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CCA Return to Campus: Maximum Impact, Minimum Contact

The message below was emailed to CCA students, faculty, and staff on June 25, 2020.

Dear CCA Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We know you are eager to know as much as possible about our plans for fall semester. We’re pleased to be able to share the following information with you, and will share additional details throughout the summer as we further refine our plans.Our approach has been developed in close consultation with health officials, and we will continue to move forward in alignment with the latest public health mandates and recommendations and evolving understanding of the virus.

As we prepare for a safe return to living, learning, teaching, and working together on our campuses, our challenge is to imagine creative possibilities and devise new protocols that will fully support making and the most vibrant aspects of campus life while avoiding opportunities for the spread of COVID–19 within our community. In other words: minimum physical contact, maximum impact of our relationships, maker spaces, and curriculum.

Our small size, high teacher-to-student ratio, supportive community, and radical creativity have always been some of the best things about CCA. Now, these same characteristics provide the foundation for us to build a temporary—but robust—new structure to carry us through the pandemic.

Fall 2020 academic calendar

  • Our fall 2020 semester will begin on schedule Wednesday, September 2, and end on Tuesday, December 15.
  • The final day of in-person instruction will be Wednesday, November 25, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Following the Thanksgiving break, classes will continue to meet online/remotely through the end of the semester. Ending in-person instruction at this point in the semester will enable us to safely manage what experts believe to be the most likely time period for a general flu season and COVID–19 spike, and to limit exposure from any travel our community might be doing during the Thanksgiving break.
  • If we can do so safely, we will keep shops, studios, and other campus facilities open between Thanksgiving and the end of the semester, but no classes will require the use of those facilities after November 25.

See the fall 2020 academic calendar.

Curriculum and instruction

  • Our fall semester will involve a mix of online and hybrid (part in-person, part online) instruction. Information regarding the format of specific courses will be available by July 15.
  • Any curriculum that can be successfully delivered online/remotely will be. By limiting on-campus instruction to curriculum that can only be provided effectively in person, we can manage schedules and space for our students, faculty, and staff to access studios, shops, and equipment while maintaining safe physical distancing.
  • Courses that include in-person, on-campus instruction and access to facilities will also include online instruction for some part of the curriculum. No course will be offered 100% in person or 100% on campus.
  • In-person instruction may take place in smaller groups according to specific guidelines that will be provided to instructors soon. This will allow for physical distancing to be maintained while using the shops, studios, and classroom spaces.
  • First-year students will be able to choose between in-person or remote instruction in the fall semester. While many first-year students will choose to live and study on campus this fall, all first-year curriculum will be designed to enable fully remote learning if necessary. This will allow students who are unable to arrive on campus by September due to travel restrictions and other impacts of the pandemic to begin their studies on time.
  • Some continuing students may be able to successfully fulfill their requirements remotely if they are unable to physically return to CCA for the fall semester.
  • Information will be communicated by July 15 about which courses will be available in person and those that will be available remotely. Continuing students will soon receive information via email, Workday announcement, and Portal on how to indicate their plans to return to campus for fall, or begin their courses remotely. Academic advisors will be available to support undergraduate students in their decision-making, and graduate chairs and program managers will share information with graduate students.

Housing and dining

  • We are preparing to safely welcome all students who need or want to live in CCA housing this fall, while providing flexibility for students who will be taking classes entirely remotely.
  • Our new student residence, Founders Hall, and on-site dining facility, Makers Cafe, will open on schedule for the start of fall classes (move-in begins August 22!).
  • To support physical distancing, the college is moving forward with a single-occupancy plan for fall, so each student will have their own sleeping room. This will not increase the room cost for students who have requested doubles. Students who have selected singles will be guaranteed single-occupancy rooms for spring as well, while students who selected doubles may be assigned a roommate once physical-distancing restrictions are loosened.
  • All residence halls and food-service locations will operate under strict guidelines regarding enhanced cleaning, physical distancing, and other public health protocols to promote health and safety. Makers Cafe will open primarily with takeout and advanced ordering options, and outdoor seating will be available with proper physical distancing as determined by San Francisco public health orders.
  • CCA has not made changes to the live-on residency requirement, but this requirement will be deferred until spring 2021 for students who are unable to attend classes in person (due to international travel restrictions, for example), or who choose to take classes entirely remotely this fall. Students facing extraordinary circumstances may request an exemption to the live-on policy, and all requests will be reviewed individually. Students whose financial circumstances have been affected by the pandemic may email the Financial Aid office or schedule a phone appointment with a financial aid counselor to learn about resources that may be available.

If you have questions, please email Housing, Dining, and Residential Education or visit this contact page on Portal.

Student services and resources

  • The Online Learning: A Student's Guide Portal page is a gateway to information, resources, and support to help students succeed in a remote learning environment. Topics include how to set up a remote learning space; access available technologies and user support; connect remotely with student services such as advising, counseling, and financial aid; and find policy changes and updates due to COVID–19. This page will be updated regularly as additional information and resources become available.
  • On-campus services and access to resources will be redesigned to minimize contact and enable physical distancing, while ensuring students have access to the equipment and resources they need. Some of these reimagined resources include the Media Center and film and photo equipment cages, CCA Libraries, Resource Center, shops and studios, and equipment scheduling.
  • Student services such as Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Career Development, International Student Affairs and Programs, Counseling, and other services will be delivered remotely (by phone, email, Zoom, etc.) to the degree possible to reduce physical contact. In-person services will be available as needed.
  • With the help of generous donors, CCA has established a student emergency fund to assist with basic immediate needs (such as food, household items, and lower-cost supplies). Students should fill out a CCA Care Form to request emergency assistance, or to be connected with resources to help with other challenges.

Health and safety

A detailed plan for enhancing physical health and safety on our campus has been developed by our Safety and Space Solutions Task Force in partnership with public health officials and other experts. This plan is intentionally flexible to enable us to respond quickly to changes in public health recommendations and requirements, and includes considerations for physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), student and employee health assessment and monitoring, housing and dining, transportation, cleaning, signage, and compliance and enforcement. We will provide more details later in the summer. Some of the key points addressed in the plan include:

  • Buildings, classrooms, and public spaces will be cleaned and sanitized frequently according to strict protocols and health and safety guidelines.
  • In consultation with healthcare professionals, CCA is refining its policies for testing, health checks, and support for contact tracing for staff, faculty, and students who will be on campus.
  • We anticipate that everyone will be required to wear face coverings while on campus in accordance with public health requirements. Studios, shops, classrooms, offices, and other campus spaces are being reconfigured to accommodate physical distancing requirements and flexible use. Most spaces will be configured at approximately 25–50% normal capacity.
  • Residence halls will open at reduced occupancy and on-campus dining facilities will be temporarily modified to reduce density. Takeout options will be expanded.
  • Staff engaged in supporting campus facilities and academic activities will work on campus as usual. Those staff who are able to work entirely remotely or in a hybrid capacity—some days and/or hours working on campus and some working from home—will.

Investments to enhance remote teaching and learning

CCA’s Teaching and Learning Solutions Group is working on plans to ensure equitable access to technology for students and staff to support the new hybrid paradigm. This will include lab software distributions, as well as online platforms to support the teaching and learning processes. We will follow up with more details as we finalize decisions and refine resources.

Tuition and fees

Many students and their families have asked why tuition remains the same for remote and in-person classes. The majority of CCA’s budget goes toward student scholarships and faculty and staff salaries, costs that are not reduced when classes go online, and many expenses have increased due to additional technology needs and safety considerations. Our faculty have worked hard to reconfigure classes for remote delivery, and while we’re anxious to return to a fully in-person curriculum, we are confident that the learning outcomes of each class we will offer this fall can be achieved through the balance of remote and in-person delivery outlined above.


As we navigate the ongoing pandemic, the only certainty seems to be uncertainty. We recognize that plans may shift as circumstances change and health officials update guidelines and recommendations. We will continue to provide updates via email at the collegewide and program-specific levels, and we will soon add a new section to our COVID–19 resource page on Portal with detailed information on our return to campus this fall. If you have questions in the meantime and you’re not sure where to direct them, please email and we’ll help you find the answer.

Thank you for the attention you have given this important update; we will continue to communicate with you as details are confirmed. We are very excited to return to CCA for a dynamic and historic fall 2020 semester! And we are sincerely thrilled to have you be a part of our commitment to a creative, compassionate, and just future.

Tammy Rae Carland

George Luis Sedano
Vice President, Student Affairs

Scott Cline, Ed.D.
Vice President, Enrollment Management + Auxiliary Services