Pacific Oaks College – Updates on COVID-19 (coronavirus) Outbreak

Please visit this page regularly for the latest updates on Pacific Oaks College’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the updates from the oldest to the most recent, including information from May 21, 2020 concerning the CARES Act. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected]


July 16, 2021 UPDATE

Dear Pacific Oaks College Community,

I am excited to announce that starting July 1, 2021, the Pasadena and San Jose campuses will move into Phase III of our Return-to-Campus Plan!  While the pandemic continues to present challenges, Pacific Oaks continuously monitors the state and local public health agencies COVID-related restrictions to ensure we follow their required guidelines. Our plans to return to campus will be based upon continuing public health strategies to promote a safe campus and community.

Phase III allows us to offer students the ability to come on campus, where they can utilize the computer lab (in Pasadena), access the internet, visit the Library (in San Jose), and other specified areas at both campuses. Every new and returning student received a “Return-To-Campus Student Handbook” (Pasadena Handbook, San Jose Handbook) which included detailed explanation of on-campus hours of operation, spaces available for students, what to expect when coming to campus, safety protocols, and information about our online reservation system called SKEDDA (Pasadena Campus link) (San Jose Campus link).

Our Phased Approach

Pacific Oaks College has been utilizing a “phased approach” for returning-to-campus. These timelines are based on California and local County guidelines and phases. To ensure the safety of all, we have and will continue to adjust the dates to reflect current required and recommended safety protocols.

  • PHASE I: February 22 – 28, 2021
  • PHASE II: March 1 – June 30, 2021
  • PHASE III: July 1 – 31, 2021
  • PHASE IV: August 1 – 29, 2021
  • PHASE V: Fall Semester August 30, 2021 and beyond

We appreciate everything you continue to do to keep one another and our communities safe and thriving! We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus this Fall.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bree E. Cook
Pacific Oaks College Vice President of Academic Affairs & Chief Academic Officer


July 9, 2021 UPDATE

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for various expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


April 27, 2021 UPDATE

Dear Pacific Oaks Community,

I am happy to see that our city, county, and state are working on reopening. Over 40 percent of Californians have received at least one vaccination, more businesses and restaurants are opening back up, children and teachers are back in school. All wonderful news.

Over the past twelve months, Pacific Oaks was awarded CARES Act funding specifically to provide financial support to our students during the pandemic. The awards were distributed to Pacific Oaks students on two occasions.

  • Total Amount: $340,238
  • Two rounds of distribution
    • Spring/Summer 2020: $170,119 awarded to 94 students via Emergency Financial Aid grants in amounts ranging from $300-$2,000
    • Spring 2021: $170,119 awarded to 476 students via Emergency Financial Aid grants in the amount of $358 each

The fund distributions were based on the CARES Act guidelines from the Department of Education and institutional requirements for each round of distribution.

While many students have been impacted by the pandemic directly or indirectly, we have received positive feedback from PO students that these CARES Act funds have helped them to overcome financial challenges during the last year.

Thank you all for the incredible support and resilience the Pacific Oaks community has shown over the last year. I applaud PO students who persist and stay focused on attaining their academic goals.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jack Paduntin
President, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School


April 9, 2021

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for various expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


January 8, 2021

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for various expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


December 18, 2020 UPDATE

Greetings Pacific Oaks Community,

I hope this message finds you well as we look forward to the winter holidays. We hope each of you find time to relax and reflect as we approach the new year. Pacific Oaks College will remain open throughout the holiday season. Although individual faculty and staff might be taking time off to be with their families and loved ones, all campus departments will be open and fully functional. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything.

This holiday season will look very different for many of us, as both Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties are experiencing dangerous increases in COVID cases. Each public health department has issued recommendations and guidelines on travel, mask wearing, and social gatherings. Although we are not physically together, your wellness remains our collective priority. Scientists and public health experts have been working diligently to provide us with information to stay safe and healthy. Be sure to stay up to date on the restrictions and safety recommendations from your county department of public health, such as below:

Pasadena Dept of Public Health

Los Angeles Dept of Public Health

Santa Clara County Dept of Public Health

As you move through this holiday season, remember that our CARE Office hosts an array of resources to support you. Many of the CARE Office resources can be assessed virtually. More than ever before, it is important to find safe ways to engage in self-care activities. Although this might look different for each of us, please take time to discover ways to take your wellness into your own hands. Being an active participant in your well-being can be very energizing!

Here are a few electronic resources that people have found helpful to discover important wellness resources. Some of the apps are free while the others have free versions.

Top Mental Health Apps: An Effective Tool When You Can’t Afford Therapy

Download These Self-Care Apps When Everything Sucks: It’s OK to Not Feel OK.

8 Best Meditation Apps of 2020

Please let us know what you need. Stay safe & healthy and Happy Holidays!

Warm regards,

Dr. Jack Paduntin
President, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School


October 30, 2020 UPDATE

UPDATE: As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for various expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


October 9, 2020 UPDATE

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


July 29, 2020 UPDATE

Greetings Pacific Oaks College,

As many of you know, we have been working diligently to ensure a return to campus plan that meets the safety needs of our entire community.

We recently surveyed members of the Pacific Oaks community to gain insights and feedback directly. After reviewing the results of our survey data alongside the recommendations from the experts, we have determined that it is best for us to remain away from campus for the fall term. Although we would love to say we are definitively returning in January, we cannot. In fact, the New York Times reported today that more than 6,300 COVID-19 cases have been linked to U.S. colleges. The uncertainty of the virus’ spread only allows us to state that there will be no on-campus activities through the end of December, 2020 and campuses will remain closed until further notice. We understand that this uncertainty makes it challenging to plan for the upcoming year but we want to remain as transparent as possible as we strategize for safety and optimal outcomes for our entire community.

Remember that although we have made the decision to keep both campuses closed for the remainder of the calendar year, we are fully operational and here to support all of your needs. Each team at the College continues to provide premier services during this campus closure. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any department when you have a need.

Please continue to stay safe, practice physical distancing, and wear your face covering. Equally as important, be sure to pay attention to your mental wellness and your self-care regimens.

For more information on the current COVID-19 cases and responses in your county, check your state’s Health Department’s website regularly. Below is the most recent COVID related data from the CA Health Department’s website.

We look forward to supporting you through this time and seeing your faces in person when it is safe to do so.

All the best,
Pacific Oaks College


July 1, 2020 UPDATE

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


JUNE 25, 2020 UPDATE

Greetings Pacific Oaks College,

We writing to make sure our entire community is aware of the dangerous new COVID-19 milestones that many cities are reaching.

As of this week, L.A. County is leading the entire nation with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. “With over 88,000 residents diagnosed with COVID-19, LA County is about 12,000 cases behind the entire state of Florida.” Although this uptick in cases is complex, we wanted to reiterate a few points to ensure the safety of our entire Pacific Oaks Community.

  • ‘Safer at Home’ and ‘Shelter in Place’ rules are aimed at promoting public safety and well-being. The intent of the orders is to ensure that the maximum number of people remain in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible to stem the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on delivery of critical healthcare services. Public Health models show the quantifiable value to reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread by minimizing our non-essential travel and contact with people who don’t live with us.
  • Wearing a mask or other PPE is NOT a political issue. Viruses spread in very predictable ways. Scientists and experts have instructed us on the methods that best minimize COVID-19’s inevitable spread. Face coverings are at the top of their list, along with handwashing and social distancing.
  • Social distancing is not a punishment but a behavioral change. It IS an effort to improve safety in those moments when we are unable to remain in our homes.

As the numbers of confirmed cases continue to grow, we ask that you remain vigilant in your fight against this deadly virus. This is not the time to let your guard down. It is time – more than ever – to ensure that you, your family, and friends are taking the proper precautions to keep yourself safe while modeling safety behaviors for others.

No matter what you have or have not done with this time, there is one common theme that runs through our entire community. Resilience! We are facing what may seem like insurmountable odds, yet we still show up. You may not feel as confident, as proud, or as accomplished as you thought you might right now, but we are still here! There is something to be said about that.

Now it is time to hang in there for a bit longer.

Stay Safe, Stay Well, and Stay Vigilant,
Pacific Oaks College


JUNE 12, 2020 UPDATE

Greetings Pacific Oaks College Community,

We hope that you are all staying encouraged as we move through this very historically significant moment in our lives. Pacific Oaks College remains vigilant in our efforts to maintain the safety of our entire community. A part of that safety is ensuring that everyone has the most up to date information.

Today, Friday, June 12, 2020, California moves into Phase 3 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Four Stage Plan. This means that “higher risk businesses and venues (such as movie theaters and gyms) can reopen with social distancing guidelines.”

Many of us are looking forward to enjoying these spaces of recreation and self-care this weekend. As you step out into this new phase of re-opening we ask that you maintain your commitment to health and safety by continuing to:

  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Wear a facial covering while out in public
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 30 seconds with warm soapy water.
  • Use hand sanitizer when unable to wash your hands
  • Refrain from touching your face, eyes and mouth.

As the state moves into Stage Three today be sure to learn the plans that your specific county will be implementing. The California Department of Public Health provides information on the specific reopening status of each county in the COVID-19 County Variance Attestation Form webpage.

If you are a part of our Pacific Oaks family living outside California, the New York Times article See How All 50 States Are Reopening (updated June 12) provides a  national perspective on the reopening processes and guidelines.

CA stages

 

stages2

All the best,
Pacific Oaks College


May 21, 2020 UPDATE

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pacific Oaks College has received Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF) to be used for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of our campus operations. To learn more about the distribution of these funds, please click here.


APRIL 14, 2020 UPDATE

Dear Pacific Oaks Students & Community Partners:

Of all the many unknowns in our world right now, the overwhelming truth that I’ve been struck by is the strength of our connection. We have always been strengthened by the power of our community, and you are a vital part of that community.

I wanted to take a moment to commend you on your nimbleness in adjusting how—and where—you are learning, as well as your continued devotion to your educational future.

I am writing you today to share an important update. Based on the many state and local stay-at-home orders still in effect, and with the safety of our community in mind, we have made the decision to continue 100% virtual instruction for the Summer term at Pacific Oaks. Should the local and/or federal ‘safer-at-home’ or ‘shelter in place’ restrictions impacting our Pasadena and San Jose campus be lifted before the end of the Summer term, classes may resume on campus.

If you have any questions about this decision, please reach out to senior academic advisor, Mary Berberian, at [email protected].

I encourage you to remain connected to your classmates and professors, and our larger community, via our social media channels—Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Through our shared experience of these unprecedented times, I know everyone’s future will be affected in many ways we’re not even aware of yet—but your decision to pursue your degree is an important one, and one that we’re proud to continue to support.

We’re in this together—stay safe & be well.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jack Paduntin
President, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School


MARCH 30, 2020 UPDATE

 

Dear Pacific Oaks Students & Community Partners:

Although we will maintain all business operations, Pacific Oaks College campuses (Pasadena, San Jose, and offsite cohort locations) will not be reopening before May 1. In addition, to keep our community strong and healthy, the Office of the President has elected to postpone our Commencement ceremony. This is based on recent recommendations from the federal government and the scientists that inform those recommendations. You will be notified on any updates to the scheduling of our annual Commencement Ceremony. We appreciate your cooperation, support and adaptability.

All the best,
Pacific Oaks College


MARCH 20, 2020 UPDATE

 

Dear Pacific Oaks Students & Community Partners:

In light of the March 19, 2020 LA Board of Supervisors and Health Department “Safer at Home” order, Pacific Oaks campuses and Children’s School will remain temporarily closed, with plans to return to campus on April 20, 2020, unless informed otherwise by the Office of the President.

All the best,
Pacific Oaks College


MARCH 18, 2020 UPDATE

 

Dear Pacific Oaks Students & Community Partners:

As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow and impact us. We want ensure that our entire community is safe, informed, and up-to-date.

To promote social distancing and safety of our students and employees during this crisis, our campuses will be temporarily closed starting Thursday, March 19, 2020. Faculty and Staff are expected to return to campus to resume regular business operations on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 unless informed otherwise by the Office of the President.

 

How it will work:

  • Pacific Oaks College full-time faculty and staff are equipped with laptops and SoftPhone technology. This means that you can call us on our regular office line/extension and it will route directly through our computer as if we are still on campus.
  • GoToMeeting will be used as an additional platform to stay connected with students and the community.
  • Email channels also are open as usual.
  • There will be NO in-person classes at Pacific Oaks College until the end of the Spring Term.
  • ALL Ground/In-Person courses will be held in a virtual format for the remainder of the semester.
  • Students should contact their instructors for information on class meetings and platforms used in the virtual format.
  • On-line courses will remain unchanged.
  • Students should contact their program Dean with questions regarding their program and requirements.

Most importantly, please continue to do your part in practicing social distancing, self-care, and personal hygiene measures to prevent the spread of this virus.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns at [email protected].

Please click here for a list of key Pacific Oaks contacts during this time.

 

In Service,
Pacific Oaks College


MARCH 13, 2020 UPDATE

Dear Pacific Oaks College Community,

From our initial communications regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) we have worked to balance concerns for the health of Pacific Oaks College with our responsibility to the wider community. The plans and procedures in this message were made after extensive consultation with health and medical experts, local school leaders, our Board, and our school leadership team.

Starting March 16 (next week) ALL on-ground courses in Pasadena, San Jose and any off-site locations (that have not already moved to VIRTUAL meetings) will be cancelled. Classes will resume on March 23. However, they will be held VIRTUALLY for the remainder of the spring semester. Again, next week NO on-ground classes will be held in Pasadena, San Jose, or off-site cohorts.

Please remember, this is a proactive shift: There remains no confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our school community.

Institutional partners across departments are working hard to support successful outcomes for all our community members. Look to your specific department for additional updates regarding your program of study. In the meantime, below are some important notes:

  • Campus is NOT closed. College operations will be in place although classes will not meet in person. Please note that several school activities are being postponed or cancelled.
  • It is critical you check your PO email daily. This is how we will send pertinent information regarding the College.
  • Students will also receive messages via Canvas Announcements, in addition to their PO email.
  • Online courses will continue to meet with NO break or stop.
  • A “Virtual Class” is NOT an “On-Line Class”. Virtual classes will use different technology tools to support distance learning while attending to our unique pedagogy in this time of disruption.
  • Fieldwork/Practicum/Student Teaching concerns will be addressed by the individual departments and may be slightly different for each program. The Deans are aware of this and any credentialing/licensing questions/concerns should be sent to them.
  • Course Instructors should be your first contact regarding the specifics for any class. Please note that we will be spending next week making the transition and the faculty will update the syllabi and they will be available on Canvas on March 23.
  • All students have access to join any GoToMeeting session to which they are invited by their instructor.
  • Commencement is NOT cancelled. Although we are following the developments closely, commencement remains as is currently scheduled. If evidence presents at the end of March, leadership will move to postpone the ceremony, not to cancel it.

We realize that this is challenging for all. We also know that we are PO Proud and Strong as we support our entire community through this process. Students will be receiving important correspondence from their Dean today. Please stay tuned for department specific updates that will inform our next steps together.

In Service,
Pacific Oaks College


MARCH 12, 2020 UPDATE

Greetings Pacific Oaks College,

We hope that you are well in spite of the concerning and consistently evolving news surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak.  At the time of this communication no individuals within the Pacific Oaks community (Pasadena campus, San Jose branch campus, Children’s School) have tested positive for COVID-19.

Based on guidance from the CA Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our Pasadena and San Jose campus sites will remain open at this time. Many of the campus closures are those with amphitheater-style classes, residence halls, and enrollments over 3,000 students. Although it is true that Governor Newsom has recently banned all state gatherings with more than 250 people, our small community can increase safety by practicing personal protective measures. They include but are not limited to:

The Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) and each school dean will be working closely with all faculty and students on the Pasadena campus, at off-site locations, and the Northern California campus to communicate specific plans for course modality options. If you have questions, please contact your instructor first, as they will be provided with the most current information from the VPAA and from the dean of your school. Academic Affairs encourages all students to please check their emails and the POC website regularly since information is being updated daily.

New information is coming in by the hour and we are using it to inform our decisions and plans. There are many variables that could change between tomorrow and Monday and we are attempting to be as proactive as possible. Due to this fluid environment, we want to ask all of our students, faculty, and staff to do the following:

  • Identify a technology plan in the case your coursework is moved to a virtual environment.
  • Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
  • Make a child care plan in case you or a caregiver are sick.
  • Understand your employer’s policies regarding leave and options for working from home.
  • Make arrangements for how your family will manage a school closure.
  • Make a plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.

Our top priority is the safety of our community so please continue to pay close attention to these communications. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

In Service,
Pacific Oaks College


MARCH 11, 2020 UPDATE

 

As many of you know, the World Health Organization has officially identified the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak a pandemic. Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties have both seen their first deaths due to the virus and the city of Pasadena currently has approximately 50 residents under self-quarantine.

At this time, no individuals within the Pacific Oaks community (Pasadena campus, San Jose campus, Children’s School) have tested positive for COVID-19.

We take this situation very seriously at Pacific Oaks College. In order to ensure that we are acting with diligence and deliberateness, we have convened a COVID-19 Taskforce. This group will be led by Dr. Donald Grant, who also serves on the board of Huntington Hospital here in Pasadena. The taskforce consists of representatives from the President’s Office, Human Resources, Faculty, the San Jose campus, and Academic Affairs. We are also in consultation with an external advisory group that includes experts in HR, legal, and external affairs.

This page is meant to keep you updated on what Pacific Oaks Colleges has done and plans to do in response to this current threat. Our decisions and strategy are being guided by: California Dept of Public Health’s (DPH) Guidance on COVID-19 for Higher Education, CA DPH Guidance for County Offices of Ed, Pasadena & Santa Clara County Public Health Departments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to this Taskforce if you have any questions or concerns about operations in relation to COVID-19. You can email any questions or concerns that you might have to [email protected]

The following are some of the steps that the college has taken so far:

  • A weekly communication plan has been developed to ensure that important information is being shared across all campuses and off-site cohort locations.
  • An email ([email protected]oaks.edu) has been set up to ensure that two-way communication is optimized.
  • Campus-wide professional deep cleaning is occurring two times per week.
  • The Study Abroad opportunities scheduled for March have been cancelled.
  • Devised a campus closure plan using the CA Department of Public Health guidelines.
  • Identified technology supports to move courses to virtual meetings using GoToMeeting if we have to close campus for the safety of our college community.
  • Students who come to class sick will be asked to leave and join class via GTM.
  • Employees who come to work ill will be asked to return home.

We are currently developing a FAQ that answers the questions many in our community have sent us. Please note that our top priority is the safety of all those who are part of our community and we are working very hard and deliberately to that end.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected]