Below you will find all of the frequently asked questions from throughout the Otis Forward site. If you don't see your particular question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to the FAQ when we have an answer.
Academic Programs FAQs
How will courses be held in Fall 2021?
We expect to be back on-campus for Fall 2021 with physical distancing in place. You will be studying in a mix of On-Campus, Blended and Online courses. Courses that benefit the most from being on-campus have been prioritized for on-campus instruction, i.e., courses with studio work that rely heavily on the campus facilities. Liberal Arts and Sciences courses (LAS) will be held fully online.
All classrooms, studios, shops, labs and the library have been re-designed to allow for 6’ physical distancing. Classrooms will therefore hold from 10-12 students. To accommodate the smaller room capacities, a course may be scheduled in two rooms or taught as a blended course with some class meetings on campus and some class meetings online.
How will I know which classes are on-campus, blended or online?
Courses that are online or blended will have a course code listed in the Nest and also in Plan Ahead. Courses that are fully on-campus will not have a course code. The course codes for blended and online are:
- BLAY - At least a 1/3 of instruction (5-8 weeks) is delivered online rather than on-campus. The virtual course contact will occur asynchronously (not at the same time).
- BLSY - At least a 1/3 of instruction (5-8 weeks) is delivered online rather than on-campus. The virtual course contact will occur synchronously (at the same time)
- OLAY - This course is delivered 100% online rather than on-campus. The virtual course contact will occur asynchronously (not at the same time).
- OLSY - This course is delivered 100% online rather than on-campus. The virtual course contact will occur synchronously (at the same time).
I am an International student, what if I am unable to return to campus because of travel or visa restrictions?
We anticipate that travel restrictions may be lifted prior to the start of the Fall semester and visa issuance timelines could improve, allowing our international students to participate in the Fall semester on campus. For students unable to enter the U.S. because of visa issues or the continuation of travel restrictions, Otis anticipates being permitted to offer remote learning. Please contact Alia Saeed, the DSO, directly email@example.com
Please see the International Students section of Otis Forward for information on how to apply for a visa and update your I-20.
What if I am unable to return to campus because I have a health condition?
Any student who needs accommodations to study online related to a documented disability should contact Dr. Carol Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org Students with documented disabilities related to studying on-campus will be accommodated so that you may pursue your studies remotely.
What if I am having financial difficulty which makes it difficult to return to Los Angeles?
Campus Life FAQs
I’m at an increased risk of severe illness if I contract COVID-19. Are there specialized accommodations available to me?
We encourage you to contact your primary care physician in order to best assess the risks of living and/or studying on campus. If you have contracted COVID-19, classroom accommodations will be made for you. These accommodations will be facilitated after consultation with your medical provider and Disability Services. If you are seeking accommodations supported by medical documentation, please contact Dr. Carol Branch, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at email@example.com for more information on how to begin this process. If accommodations are made, Dr. Carol Branch will assist in communicating options for ongoing academic engagement with your academic department.
Who can I contact for advising regarding my visa status?
Please contact the Primary DSO Alia Saeed at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
You can also contact the One Stop during drop-in Zoom-In Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. PT, or Thursday and Friday, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PT at otis.zoom.us/join or ZOOM ID: 987 123 6789.
Please note that the regulations are subject to change. If federal regulations updated or released directly affect a student's visa status, Otis College will notify students immediately upon notice of release.
My country is either not processing visas or processing them at a delayed rate. Can I arrive late to campus if I receive my visa after the semester starts?
We anticipate that travel restrictions may be lifted prior to the start of the Fall semester and visa issuance timelines could improve, allowing our international students to participate in the Fall semester on campus. F-1 international students must arrive on campus by the first day of classes on August 31, 2021. For students unable to enter the U.S. because of visa issues or the continuation of travel restrictions, Otis anticipates being permitted to offer remote learning. Please contact the Primary DSO Alia Saeed at email@example.com with questions.
Once the campus re-opens, how will Otis handle anyone who ends up testing positive for COVID-19? How will the school handle the illness and the health of those who may have been in contact with anyone who tests positive?
If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available while I am studying at Otis College, will I be required to receive the vaccine in order to remain on campus?
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more readily available across the nation, Otis College will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all currently enrolled students. Whether a student is living in Otis College sponsored housing or not, all students must show proof of having received one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccine that has emergency use authorization (EUA) through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or an acceptable equivalent of those vaccines administered outside of the US. The college will accept medical, religious and philosophical exemptions on a case by case basis.
The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) will be supporting the efforts around informing students about the vaccine, as well as updates on when and where the vaccine will be available.
Learn more about Otis College's immunization policy.
I want to get tested for COVID-19, can I come to the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC)?
The SHWC has adopted an approach to testing that is in line with the guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American College Health Association (ACHA), and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH). The SHWC will be offering free COVID-19 testing for all currently enrolled students. The SHWC will be testing students with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as well as testing asymptomatic students with recent known or suspected exposure to the coronavirus. No walk-in testing will be available. Please call the SHWC at 310-846-5738 if you would like to receive COVID-19 testing. We will update our policy if any new guidance from the CDC, ACHA or the LACDPH becomes available.
How will counseling services be provided once we are back in person?
Student Counseling Services will be fully operational for the fall semester.
- Appointments will be conducted virtually and will resume in person when county guidelines deem it safe.
- Rooms will be available upon request for students who may require a private space for their virtual appointment, when on campus.
- Crisis/same-day appointments remain available for students. Please call the SHWC at 310- 846-5738 to consult on any student who is in crisis.
How have dining services been modified in order to maximize safety?
Bon Appetit, our dining services partner, is preparing a dining experience that supports health and well-being, safety, and physical distancing guidelines. Students will have access to download GET Foods App from their mobile phone, which allows users to view menus and pictures of food items and order meals at Elaine’s and Rose Hill’s Cafe, and pay with campus dining funds.
Due to Los Angeles County COVID guest occupancy restrictions for indoor dining, Elaine’s Dining and Rose Hill’s Cafe will continue to take online orders for contactless PICK-UP while allowing a limited number of walk-in guests to make in person purchases. Dining indoors will be allowed while following all LA County guidelines and ensuring capacity requirements are followed as well. Bon Appetit is adhering to social distance protocols utilizing door queue Ambassadors and 6 feet floor markers. Food pick-ups during peak hours may be relocated to larger areas, such as the Forum to accommodate an influx of guests. For the safety of all guests and Bon Appetit’ staff, all staff will wear masks & gloves at all times. All self-serve stations are closed as dining staff will continue to handle all food. Pre-packaged carry away foods are readily available for purchase The following still applies:
- All guests are required to wear a mask when picking up their food.
- A one-way entrance has been designated to avoid cross traffic flow. Social distance markers are located throughout our cafe to direct guests. A minimum of 6 guests are allowed to enter at one time. To help expedite your food order, we encourage anyone accessing the campus to download the app from their mobile device’s app store and pre-order their food, prior to arrival. For a schedule of hours please visit Otis.cafebonappetit.com.
What is Elaine’s doing to uphold the health and safety of food handling?
Bon Appetit has been following these new measures that were developed based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), health and sanitation experts from its company’s Coronavirus Response Team, and local health regulations:
- COVID-19-specific training for all staff
- Pre-shift wellness screenings, which include no-contact temperature scans and daily interview questions
- Employees wear masks and gloves at all times
- Amped-up cleaning and sanitation schedules with clearly detailed procedures that meet or exceed all local guidelines and national best practices, including frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces
- No-touch sanitation stations at entrances
- Clear physical distancing and wayfinding signage so students feel comfortable moving around in the café
- Protective infrastructure, such as plexiglass barriers, at cashier stations and in front of café stations.
- Shifting from self-service to full-service breakfast, salad, and deli bars were replaced with made-to-order options and/or freshly made, prepackaged meals.
- On campus dining will follow all LA County Guidelines specific to indoor and outdoor dining.
- Contactless ordering and payment via GET Mobile App
What will New Student Orientation look like this Fall?
New Student Orientation sessions will take place on campus, and new students will also have access to all orientation-related information through our virtual orientation course on our learning management system, The Nest. First year students will be set up in cohorts for Orientation Week, and will have the chance to meet and connect with their Orientation Week Leaders through on campus orientation sessions, as well as in-person and virtual programming throughout Orientation Week. During orientation sessions, students will learn about resources that will help them thrive academically, creatively, and personally during their time at Otis College. Keep monitoring the orientation website for more details, schedules, and upcoming registration links.
Will student activities and clubs/organizations be able to host in-person programs on campus?
Student Activities and Clubs/Organizations will be able to host in-person programs on campus during the Fall semester, as long as they adhere to the CDC guidelines that are in effect at that time. Stay updated with Otis Owl Events for our virutal and in person programs happening in the fall.
Is the Food Pantry open?
To enforce increased safety measures in light of COVID-19, the process of obtaining items from the Otis College Food Pantry has undergone changes. Students must complete this form in order to request use of Food Pantry services. Once your request has been reviewed and accepted, you will receive additional instructions from the Office of Student Activities by email. Please allow at least 1-2 business days (Monday-Friday) for your request to be processed. If you have any additional questions, comments, or concerns, or if there is an urgency regarding your access to basic needs, please contact the Director of Student Activities, Erica Javidzad, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residence Life FAQs
Will I have roommates if I live with Residence Life and Housing?
The Residence Hall and affiliated Park West apartments will be opening at double occupancy, meaning 2 students to a bedroom and 4 students to a shared apartment/suite. Students will have a direct roommate and two suitemates in the second bedroom of the suite.
We will be providing students with an orientation to explain all requirements/expectations, post signage regarding safety protocols in every suite, and providing each student a cleaning kit. As we continue to follow the guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public health, we plan to implement one or more of the following safety measures:
- Vaccines. We are moving towards requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for residential students as soon as it is readily available. We are hopeful that students will be able to start receiving the vaccine as early as June. The Student Health and Wellness Center will be supporting the efforts around informing students about the vaccine, as well as updates on when and where the vaccine will be available.
- COVID-19 Testing. Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested through the Student Health and Wellness Center for free. Surveillance testing has taken place for residential students since Fall 2020. The tests that have been used this past year include: rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students, as well as PCR nasal swabs that get sent to the local lab for testing.
- Symptom Tracking. Students can update the SHWC if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 through CoVerified, an app that students can download for free. Our residential population has been completing these daily checks since Fall 2020.
- Isolation Rooms. Rooms will be held offline in order to have a space to isolate students as needed. SHWC and Residence Life and Housing check in with the students needing to isolate, to make sure they are taken care of, as well as providing services such as food and support.
When do I need to apply by if I am still deciding to live in Otis College housing?
We are expecting to be full, so we are encouraging students to apply as soon as possible. We never guarantee housing, but do our best to place as many students as possible.
As things may still feel uncertain, we are allowing students flexibility to cancel their housing application up until July 15 and receive a refund for their housing application fee. Students can also cancel their housing application up until the Friday before classes begin and receive a full refund of housing and meal plan charges, in accordance with our refund policy.
Please view our website to learn more about what we are planning for Fall Housing 2021. If you have specific questions, please email us at email@example.com.
What are my housing options for the 2021-22 Academic Year?
We will be housing four students to a suite in both the Residence Hall and affiliated Park West Apartments. The Residence Hall is held primarily for our foundation or first year students. Park West is where our sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate students typically live.
There have been many questions about housing availability at Ascent. Ascent is a property about two miles from campus where each person has there own bedroom within a suite. While we are not housing students there, the Leasing Office is working with students to sign leases for the 2021-22 Academic Year. Students interested can view more informaton here.
Students seeking off campus housing options can view our Off Campus Website.
Our Community FAQs
I am going to be completing coursework remotely. What if I have an Immunization Hold on my account?
Otis College intends to resume courses in person beginning Fall 2021. All students will be required to complete all of the immunization requirements set forth by the college. Should remote learning take place, the SHWC will inform the campus community of any changes and/or updates to this policy. Any student, who does not submit the immunization requirements by the deadline, will have a hold placed on their account which may prevent them from registering for Summer 2021 and/or Fall 2021 courses. Please see below for further information regarding the deadline for immunization requirements depending on when you first enrolled.
- Fall 2021 Enrollment: All immunization requirements are due by August 15th, 2021.
Once the campus re-opens, how will classrooms, computer lab rooms, studio spaces, common spaces such as bathrooms, lounges, and elevators, be maintained to maximize the safety of the community?
Enhanced cleaning measures have been implemented around campus that include frequent cleaning of bathrooms, lounges, and common spaces, classrooms, break rooms, elevators, and residence hall rooms. This also includes automated cleaning measures for door handles, elevator knobs, and high-touch surfaces. Enhanced HVAC measures and frequent replacement of air filters has also been implemented for providing better air circulation in all buildings.
We worked with Frederick Fisher and Partners and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects to redesign classrooms, computer labs, and studio spaces that adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines and that promote safe hygiene upon our return to campus. We also reconfigured our gallery space and green space areas around campus to promote additional room for classroom and studio space.
At all service stations around campus, i.e Elaine’s, the cafe, One Stop, Campus Safety, and Mail Services, social distancing signs have been placed so that when students are standing in line there will be clear markers on the floor for them to wait for their turn to be serviced. Additionally, plexiglass barriers were placed at these service stations to promote better hygiene. Elevators have signs indicating the maximum capacity and places to stand in the cab in order to reduce contact. Additionally, all buildings have a clearly defined entrance and exit strategy that promotes social distancing.
All students arriving on campus will be provided with a washable cloth facial covering for use throughout the semester. Single-use masks will be available if students do not have a cloth mask. Hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies will be at multiple locations around campus to adhere to better hygiene practices around campus.
Does Graphaids sell masks and other safety items like hand sanitizer in the store?
All students arriving on campus will be provided with a washable cloth facial covering for use throughout the semester. Basic cleaning supplies like hand sanitizer and disinfecting sprays will be available at Graphaids, although we strongly recommend that students purchase these items before arriving on campus.
What if I have a question that's not in these FAQs?
If you don't see your particular question in this set of FAQs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to the FAQ when we have an answer.