Allan Hancock College Approves Vaccination Mandate
AUGUST 11, 2021 -- The Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its regular meeting on August 10 to require full COVID-19 vaccinations of all students, faculty, and staff by October 1. With the new mandate, Allan Hancock College joins other institutions of higher education, including California State University, the University of California, and over 20 other California community colleges, in instituting a COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The board action also affirmed the college’s current indoor mask mandate.
The vaccination mandate requires all students, faculty and staff to provide valid documentation of full COVID-19 vaccination (as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control) to Allan Hancock College as a condition of entering campus buildings, attending an in-person class, or using a college service located off-campus. The college will accept approved exemptions based on medical or religious concerns.
At the meeting, the Board considered various options regarding fall semester return protocols and discussed concerns expressed by students, faculty, staff, and the community.
“Allan Hancock College remains committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the community we serve, as well as maintaining higher education access and attainment for our students,” said Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “The current state of the pandemic calls for the need to vaccinate our college population, and the college will support and implement the Board’s decision to mandate vaccinations.”
The college maintains its commitment to follow current protocols from the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Health, and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department in order to ensure a safe return to campus. Current safety protocols include the requirement for mask wearing in all indoor campus locations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, updated air filtration systems, and daily facility cleaning and disinfecting.
“What we are trying to do is create safety in the classroom,” said Trustee Hilda Zacarías, who made the final motion Tuesday night. “Safety for the students, safety for the staff, and safety for the community to do our part in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus.”
College constituency groups will work together in the coming weeks to develop implementation plans and bring to the Board for approval at the September 14 Board meeting.
The college recently hosted two vaccination clinics and plans to offer more opportunities for vaccination to the public, students, faculty, and staff over the coming weeks and months. For updated calendar information, visit the College Calendar.
A vaccination incentive is available to Allan Hancock College students. During the fall semester, the college is providing $250 gift cards to all fully vaccinated Hancock students who provide proof of full vaccination. To receive a vaccination incentive payment, students must be registered for the fall semester, be able to present a valid photo ID and either a physical or digital version of their COVID-19 vaccination card. Gift cards will be available beginning August 23 on the Santa Maria campus at the cashiering window located in bldg. A, or the Lompoc Valley Center in the Admissions & Records window in bldg. 1. For additional information, visit Hancock’s College Vaccine Challenge webpage.
The fall semester at Hancock begins Monday, August 16. Seventy five percent of classes will be taught in-person, while 25 percent are offered online.
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