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Otis Forward

Updated August 2, 2021

Otis College will be open in Fall 2021 and we will be housing students on campus. This website explains what to expect at Otis College for the Fall 2021 semester, based on the latest information and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidelines. For information related to our COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID-19 Response Hub

Academic Life

With the flexibility that we have shown throughout the pandemic, we will continue to place the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our decision-making. We will fully re-open this Fall, with all students required to return to campus. Exceptions to the requirement to return to campus are available only to students with documented disabilities preventing them from studying on-campus, and those who are unable to secure a visa due to embassy closure. The deadline to submit a petition to study online is Friday, August 6, 2021.

We will follow all LACDPH guidelines. Currently that means required masks in all indoor spaces on campus, with no social distancing. In addition, we are requiring all students, staff, and faculty to be vaccinated. The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) is collecting documentation of vaccination. Exceptions to the vaccination policy are available for religious, health, or philosophical reasons, also through the SHWC. More information about deadlines and submission of vaccination documentation is available here

Course Modalities:

A final list of course modalities (on-campus, blended, and online) has now been published. See the definitions of codes below. You may check the master list for all classes here.

Syllabi will be posted to The Nest on August 23rd. A course syllabus will include information about where to meet your class on the first day, including a Zoom link if the class will be meeting online.

Course Codes:

Courses with no code listed are on-campus classes.

BLAY—At least a 1/3 of instruction (5-8 weeks) is delivered online rather than on-campus. At least 1/3 of instruction (5-8 weeks) is delivered on-campus and all students must be present 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. At least 1/3 of instruction (5-8 weeks) is delivered on-campus and all students must be present 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).

Residential Life

  • The on-campus Residence Hall and affiliated apartments at Park West will reopen in Fall 2021 at double occupancy (2 students to a bedroom and 4 students to a shared apartment/suite).  
  • Appropriate cleaning in the common spaces of the buildings (hallways, elevators, lounges, etc.) is planned to ensure the health and safety of residential students. Students will receive a cleaning kit in order to clean their own suite/apartment. 
  • Rooms have been reserved for quarantine/isolation spaces, as necessary.

Additional information regarding housing, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found here

For all information on COVID-19 prevention, vaccinations, and testing please refer to the COVID-19 Response Hub.

Facilities Maintenance and Campus Safety Measures

Facilities maintains clean and safe spaces at Otis by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Public Health Departments of California and Los Angeles County. These efforts include:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting throughout all campus buildings, including the use of nano-septic self-cleaning elevator buttons and door handles; 
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning measures that include the replacement of high-efficiency air filters to support acceptable air quality and help reduce transmittal of airborne viruses and bacteria;
  • Campus-wide posting of signage to wear masks, when required, and follow proper hand-hygiene protocols;
  • Protective shields in close-contact areas such as security stations, libraries, administrative office entrances, labs and shops, and equipment check-out stations;
  • Sufficient cleaning and sanitizer supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the campus population.

Campus Safety will be providing single-use masks in cases where individuals accessing campus do not have a mask and are required to wear one. The same rules will apply for visitors and contractors visiting campus.

International Students: Visas and Travel to the United States

Travel restrictions have been lifted for students traveling to the U.S. to study, and visa issuance timelines have improved, allowing our international students to participate in the Fall semester on campus. For students unable to enter the U.S. because they are unable to secure a visa, please contact the Primary DSO, Alia Saeed, at asaeed@otis.edu to discuss options for the Fall.

  • Current students with active visas should plan to be back on campus this Fall.
  • Current students without an active visa need to submit documents to the One Stop so that an I-20 can be issued.
  • New I-20s will be shipped and emailed, so that students have their documents shortly after issuing.
  • New students should complete the I-20 request form and submit all required documents as soon as possible after paying the deposit. (More information here.)
  • Otis is monitoring embassy re-openings and remains hopeful for the Fall semester.
  • Please contact the Primary DSO, Alia Saeed, at asaeed@otis.edu with any questions.

Student Health and Counseling Services 

  • The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) will remain open and continue to offer services to meet students’ mental and physical health needs in person and remotely.
  • The SHWC will offer free COVID testing to any student who presents with COVID-like symptoms or is unvaccinated and has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID. 
  • The SHWC will also be providing free COVID vaccines to all students, faculty, and staff throughout the school year.

Additional information about the Student Health and Wellness Center’s services can be found here.