Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Reopening planning

Spring 2021 Resumption stage – limited reopening

Effective Monday, March 29, 2021. View the Resumption Stages for full details on the resumption stages.

  • Courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, and internships that require in-person contact or skills, and that are deemed essential to maintaining the health and safety of Oregonians.
  • Official college business only.
  • Critical functions required in-person for resuming or maintaining limited on-site operations and preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
  • Facility use is determined on a case-by-case basis.

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Updated May 07, 2021.

PCC’s plan for resuming in-person operations incorporates staged and gradual steps, which can be altered as local conditions warrant and will continue to be in alignment with PCC’s readiness, county readiness, the Governor’s Executive Orders, Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), and other relevant health authority guidance. Recognizing multiple factors will influence the timeline upon which in-person operations resume, In-Person Resumption Stages provides a framework to aid in planning. This framework is subject to change based on executive orders, health authority guidance, and PCC’s assessment of conditions.

The COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) and the college president review virus data released by OHA every week, focusing specifically on the counties in which we operate. We have discussed adopting objective criteria – such as those used in K-12 – for triggering a move between stages but this approach is inadequate for a system as complex and diverse as PCC. While it would simplify our work to make decisions based on virus test positivity rates, for example, those numbers are volatile and could subject the community to flipping between stages several times within a term, as has happened at colleges across the country.

COLT voted to transition to the Modified Reopening resumption stage for Summer 2021, which goes into effect Monday, June 21, 2021. For more information on resumption stages, refer to the detailed Resumption Stages chart.

COLT forecasts a transition to the Sustained Reopening resumption stage for Fall 2021. This forecast is a prediction based on all available information, to serve as a basis for planning. The forecast could change if conditions change. COLT will review and finalize the forecast for Fall 2021 before registration begins in July. For more information on resumption stages, refer to the detailed Resumption Stages chart.

Reopening FAQ

How are COLT, CCOT, and the Office of COVID-19 reopening approaching planning?

The COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) and the College President considers associated risks to determine when the College will progress to future stages, as well as if the College may need to regress to prior stages. Considerations include, but are not limited to COVID-19 prevalence, health and safety, financial exposure, equity, access considerations, and availability of critical equipment, supplies, and services.

  • Decisions regarding the resumption of in-person activities will be made per Board Policy 3506 (Resumption of In-person, On-Site Classes, and Services).
  • All activities must adhere to Executive Order 20-28 or subsequent Executive Orders pertinent to Higher Education, OHA, and HECC health and safety guidelines, and any other applicable guidance.
  • Resumption of in-person activities and courses (both on-site and off-site) must be approved by COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Team (ccot@pcc.edu).
  • The college must have the internal infrastructure and capacity to support the return of in-person activities, including the ability to assure compliance with health and safety measures.
  • In most cases, decisions will apply to all College facilities except when circumstances affect only isolated sites.
What criteria does the college use to determine progress through the stages or moving back?

Considerations include, but are not limited to COVID-19 prevalence, guidance from public health officials, health and safety, financial exposure, access considerations, and availability of critical equipment, supplies, and services.

Who decides on whether or not we move forward or backward through the stages?

The COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) and the college president will determine when PCC will progress to future stages, as well as if the College may need to regress to prior stages. In the event of a viral outbreak, state or local health officials may order PCC to move backward or temporarily halt in-person activities.

How long will stages last?

Stages will align to academic terms unless directed by executive orders, health authority guidance, or extraordinary circumstances as assessed by COLT and the college president.

Will the whole College move from stage to stage at once, or will locations move independently?

PCC will move through stages as a district unless directed by executive orders, health authority guidance, or extraordinary circumstances as assessed by COLT and the college president.

What happens if we need to move back to a prior stage?

If the decision is made to move to a prior stage, our first action will be to notify impacted employees and students. A Comprehensive Reopening Plan, currently under development, will include plans and support so departments are prepared to modify operations in alignment with movement between Resumption Stages.

Will we be able to “skip” ahead one or more stages or could we move back multiple stages at once?

Yes. If circumstances indicate the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and community are best served by moving to a stage non-sequentially, there is no prohibition on this.

How will I be informed when the college moves to a different stage?

Changes are announced by the Office of COVID-19 Reopening by email and details provided through updates to our website, during Q&A sessions offered over Zoom (see schedule above), and department meetings on request.

What programs will be available in each stage?

Take a look at our Academic Program Reopening page for a list of programs that will be available in each stage of reopening.

When will the college announce the phases for each term?

As much notice as possible will be given! As we near the deadline to create the class schedule for a given term, COLT and the President will review COVID-19 prevalence, health and safety considerations, and our capacity to provide operational support to assess whether the movement to a different stage is indicated. Adequate time for planning for an academic term is important, and yet we also want to remain nimble to be able to increase the opportunity for student success and academic achievement if we can protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Can PCC use data to make decisions about moving between stages, such as test positivity rates or vaccine availability?

COLT and the president use virus data released by the Oregon Health Authority to make decisions and when a vaccine is available that will impact our planning. Today, using a single metric, such as test positivity rates, as the only factor in decision making would not serve the College well.

On November 11, 2020, COLT voted to remove vaccine availability and treatment from the Resumption Stages. This decision was made for two primary reasons, the effectiveness and the availability of a vaccine is a widely unknown variable at this time. As such, COLT believes our resumption phases should not be linked to a vaccine, at least initially.

Term Planning FAQ

How is the forecast decision made?

COLT reviews PCC’s track record for COVID-19 exposure response to assess whether we can protect the health and safety of our students and employees. We also determine whether we have time, staff, and resources to prepare our physical spaces, train employees and students, and create systems to support moving forward. These are just a few of the internal and external factors that come into play when making the forecast decision and we want to be thoughtful in the overall approach.

Who decides whether or not the College will shift to another Resumption Stage?

COLT and the College President make these decisions.

Why does COLT have to review and finalize the decision?

We know conditions with the virus change after we make the forecast. This means the Resumption Stage can change. COLT continues to monitor changes in virus prevalence that can impact our ability to protect the health and safety of students and employees.

Which programs offer in-person classes for each reopening stage?

Mapping programs to the limited reopening stage was completed by the Academic Affairs Council. You can view which programs are mapped to each stage on our Academic Program Reopening page.

When will a decision be made about Summer 2021?

On April 7, 2021, COLT voted to transition to the Modified Reopening resumption stage for Summer 2021. This stage goes into effect Monday, June 21, 2021. For more information on resumption stages, refer to the detailed Resumption Stages chart.

When will a decision be made about Fall 2021?

COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) forecasts a transition to the Sustained Reopening resumption stage for Fall 2021. This forecast is a prediction based on all available information, to serve as a basis for planning. The forecast could change if conditions change. COLT will review and finalize the forecast for Fall 2021 before registration begins in July. For more information on resumption stages, refer to the detailed Resumption Stages chart.

How are departments at PCC getting ready for reopening?

Our Coaching to Readiness team is assisting departments with their return to on-campus learning.

Reopening Governance FAQ

Who is making decisions about reopening? What is COLT?

The COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) was established in May 2020 to create, present, and recommend institution-wide COVID-19 Health & Safety Operational and Reopening plans, and to be the definitive resource for published COVID-19 policy, procedures, standards, and guidelines related to the reopening of the college. Read more about COLT membership and guiding principles.

COLT formed the Office of COVID-19 reopening, COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT), and special task forces for Communications, Compliance Training, Offsite/Clinicals, and COVID-19 Enforcement, and appointed a COVID-19 Compliance Officer to support decision making and operational planning.

View the COLT Team Panel, recorded on Monday, September 14. This is a facilitated discussion regarding our collective work related to COVID-19 and its impact on all aspects of college operations – from the institutional values and guiding principles that drive decision-making to regulatory, equity and community care, and curricular programmatic considerations.

What is the Office of COVID-19 reopening?

The Office of COVID-19 Reopening was established in June 2020 to support the resumption of in-person courses and activities, facilitate the development of college-wide opening plans, processes, and technologies, and serve as the institutional source for reopening information and decision making data. This team also monitors the health of the COVID-19 reopening project portfolio and the external environment. This office reports to Sylvia Kelly.

Who works in the Office of COVID-19 reopening?
  • Angela McMahon – Director
  • Vance Taylor – Technical Writer
What is the role of the Director of the Office of COVID-19?

Angela’s principal responsibilities are to prioritize initiatives and propose actions to COLT. This includes recommending action plans, providing support and data for decision making, leading the response to regulatory changes, and oversight of committees and task forces related to COVID-19 response. Angela’s team will be responsible to develop a college-wide reopening plan and manage the portfolio of related projects.

What is the COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT)

The COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT) was formed in July 2020 to assess and manage operational decision making for the resumption of in-person instruction, student services, and other college operations. CCOT collaborates with the Office of COVID-19 reopening and COVID-19 Compliance Officer to design-related procedures and reports to and escalates to COLT as needed.

What is the CCOT charter?
  1. CCOT will assume institutional responsibility for new work related to reopening after COVID-19 closure; work that is not already covered institutionally by existing functional areas.
  2. This includes developing processes:
    • Informed by engagement with stakeholders (CASA);
    • Informed by department or functional process owners (such as HR, IT, FMS);
    • Driven by Resumption Stages and other strategic decisions from COLT; and
    • In alignment with college-wide opening plans and processes defined by the Office of COVID-19 reopening.
  3. This includes reviewing and approving requests for “exceptions” to remote operations.
  4. CCOT will delegate work to departments or functional areas.
  5. CCOT will collaborate with the Office of COVID-19 Reopening to develop and propose to the COLT reopening plans, including reopening criteria, timelines, and priorities.
  6. CCOT is not responsible for structuring, mandating, communicating, or evaluating compliance with health and safety protocols.
  7. CCOT is not responsible to monitor or interpret external changes such as Executive Orders released by the Governor, HECC/OHA guidelines.
  8. COLT and Office of Reopening are responsible to inform CCOT of changes to Resumption Stages and other strategic decisions that impact CCOT work.
Who serves on CCOT?
  • Co-chairs:
    • Sarah Tillery (Interim SE Campus Dean of Instruction)
    • Heidi VanBrocklin (FMS Communications Manager)
  • Members:
    • Angela McMahon
    • Brooke Lloyd
    • Cheryl Arpan
    • Karen Sanders
    • Mike Mathews
    • Ryan Clark
    • Ryan Aiello
    • Terry Jolley
    • Kurt Simonds
    • Loraine Schmitt
    • Jeri Reed
    • Donna Bezio
How does the COVID-19 Compliance Officer serve the institution?

Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-28 states that PCC must designate an employee to implement and enforce the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) requirements and the written COVID-19 Health & Safety Operational Plan. PCC’s designate is Cheryl Arpan, Environmental, Health, and Occupational Safety (EH&OS) Manager. Cheryl and her team will be responsible to lead the development of administrative health and safety procedures and training, compliance.

PCC COVID-19 in-person resumption stages

Remote operations
usersIn-person
Topic Remote operations
Types of in-person classes allowed Human health care clinicals that are required to continue by legal obligations or accreditation, and that require in-person contact or skills.
Access to college buildings Official college business only. (Spaces and buildings should not be open to the general public1.)
Critical functions allowed on campus Critical functions2 required in-person to support remote/online operations and to prepare PCC facilities and programs for future stage operations.
Use of PCC facilities PCC facilities use, determined on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Pre-existing contractual commitments.
laptopRemote/online
Topic Remote operations
Remote/online courses All courses.
Students who remain offsite All students, except students participating in human health care clinicals as indicated above.
Employees who remain offsite
  • Employees and activities not required for resuming or maintaining remote operations or preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
  • Employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 who would otherwise be required onsite.
Limited reopening
usersIn-person
Topic Limited reopening
Types of in-person classes allowed Credit and Non-Credit courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, and internships that require in-person contact or skills, and that are:

  • Deemed essential to maintaining the health and safety of Oregonians.
Access to college buildings Official college business only. (Spaces and buildings should not be open to the general public1.)
Critical functions allowed on campus Critical functions2 required in-person for resuming or maintaining limited on-site operations and preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
Use of PCC facilities PCC facilities use, determined on a case-by-case basis, for:

  • Pre-existing contractual commitments,
  • Community programs that lack alternate venues and the operation of which does not interfere with the resumption of PCC programs and activities,
  • Services that benefit the health and safety of students and their ability to engage and persist in education,
  • Auxiliary and support functions required to support student and employee on-site instruction and activities.
Programs Available View our Academic Program Reopening page for a full list of programs available in this stage.
laptopRemote/online
Topic Limited reopening
Remote/online courses All courses not meeting requirements for in-person return within a limited reopening stage.
Students who remain offsite All students, except students participating in courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, and internships as indicated above.
Employees who remain offsite
  • Employees and activities not required for resuming or maintaining limited onsite operations or preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
  • Employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 who would otherwise be required onsite.
Modified reopening
usersIn-person
Topic Modified reopening
Types of in-person classes allowed Credit and Non-Credit courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, internships. and training that require in-person contact or skills, and meets the following:

  • Deemed essential to the completion of degrees or certifications, or industry certifications, and
  • Deemed essential to maintaining the health and safety of Oregonians, or
  • Benefits the economic viability of Oregonians (programs in sectors such as Construction, Maintenance, Trades, IT, and other auxiliary sectors to healthcare).
Access to college buildings Official college business only. (Spaces and buildings should not be open to the general public1.)
Critical functions allowed on campus Critical functions2 required in-person for resuming or maintaining modified on-site operations and preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
Use of PCC facilities PCC facilities use, determined on a case-by-case basis, for:

  • Pre-existing contractual commitments,
  • Community programs that lack alternate venues and the operation of which does not interfere with the resumption of PCC programs and activities,
  • Services that benefit the health and safety of students and their ability to engage and persist in education,
  • Auxiliary and support functions required to support student and employee on-site instruction and activities.
Programs Available View our Academic Program Reopening page for a full list of programs available in this stage.
laptopRemote/online
Topic Modified reopening
Remote/online courses All courses not meeting requirements for in-person return within a modified reopening stage.
Students who remain offsite All students, except students participating in courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, and internships as indicated above.
Employees who remain offsite
  • Employees and activities not required for resuming or maintaining limited onsite operations or preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
  • Employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 who would otherwise be required onsite.
  • Employees who are required to work remotely to minimize density.
Sustained reopening
usersIn-person
Topic Sustained reopening
Types of in-person classes allowed Credit and Non-Credit courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, internships, and training that require in-person contact or skills, and meets one of the following:

  • Deemed essential to maintaining the health and safety of Oregonians.
  • Deemed essential to the completion of degrees or certifications.
  • Deemed essential to completion of industry certifications and/or required industry continuing education requirements.
  • Benefits the economic viability of Oregonians (Credit and noncredit programs, activities, training and professional development in sectors such as Construction, Maintenance, Trades, IT, other auxiliary sectors to healthcare and other high demand sectors).
Access to college buildings Official college business only. (Spaces and buildings should not be open to the general public1.) Some consideration may be given to requests for external rental and community activities on campuses and centers.
Critical functions allowed on campus Critical functions2 required in-person for resuming or maintaining sustained on-site operations and preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
Use of PCC facilities PCC facilities use, determined on a case-by-case basis, for:

  • Pre-existing contractual commitments,
  • Community programs that lack alternate venues and the operation of which does not interfere with the resumption of PCC programs and activities,
  • Services that benefit the health and safety of students and their ability to engage and persist in education,
  • Auxiliary and support functions required to aid in student and employee on-site instruction and activities.
  • Athletics (conditioning and competition with restrictions).
Programs Available View our Academic Program Reopening page for a full list of programs available in this stage.
laptopRemote/online
Topic Sustained reopening
Remote/online courses All courses not meeting requirements for in-person return within a sustained reopening stage.
Students who remain offsite All students, except students participating in courses, activities, clinicals, preceptorships, and internships as indicated above.
Employees who remain offsite
  • Employees and activities not required for resuming or maintaining limited onsite operations or preparing PCC facilities and programs for current and future stage operations.
  • Employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 who would otherwise be required onsite.
  • Employees may be required to work remotely to minimize density.
Full reopening
usersIn-person
Topic Full reopening
Types of in-person classes allowed Courses and activities are offered and available online, remote, and/or in-person with a normal PCC approval process.
Access to college buildings Spaces and buildings may be open to the general public if determined safe to do so and does not interfere with the resumption of PCC programs and activities.
Critical functions allowed on campus
Use of PCC facilities PCC facilities operate at normal (pre-COVID-19) levels.
Programs Available View our Academic Program Reopening page for a full list of programs available in this stage.
laptopRemote/online
Topic Full reopening
Remote/online courses Courses and activities previously online before the COVID-19 pandemic may remain remote/online.
Students who remain offsite
Employees who remain offsite
  • Employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 who would otherwise be required onsite.

Note 1: PCC facilities may remain open to third-party tenants per leasing agreements, and local and state regulations, regardless of which resumption stage the College is operating within.

Note 2: The definition of critical functions may evolve based on the needs of each stage of resumption, and may include, but are not limited to, public safety, other safety programs, general administrative services, construction, facilities management, and other activities critical to emergency response and resiliency efforts.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19

If you have been to a PCC campus or center and believe you may have COVID-19, please notify the COVID-19 Reporting Team at 971-722-1919 or covidreporting@pcc.edu.

Have a question?

If you have any questions about the topics listed above or on any topic relating to COVID-19, please email covidquestions@pcc.edu.