

How do I know if students have been vaccinated or not?

(Added June 25, 2021) Vaccinations and exemptions are private; therefore, the College will not release information about an individual’s vaccination status. However, select, appropriate employees will have limited access to information regarding a student’s clearance for return to campus.

Will there be directional flow through office spaces?

(Added June 25, 2021) Directional signage and social distancing measures will be relaxed or removed across campus where appropriate.

Can employees travel for professional development opportunities?

(Added June 25, 2021) Yes, while AIC will not have any travel restrictions in place for the 2021-2022 academic year, all students and employees are expected to follow state, federal, and international restrictions in place at the time of travel.

Who do I talk to if I have further questions or concerns?

(Added June 25, 2021) Please email covidquestions@aic.edu.

How do I report a policy violation?

(Added June 25, 2021) If a student is violating policy, please contact a member of the Dean of Students office or email covidquestions@aic.edu. If an employee is violating policy, please notify their supervisor or contact HR at debra.rico@aic.edu.

Will AIC offer student employment opportunities?

(Added July 8, 2021) Yes, AIC will offer a full complement of in-person Federal Work Study and non-Federal Work Study student employment opportunities. Students may search for open positions through AIC Swarm Jobs.

International Students

What if I am unable to get my travel visa due to COVID-19 restrictions in my area?

(Added June 25, 2021) Please contact Kim Beebe at international.advisor@aic.edu to discuss your visa process.

I am an international student. What happens if I can’t easily get access to a vaccine where I live, either in the U.S. or abroad? Can I get vaccinated when I arrive at AIC?

(Added June 25, 2021) Students who do not have access to an authorized vaccine in their country of origin should contact Kim Beebe at international.advisor@aic.edu for approval to come to campus. International Students approved under this exception are required to receive the first dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to attending classes or moving into a residence hall. This may require the student to get vaccinated off campus as we cannot guarantee on-campus vaccine availability.

Students must be fully vaccinated (see definition above) to participate in any other co-curricular or athletic activities and must follow protocols for unvaccinated individuals prior to full vaccination.

If I am fully or partially vaccinated with a vaccine that is not WHO-approved, what will I need to do when I arrive at AIC?

(Added June 25, 2021) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health require you to restart your vaccination schedule in the U.S. at least 28 days after your last dose of a non-authorized vaccine. Students should contact Kim Beebe at international.advisor@aic.edu for approval to come to campus. International Students approved under this exception are permitted to attend classes and move into a residence hall and are required to receive the first dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine within 72 hours of the 28th day. This may require the student to get vaccinated off campus as we cannot guarantee on-campus vaccine availability.

Students must be fully vaccinated (see definition above) to participate in any other co-curricular or athletic activities and must follow protocols for unvaccinated individuals prior to full vaccination.

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