Seaver College Spring 2021 | March 1 Update
March 1, 2021
As we enter the fourth week of the spring semester at Seaver College, I hope that everyone is enjoying their classes. As promised previously, this message provides updates regarding current COVID-19 conditions, the college's planning updates, our efforts to resume on-campus activities and return students to campus, and other additional details as we continue the spring semester.
Since my last communication on February 8, COVID-19 infection rates continue to decline nationally and in Los Angeles County. Currently, L.A. County has an adjusted case rate of 12.3 new cases per 100,000 residents. Additionally, ICU capacity continues to increase while COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations continue to decline.
With an adjusted case rate above 7.0 cases per 100,000 residents, L.A. County remains in the "widespread," or purple, tier of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. In this tier, we are precluded from restoring normal campus operations and resuming in-person instruction on the Malibu campus. To comply with all state and local regulatory guidelines, Seaver College and Pepperdine University will continue remote or online instruction until our next update that is currently scheduled for March 22.
Limited On-Campus Activities
As mentioned in both the University announcement and Seaver College's update on February 23, students are now able to access the Malibu campus for limited on-campus activities. You can find more details on permitted activities and accompanying guidelines in the college's Limited On-Campus Activities update. On Friday, February 26, the University shared that beginning March 1 students are permitted to use Payson Library's outdoor patios, including the Starbucks patio, for outdoor study space. Students may reserve an outdoor study space via Payson Library's reservation system.
The continuing positive local trends in COVID-19 metrics and the resumption of a limited number of on-campus activities for students continue our hope that students may be able to return to campus sometime in the spring semester. Pepperdine continues to closely monitor conditions and remain in discussion with L.A. County Public Health officials. Should there be any change in status that allows the University to increase the number and type of permissible activities on the Malibu campus before our next update, we will inform the community as soon as possible.
May 2021 Commencement Ceremony
I would like to thank all students who participated in the recently concluded commencement survey. As soon as we have compiled and studied the results, we will share the findings in a future update.
Seaver College and Pepperdine leadership continue to prepare for a wide range of scenarios for the Class of 2021 commencement ceremony on May 22, 2021. Our primary and desired scenario remains providing all graduates an in-person commencement ceremony with guests in Alumni Park this spring. All commencement updates will be posted to the Class of 2021 graduation website for your convenience and reference.
Summer 2021 Sessions
With all COVID-19 metrics trending positively, Seaver College is planning and preparing to deliver all classes during both the June and July summer sessions on its Malibu and international program campuses. Information on the delivery modality and other details related to summer school classes will be included in future updates. Students and families can expect a final decision on the delivery mode for the June summer session, which begins June 7, in mid- to late-April 2021. A decision on the July summer session, which begins July 6, can be anticipated on or before May 22, 2021, the last day of the spring semester.
Fall 2021 Semester
Similar to all summer 2021 sessions, Seaver College is planning and preparing to deliver its fall semester classes in-person on the Malibu and international program campuses. With almost six months until the start of fall classes on August 30, updates for the fall semester will become more specific and detailed after the conclusion of the spring semester and as we progress through the summer.
At this time, the Office of International Programs continues to move forward in planning to deliver all summer 2021 international programs while continuing to monitor international travel, health, and safety conditions. Decisions to operate each international program will be dependent on evolving local and worldwide conditions, travel restrictions, flight availability, health care infrastructure, and guidance from national and international organizations. While we hope to deliver all summer programs, travel restrictions currently limit access to a majority of our summer program locations. Students enrolled in summer 2021 international programs can expect a status update on their program in mid- to late-March. Details will also be provided in the college's March 22 update. Consistent with the college's practices since the onset of the pandemic, if summer 2021 programs cannot be operated, enrolled students will not be assessed the IP withdrawal fee.
Similar to summer 2021 programs, the college is preparing to deliver all fall 2021, spring 2022, and academic year 2021–2022 international programs at each of our global campuses. We will keep students and families updated on these programs and communicate final-decision timelines in future updates.
The latest international program updates are available on the COVID-19 FAQ website.
2021–2022 Academic Calendar and Fall Semester Registration
To aid your planning for next year, the finalized 2021–2022 Academic Calendar remains available on the Seaver College website. Registration for the fall 2021 semester will begin on April 6, 2021. All students are encouraged to complete advising appointments and clear all registration holds before their registration period.
Currently, housing facilities remain closed for all students not previously granted permission to reside on campus. Should Pepperdine be permitted to reopen housing facilities at or near full occupancy during the spring semester, Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is prepared to launch the housing sign-up process. Further updates will be provided as necessary.
Housing information for both summer 2021 sessions will also be provided in a future update.
Due to improving COVID-19 conditions, HRL is planning to provide on-campus housing during the 2021–2022 academic year. For this reason, the room sign-up process for the fall semester is underway. March 10 remains the first opportunity for students to commit to housing for the next academic year. Students will continue to be able to sign up for on-campus housing as long as space is available. To aid with the process, students may drop in to the Room Sign-Up Q&A Session on March 8, 2021, from 3 to 5 PM PST. Students may also review frequently asked questions on the HRL website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been no updates to SEVP's regulatory guidance since fall 2020. The Office of International Student Services and the college will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available, especially for the summer 2021 sessions and fall 2021 semester. In the meantime, international students are encouraged to review the International Student FAQs on the Seaver College COVID-19 Updates website for more information about eligibility, SEVIS statuses, and travel information. Additionally, students returning to the US should monitor the CDC website as travel guidelines continue to change.
Support Resources and Community Programming
As we regrettably approach the one-year anniversary of the onset of remote learning due to COVID-19, I am deeply aware of the impact this new and altered reality is having on the mental health and well-being of everyone in our community. I hope you all will continue to reach out for support whether that be for academic success or your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
Students, I want to remind you that Seaver College faculty and staff are here to support you. I highly encourage you to continue to avail yourselves to all University resources throughout the semester, including faculty office hours, Payson Library, the Student Success Center, the Career Center, OneStop, Academic Advising, the Student Care Team, Hub for Spiritual Life, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Intercultural Affairs, and Pepperdine Volunteer Center. All of these offices, functions, and support services are open and eager to support students regardless of their location. I especially encourage you to take advantage of the coaching and support available through the RISE program and our spiritual life areas.
Seaver College's next update for the spring 2021 semester will be distributed on March 22, 2021. Until then the college will continue to use all communication channels including email, the Navigate app, mobile text messaging, and Student Government Association platforms. Please refer to the January 8 update for the entire schedule of updates for the spring semester and additional details on our communication initiatives.
I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, while longing for the day when we are back together on campus. Until that time comes, I wish you the very best, and I hope that you are having a wonderful spring semester at Seaver College.