Campus News & Updates
9/18/2020: Winter and Spring at PCC
Hello Lancer Family:
I hope the end of this week finds fewer of you in danger from the Bobcat Fire. Many of you have had to evacuate, prepare to evacuate, or just worry about the terrible air quality from the fires across Southern California, and I know the danger and the uncertainty can be quite draining. I know I speak for the Board in saying that we are dedicated to helping our Lancer Family, so please do not hesitate to reach out.
I am also writing to officially announce that both the 2021 Winter Intersession and Spring semester will be mostly online, with limited face-to-face instruction. The decision to remain online for Winter Intersession was made a few weeks ago, but I neglected to send out a campus-wide email to announce the decision officially. So, some folks were a little caught off guard when we started talking about whether we would continue to be online in Spring 2021. Making the decision to remain online in Spring 2021 in mid-September may seem a bit premature, but we are actually about a week or so behind some of our sister colleges who announced their decision once state Chancellor Eloy Oakley reached out to the CEOs last Thursday evening to suggest making the decision and announcement soon so that students and faculty could prepare. He cited last week’s CSU decision to remain online in Spring 2021 and the likely decision of the UC system to remain online as encouragement. While there is nothing I would love more than seeing all of our students on campus, it still is not safe, and we do not have any indication that a vaccine will be available or widespread enough by the start of Spring to make a different decision at this point in time.
I know many of you are wondering about what will happen with Athletics given that we have made this decision. Back in July, the California Community College Athletic Association Board, which I chair, decided to move all Fall sports to Spring 2021. The COVID Work Group of the CCCAA developed a schedule that has early Spring and late Spring competition seasons for all sports. This COVID Work Group will meet on September 23rd and September 29th to formulate a recommendation regarding Athletics for the CCCAA Board to consider in October or, at the latest, at its November 6th Board meeting. At the same time, CCCAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Cardone and I met with Lande Ajose in Governor Newom’s office yesterday to discuss their Higher Education guidance related to athletics. A key point we made was that their guidelines were developed with the NCAA in mind, not with the CCCAA in mind. We requested a review of the guidelines, especially as it relates to practice/workouts and COVID testing. In short, I don’t have an answer, but folks are working on what the plan will be for athletics in Spring 2021. Stay tuned!
I will end with good news: the Sarafian building has cleared its final hurdle in the Department of Finance and the Chancellor’s Office, which means we will put the construction management team in place shortly to start taking the Sarafian building down. We can’t implode the building for a variety of reasons (bummer), so it’s going to be dismantled floor-by-floor. The only upside to not having students on campus for the remainder of the year is that this very messy, truck-intensive job will not have to work around lots of students walking by. As you can see, I am a “glass half-full” kind of person.
7/22/2020 PCC Fall Semester Update
Dear PCC Family:
In recent days we have seen discouraging data regarding Los Angeles County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. While health care capacity remains strong, positive cases have risen higher than the spring peak, and we are seeing unfortunate indications that the number of fatalities is on a similar trend. There is no question that there are difficult times ahead, and we must take steps to help stop the spread of this disease.
The executive team of the college and I have decided that our Fall 2020 semester will begin with classes conducted nearly entirely online, with only limited exceptions for certain programs. While this action presents challenges to our learning environment, it is the right step to take in the face of this continuing pandemic. In continuing to offer remote instruction, we will be doing our part to help keep people safe.
This decision will lead to many others, with countless details to sort out across the college. Our faculty and staff have been working continuously to prepare for this situation, and this work will continue as we approach the start of classes on Aug. 24. If you have questions about how our online fall will impact your area of focus, please check in with your supervisor or dean, and we’ll work to address your inquiry. We don’t have all the answers yet, but we are asking the questions together.
As always, I am grateful for your flexibility and patience as we navigate this unprecedented crisis. We are a resilient community, and I know we will come through this as a stronger college. I deeply appreciate your partnership.
Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D.
3/30/2020 PCC Spring Semester Update
In light of the direction at the Federal level to maintain social distancing measures until April 30, we have made the decision this morning to extend PCC’s period of remote operations through the end of the Spring semester. All classes will continue to be offered through remote means, wherever possible, through the end of the term.
This is a very difficult decision to make, as we understand the impact this crisis has had on our ability to offer necessary programs and services. We are all working outside of our normal routines. Given the seriousness of this public health emergency, however, we have an urgent need to do all we can to flatten the curve, ensure our healthcare system functions as it needs to, and promote the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We are hopeful that this decision will also provide some certainty about the next few months that will promote consistent teaching, learning, and working in these alternate formats.
As a result of this decision, we will be postponing our Commencement ceremony until Spring 2021. We hope that those students who would have celebrated with us this June will bring their families to join us at that time. In response to student feedback we are also working to offer credit for Spring 2020 semester parking permits.
There are many outstanding questions this morning, but we are doing all we can to resolve them as quickly as possible. Faculty, deans, and administrators are working to identify courses that require in-person instruction and develop methods to accommodate those needs. PCC is in regular communication with the Chancellor’s Office and our system partners in the CSUs and UCs to advocate for our students’ needs relating to clinical hours and transfer requirements, among others, that are being impacted by this emergency. Student Services will continue offering remote services during this time, and you can continue to direct students to the resource on our website: https://pasadena.edu/about/president/coronavirus-updates/remote-classes-faq-for-students.php
Prior to the end of the semester, we may be able to bring employees back to campus who are currently only permitted to work remotely. We are working to identify the necessary safeguards to do that in an orderly and healthy fashion. Until that time, please note that the college remains closed to all but essential personnel, and staff and supervisors are to continue using established processes to gain access to their offices or facilities. Under no circumstances are faculty to invite students back to campus for instruction. Additionally, the guidelines relating to remote work and vacation, sick, compensatory, and family leave remain unchanged at this time. If you have a question about your particular situation, please contact Human Resources.
We know that this has been a complex, difficult, confusing situation, but we have consistently been amazed at the flexibility, dedication, and creativity we have seen from all of you as you have kept our college and our community thriving. You all ROCK! We are making it through this together, and we will all be stronger as a result.
We’ll say it again… Semper Gumby!
Erika Endrijonas, Ph.D.
Matthew Henes, Ed.D.
Academic Senate President
Associate Professor, Mathematics
3/19/2020 LA County and Gov. Newsom issue "Safer-At-Home" directive
Sent on behalf of Superintendent/President Erika Endrijonas:
In the spirit of the directive by Los Angeles County and Gov. Newsom to minimize nonessential contact between individuals, the college intends to convert our operations to remote means wherever possible. This effort complies with tonight’s announcement by public health authorities regarding a “safer-at-home” program as an increased measure to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
Pasadena City College is now physically closed to the public and nonessential personnel from March 20 to April 19, but the work of the college continues through remote and online methods. Your supervisor will notify you if you have been designated as essential personnel and need to come to the college. All employees must remain at home until notified. Your supervisor will contact you to make arrangements for you to collect any necessary items to facilitate working remotely.
Thanks to the work that has been done over the past two weeks, remote instruction at the college will continue as planned and student services will be provided remotely as well. We have also implemented a remote work option that has already seen substantial numbers of our staff perform their duties from alternate locations.
Employees whose duties cannot be performed remotely should be on call and available to perform other duties as needed. Please stay in touch with your supervisor to determine work-from-home activities. All other employees are expected to perform their regular job functions, to the extent possible, remotely. Employees who do not wish to work remotely may use compensatory or vacation leave, and must notify their managers accordingly.
As always, we strongly recommend staying in touch with the college, as circumstances are changing every day. Regular updates will be sent via email and posted to our website. We are also sending regular updates via the college’s social media channels and RAVE alerts as necessary. If you have questions or concerns, please use the form on the FAQ page.
This has been a very challenging time for the college, and I deeply appreciate your consistent display of professionalism, flexibility, and dedication to our students’ success.
Thank you… Semper Gumby!!
I am writing to share some additional information regarding PCC’s response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
- Based on guidance from Gov. Newsom’s March 15 press conference and subsequent guidance from the Chancellor’s Office, the college has extended the period of reduced campus access to Sunday, April 19. From March 18 through April 19, only employees, hourly workers, and other personnel determined by the college will be permitted on campus. All students and members of the general public will be denied entry.
- This action means that face-to-face instruction will be curtailed until Sunday, April 19. All instruction during this period will be conducted using remote methods. For more information, please contact your division dean.
- Managers and area vice presidents are currently working to identify staff who will be authorized to work remotely during this period.
- Further information about service provision and college operations during this time are forthcoming. Please be sure to check the website (https://www.pasadena.edu/healthupdates) and your email for updates throughout this period.
- The Human Resources office has provided guidance on employment throughout this response period. Please see this document for more information on work requirements, leave policies, and steps to take if you or a dependent is affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
- More information has been posted to this website. The https://www.pasadena.edu/healthupdates section of the website is continually updated. We have added sections addressing Canvas and remote instruction, and we will post guidance and necessary documents there as they become available. Guidance from different offices at different levels of government can provide conflicting messages, and we are doing our best to sort out these conflicts using information on this section. As always, we hope you will stay in touch using the form at the bottom of this section:https://pasadena.edu/about/president/coronavirus-updates/health-faq-and-feedback.php
- The board of trustees meeting is proceeding as scheduled this Wednesday, with modifications. Staff and members of the public will be able to attend as usual in Creveling Lounge, but we strongly recommend viewing the meeting remotely through the college’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/PCCLancer. (A direct link will be sent when it is available.) Anyone wishing to make public comment can send their input email@example.com and it will be read in person as written at the meeting on Wednesday.
- Other shared governance meetings are likely to be offered remotely or postponed. Please contact the chair or facilitator of the meeting for more information.
We are preparing for an extended period of online and remote operation. As such, if you haven’t already, we recommend signing up for a Zoom account and familiarizing yourself with its operation. Please be aware that due to incredibly high demand, some Zoom functions – including email verification – are experiencing delays, so it is better to register and sign up for this service sooner rather than later.
We are communicating through various means to bring these updates to students. As you can imagine, messages do not always get through. Please do what you can to make sure that official messages are getting through to all of our audiences. This information may be helpful:
- We are working through a range of options to provide technology access to our students. Such solutions include a laptop loan program; joining a program by Spectrum, the cable company, to offer free WiFi in students’ homes; and participation in a similar program by Adobe offering software access. More information will be forthcoming.
- We are making plans to provide Lancer Pantry services to students. More information will be forthcoming.
- We are handling student workers, workstudy, and other student employment questions on a case-by-case basis. Area managers and vice presidents will evaluate department and division needs and provide further information.
- The bookstore is offering free shipping on all orders during the period of reduced access.
We deeply appreciate the messages you have sent and the engagement you have shown throughout this response. We continue to evaluate our response as new information becomes available.
Thank you for staying in touch, and thank you for your patience, professionalism, and support as we navigate this challenging situation.
3/14/2020 Special Update: Changes to Campus Access
Sent on behalf of Dr. Erika Endrijonas
I am writing to provide a special update on changes to campus access that are being made in response to the ongoing coronavirus emergency. This information supersedes any other announcements the college has made.
Campus Access Restrictions, March 18 through March 29
- Yesterday the Los Angeles County Office of Education recommended the temporary closure of all school districts operating in the county. As a constituent district of the county, and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, I have directed the closure of the college to the public for a 14-day period. The college will be open only to full-time employees and others as determined by area managers – and closed to students and the general public – from Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 29, 2020. This timeline could change; the college will continue to monitor this fluid situation and make changes accordingly.
- On Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17:
- Faculty and academic administrators will continue previously announced work to convert as many courses as possible to remote instruction by Wednesday, March 18, and to address necessary issues with any courses that will not be moving to alternate methods. Further information will be coming in a later message from Terry Giugni, vice president of instruction.
- All classified staff and administrators must report for work. Exceptions will only be made for illness or previously excused absences. All employees will be working within divisions and departments to adapt our operations to this period of reduced on-campus access to our operations. Work with your area manager for information about your department’s plans to adapt services.
- These restrictions will be in effect on all PCC campuses. The Child Development Center will be closed during the March 18 – March 29 time period.
State of Emergency
- This morning, I formally declared a state of emergency at the college, and the Board of Trustees is expected to affirm this action at its meeting on Wednesday. My declaration mirrors similar ones made at the national, state, and local levels, and makes PCC eligible for future assistance, lifts spending restrictions, and expands the college’s ability to move quickly in response to this evolving situation.
It is important that we maintain lines of communication throughout this period. Regular emails and RAVE alerts will be sent as information becomes available, and the college’s website and social media accounts will also be good sources for you to monitor. Updates will be posted on this page. Any questions or concerns should be routed through our information form as well so appropriate responses can be made quickly and accurately.
This is a challenging time for the college, but we will make it through. Thank you for your cooperation, concern, and professionalism as we continue to address this public health emergency.
3/12/2020 Campus Update: Classes Cancelled Monday 3/16 and Tuesday 3/17
As PCC continues to take additional steps in response to the coronavirus outbreak, I am writing to let you know of two important updates:
- In consultation with the Academic Senate and the Faculty Association, Dr. Endrijonas has decided to cancel all face-to-face classes on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, so that faculty, deans, and classified staff can continue the important work of implementing our transition to remote instruction. All administrative and business functions will continue as normal – the college is open for business. Courses and support services will begin moving online as soon as they are ready. It is our expectation that every possible course will meet through remote methods beginning Wednesday, March 18. For more information, contact your instructor.
- Following a decision by the California Community College Athletic Association, all spring sports games and practices are suspended indefinitely.
Additional information you may find helpful in the days and weeks to come:
- This morning Dr. Endrijonas held a video briefing for college faculty and staff. You can view the video here.
In her remarks, Dr. Endrijonas summarized the recent actions the college has taken to address the coronavirus pandemic. These include moving all possible courses to remote instruction during the period of March 18 to April 20; cancelling or postponing all college and community events during that same time period; and curtailing all district-sponsored travel through April 30. We also provided information on how Student Health Services is assisting students, how Facilities Services is cleaning and sanitizing our physical plant regularly; and how you can stay in touch with the college and let your concerns and questions be known.
- Counseling Resources for Students: Counselors are accepting virtual appointments through this link. Counselors can help you understand your options during this transition and also update your educational plan.
- PCC Personal Counseling and Social Services: Students who may be in need of support or resources should visit these offices to learn more. There is a referral guide produced by Personal Counseling that will be of assistance and Social Services information is available online.
- Q&As: Please keep your questions and comments coming! We are continually updating our FAQ page and tomorrow we will be updating our Health Updates page so you can more easily find important information quickly.
Thank you for your continued engagement. We are reading your messages and making an effort to respond wherever possible. Your feedback helps us know what our community is facing during this challenging time.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this emergency.
3/10/2020 – Coronavirus Response: Update
The following message was sent to faculty and staff
March 10, 2020
Sent on behalf of Superintendent/President Erika Endrijonas
In order to limit the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus, and in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, I am writing to let you know of specific actions the college will be taking over the coming days and weeks. Please note that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on our campus at this time, and the college is not closed for business.
The changes listed below will be in effect from Wednesday, March 18, through the end of Spring Break, April 20. Any change to this timeline will be made at a later date, in response to information gained from public health officials.
- By March 18, PCC will convert most in-person classes to offer temporary remote instruction wherever possible through Canvas, Zoom, and other modalities. No changes will be made to courses that require face-to-face instruction; these courses will continue to meet on campus as scheduled. Examples of courses in this category include performing arts, lab courses, and physical education. Faculty should contact their dean for further clarification.
- From March 18 through April 20, college events with a projected attendance of more than 100 people will be cancelled or postponed. Sporting events will be conducted wherever possible without spectators, while college arts performances will be postponed until later in the semester. Community events will be cancelled or postponed.
- To help facilitate this transition, the agenda for PD Day will be reconfigured to allow faculty, staff, and managers time to prepare for these changes. Breakfast and lunch on Thursday (March 12) will proceed as planned in the Piazza, as will the streamed message from Dr. Endrijonas at 9 a.m. sharp. Faculty, staff, and administrators should plan to tune in to the stream to learn more about our ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak. The special classified morning event and all afternoon breakout sessions have been cancelled. More information about how preparations will unfold within Academic divisions and student services and other departments will be forthcoming from the Office of Professional Development and your supervisor or dean.
- The college is not closing. College facilities will remain open, and many operations will continue normally. Unless they are actively sick, employees should report to work as normal. Facilities Services has been increasing cleaning and sanitization efforts, and increased supplies of hand sanitizer, soap, and other cleaning products are being distributed. More information will be provided through your supervisor or dean as it becomes available.
A separate email with this information has been sent to students.
These changes may cause some stress and uncertainty. If you notice someone who has been impacted by this emergency, please remind them that help is available. One option is PCC’s Employee Assistance Program, which provides confidential, complimentary counseling and other assistance to employees and their dependents. Please contact Human Resources if you need additional guidance with this resource.
This emergency will continue to have impacts, and we will continue to respond accordingly. Throughout this emergency, we have been balancing our educational mission with our imperative to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As more information about this outbreak has become evident, these actions represent prudent steps we can take to respond effectively to a rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your flexibility, commitment, and professionalism as we navigate this challenging time together.
3/5/2020 Pasadena City College and the Coronavirus outbreak
Posted by Pasadena City CollegeAs you may have seen, yesterday the LA County Department of Public Health announced that there are additional confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Los Angeles County. As a precautionary measure, both the county and the city of Pasadena declared a public health emergency in their jurisdictions. It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus transmission in Pasadena at this time, and PCC is open for normal operations.
Current events may cause surprise and worry, so I want to share information about what Pasadena City College is doing to keep our community healthy and safe. There are a number of things we can all do to help reduce the likelihood of this illness impacting our lives, and to also help public health authorities effectively manage this outbreak.
What can I do?
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cover your coughs and sneezes, and then wash your hands again
- Stay at least 6 feet away from sick people
- Replace handshakes with elbow bumps or verbal greetings
- Get the flu shot if you haven’t in order to reduce the number of opportunities to become ill.
- Stay home if you are sick:
- If you have a fever of 100°F or greater, along with a cough, sore throat, or shortness
of breath, it is important that you stay home and away from other people. Once your
temperature has been below 100°F for 24 hours without medication, and your other symptoms
are not causing problems, you should return to the college.
We understand that staying home can present challenges to work, home, and daily life. The college is prepared to accommodate reasonable absences in light of this public health crisis. If you have any concerns, please direct them to your supervisor or area vice president and they will work to find a solution.
- Identify your medical provider and know how to contact them:
- Our medical system is expected to be under high demand during this time. While you should only contact your medical provider if its services are needed, now is a good time to know what numbers to call so you’re prepared in the future.
- Update your personal emergency plan:
- The consequences of this outbreak are not certain right now, so it’s important to be prepared for any possibility. Now is a good time to know what you and your family would do in the event of a widespread emergency. This website has advice on what to do at home and work: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM21103
- Help the college maintain order and remain calm:
- As with any emergency, new details are emerging every day and it’s difficult to know what is fact and what is rumor. While it is totally normal to have fears and worries during this time, it’s important to remember that we speak from authority when interacting with other members of our community – particularly students. If you know of someone who is experiencing severe stress during this emergency, it may be helpful to share the simple steps and facts contained in this message. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, please refer to statements by public health officials or law enforcement agencies, rather than repeat what might be trending on social media. Some helpful websites include:
What is PCC doing?
Beyond these individual actions, the college is taking steps to respond to this emergency. PCC staff are in regular contact with local law enforcement and public health officials, and we are constantly evaluating our operations to see if any changes are necessary. Custodial staff are installing and updating handwashing, sanitization, and cleansing wipe stations around our campuses. Faculty and administrators are exploring alternative methods of coursework – including online and remote classes – so that classes can continue if in-person attendance is problematic. This information is being communicated to deans and faculty as soon as it becomes available. The college has a response plan and is using it to address developing events. Remember, courses and public events are still ongoing, and the college will only limit its activities if it is absolutely necessary.
How can I stay informed?
During any emergency, it’s important to know how to find trusted information. There are a couple of key ways you can stay informed as this outbreak continues to develop:
- Visit our Health Updates website for the latest news from Student Health Services
- Sign up for RAVE Alerts, so that important information can be emailed or texted to you quickly in an emergency.
If you have a question or concern that you would like to share, please send it to us and we’ll be able to help.