Our Plan for Fall
A Memo from President Sammy Hoi and Provost David Bogen
As we begin to enjoy the first warm days of spring, it is with optimism and hope that we write to announce MICA’s plans for the Fall 2021 semester.
A Successful Spring
MICA reopened this spring semester with students safely returning to on-campus housing, access to studios and fabrication spaces for thesis work, enhanced remote classes, a comprehensive on-campus asymptomatic testing program, and campus COVID-19 positivity rates continuing to hover near zero. We give our deepest thanks to the extraordinary MICA community for this success—the remarkable and dedicated work of faculty, staff, and students has allowed the College to continue to operate true to its core values and educational mission despite the challenges of this unprecedented year.
With the College’s spring semester underway, we now turn to fall.
The Promise of Fall
MICA continues to work closely with our epidemiologist consultants as we develop our planning around all educational and operational aspects of the on-campus experience for the Fall 2021 semester. We are encouraged by their positive assessment of MICA’s Spring 2021 reopening efforts and their high confidence that vaccination rates will increase and rates of community spread will decrease in the coming months. With the epidemiologist consultants’ guidance, we are pleased to announce our plan to open MICA’s Fall 2021 semester in a revised and expanded Operational Mode 4, with close to normal operations across our educational, residential, and supporting College functions.
This means that we are planning for a full return to campus, with in-person classes and on-campus work and residential life as the norm for the fall semester at MICA.
In closing, we would like to again offer our sincere gratitude to all of our MICA community members—from our faculty and students who have together reimagined the ways in which we teach and learn, to our staff and health professionals who have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of all our members. Our continued collaboration and support for each other will help MICA emerge from the pandemic a stronger and better institution.
Samuel Hoi, President
David Bogen, Provost
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. Students can apply for housing here.
The educational experience
will prioritize the return to MICA’s physical campus. Instruction will be primarily in-person or hybrid, with the expectation that students, faculty, and staff will be teaching, learning, and working on the MICA campus, using the physical resources of the College.
Physical distancing will be relaxed
while other public health and safety measures—such as masking, health protocols in dining areas, and some modifications in shop/studio access—will likely remain in place. As a reminder, all gatherings must comply with most current guidance for Baltimore City and/or the State of Maryland
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 religious and medical exemptions, all students attending classes in-person this Fall 2021 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.
Guidance on vaccination requirements for faculty and staff will be posted at a later date.
A Special Video Message 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
As cases are expected to fall as more people are vaccinated, MICA will likely limit any on-campus asymptomatic testing to arrival testing and/or surveillance testing for just the first few weeks of the semester. MICA’s Student Health Center will continue to test symptomatic cases as needed and resources will remain in place to ramp up testing if necessary.
Public Health Measures
Physical distancing will be relaxed while other public health and safety measures—such as masking, health protocols in dining areas, and some modifications in shop/studio access—will likely remain in place.
Building Hours & Access
While in Spring 2021 building access and hours were limited, hours will return to normal for the Fall.
Everyone accessing MICA’s buildings will still be required to swipe into all buildings to help in contact tracing if necessary.
Shop, Studios, Equipment & Services.
Fabrication Studios will be open by appointment during Fall 2021. Students will be able to schedule appointments via the Fabrication Studios website. Students will also be able to access the website for helpful information on safety protocols, open shop hours, and how to prepare for fall coursework.
Remote Production Services (RPS) will continue to be available to facilitate fabrication instruction.
More information is available on the Fabrications Studio’s website.
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.