Our Plan for Fall
An Update Regarding the COVID-19 Delta Variant
As announced previously, MICA will be opening for the Fall 2021 Semester in a revised and expanded Operational Mode 4. While the details of OM4 can be read here, the core of the Fall experience will be on-campus and in-person teaching and learning.
With the recent news of the COVID-19 Delta variant and its rapid spread, however, our community may have questions about how it may be affecting these plans.
When the College revised and expanded Operational Mode 4 for the fall semester, it did so in close collaboration with our consulting epidemiologists, local, regional, and national health agencies, and cross-constituent work groups across the college.
Combined, these sources directly informed the overarching strategy of OM4 which includes:
- achieving and maintaining a highly vaccinated campus
- starting the semester conservatively with more public health restrictions in place
- providing the flexibility to open the campus more liberally if public health conditions allow.
Because of this, MICA is able to safely and confidently proceed with Fall 2021 reopening under Operational Mode 4, maintaining existing policies and protocols, within the public health context of the Delta variant.
MICA is continuously assessing local, regional, and national public health conditions in accordance with our consulting epidemiologists and across all units of the College. This continual assessment will inform our ongoing OM4 strategy and will provide the College with the information needed to adapt OM4 if necessary.
For now, Operational Mode 4 serves as a strong foundation for keeping our campus community safe.
Campus COVID Case Reporting
weekly new cases
0week of Sept. 20–24
total cumulative cases
4since August 27th 2021
percentage of weekly new cases
0%based on ~2500 students and employees
COVID Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
Navigating the ongoing pandemic is a community effort, with all of us contributing to—and responsible for—protecting ourselves and each other by following the College's published policies and guidelines.
The policies, procedures, and protocols you'll follow in the event of a COVID-19 exposure depend on both the type of exposure and the type of MICA community member you are. The MICA COVID-19 Exposure Policies page provides a comprehensive guide to these various scenarios
What Does Expanded Operational Mode 4 Look Like?
Below are some of the key elements of our expanded operational mode for the fall. The full Operational Mode 4 details can be viewed here.
will be open and operating, with precautionary measures in place.
The Educational Experience
Teaching and learning will take place primarily in-person and on-campus utilizing the resources of the College. Given our highly vaccinated campus community and robust public health and safety measures, we are confident that we will remain so for the duration of the Fall 2021 semester.
Public Health Protocols
Indoor masking remains mandatory. Eating and drinking is only allowed in designated areas. COVID-19 vaccinations—or approved exemptions—for all faculty, staff, and students are required.
The campus is closed to members of the public and family members. On-campus visitor access is restricted to essential visitors only. View the complete On-Campus Visitation Policy page
Our international families
will continue to be a top priority as we assess the viability of students’ ability to return to the U.S. and the possibility for international programming in the fall. Watch the special message from President Sammy Hoi to international students
Planned Fall Campus Operational Mode
Except for approved exemptions, all students attending classes in-person, as well as all faculty and staff will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Although any vaccine approved by a governmental agency, foreign or domestic will be accepted, international students are encouraged, but not required, to receive US-approved vaccines if available.
Note: The College will not prohibit international students from attending this Fall who cannot be vaccinated prior to the start of the semester in their home country. MICA is monitoring where access to a vaccine may be problematic and is considering possible resolutions. More information will be communicated as planning develops.
Campus Access and Visitation
Outside of MICA's residential students and full-time employees, the campus is open only to specific categories of visitors and not to members of the public. Those categories are:
- Part-Time Employees
- Essential Visitors
- Approved Vendors
- Approved Minors
The Operational Mode 4 On-Campus Visitation Policy outlines those categories, defines their protocols, and provides a decision-tree to help you determine the appropriate category for your visitor or visitor group.
To Our Undergraduate International Students
MICA is committed to helping our international students have a rich and rewarding experience this Fall. Watch President Sammy Hoi and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Tiffany Holmes explain how the College is working to achieve that goal.
Public Health & Safety
Masking indoors is required.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking allowed indoors only in designated areas
Breaks for safely unmasking, and eating / drinking will be provided in all classes of extended length.
Building Hours & Access
Building hours will be expanded from the Spring.
Building access will be by card swipe only to aid contact tracing if necessary.
Shop, Studios, & Services
There will be modified to full access to studios, workspaces, shops, and fabrication studios for all students enrolled in classes.
Remote Production Services (RPS) will continue to be available to facilitate fabrication instruction.
Official MICA COVID-19 Correspondence
We have gathered the most recent updates here, including memos on the R5 roadmap for MICA to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and better positioned for the future, planning for Class of 2020 Commencement events, the transition to online learning and teleworking, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
These pages have been built to help answer questions about COVID-19, and are categorized by topic.
The latest issues of Recap can be found here
Virtual Town Halls
As MICA transitioned to an online learning and teleworking environment, leadership across campus have held a series of virtual town halls with members of the community. An archive of those events can be found here.
Our planning work for the Fall Semester will continue throughout the summer and we will keep the MICA community informed regularly through Recap — the College’s official communication for AY2022 planning, progress, and emergent ideas — and through regular meetings with faculty, staff, and student leadership groups. You are encouraged to provide feedback here for inclusion in follow-up communications.