Southwestern College to Require Vaccines, Masks for Fall 2021 Semester

The Chavez Student Services Building on the Chula Vista campus.

Southwestern College will require all employees and students accessing in-person instruction and services to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall 2021 semester. Masks will be required in all indoor buildings and facilities.

Southwestern College leadership surveyed the campus community, including students and employees, and looked at local data, including the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, to update the fall semester’s health guidelines. Southwestern College will be joining colleges, universities and other institutions across the nation in requiring vaccines and masks. 

“The health of our campus community is paramount as we work to safely reopen our campuses to again offer in-person instruction and services,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Mark Sanchez. “We will continue to monitor local data and listen to our campus community as we work to serve our students in the safest way possible. These health and safety measures are critical steps to beating the COVID-19 pandemic and safely returning to Southwestern College.”

Students accessing in-person classes and services must have at least one vaccine dose before classes begin on Aug. 23. Employees must have at least one dose prior to the Aug. 16 return-to-work date and their second dose scheduled.

Students and employees will receive more information via their MySWC email account on how to self-attest their vaccine status. Limited medical and religious exceptions will be made for the vaccine guidelines and medical exemptions may be approved for mask guidelines. Students and employees will be able to submit an exemption request in ServiceNow if they are seeking an expressed medical and religious exception.

Students in specific classes within theatre arts, dance and music may remove their masks at the discretion of their instructor when needed to perform specific learning activities.

Visitors, such as prospective students and parents, will not be required to document their vaccine status but will be required to wear masks on all Southwestern College campuses. This includes any visitors attending on-campus events for the fall semester.

Vaccine clinics will be available at the Chula Vista campus during the first two weeks of the fall semester in partnership with San Ysidro Health. Members of the campus community wishing to get vaccinated before then can visit for the nearest clinic, or consult with their healthcare provider. 

For more information on the health guidelines and the upcoming fall semester, visit the SWC Returns website.