COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students

This page contains essential information for our graduate school community as we return to campus and classes. Please review it carefully and check back often for updates.

On this page:

  • Letter from the Dean
  • Health and Safety Expectations for All Community Members
  • COVID-19 Monitoring, Isolation, and Quarantine Plan
  • Specific COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students
  • COVID Testing Requirements for Graduate Students
  • Technology Recommendations for Online and Hybrid Learning
  • Program-Specific Information

Letter from the Dean

Dear Graduate Students,

As we begin the spring term, I am mindful of all that you accomplished in the fall and all of the challenges you have faced in pursuing your education at the Graduate School. We have all experienced the dislocation of time during the pandemic; looking back can either seem like a lifetime ago or just last week.

While we hoped for improved conditions related to COVID-19 in the fall, we knew it would require diligent adherence to safety protocols and that a resurgence was possible, even predicted. We succeeded across campus in protecting the health of the community to an extent matched almost nowhere else. And yet, the burdens and heartbreaking losses of the pandemic continued across the nation and globe. We struggled to find new ways to sustain ourselves and our communities.

Then came the wildfires in Oregon and across the West. It felt like being kicked while we were already down. There were evacuations, losses of homes, and worries for our families in the path of the fires. We sought shelter and waited for the air to clear.

In the face of all this, you persisted. You took care of each other while you continued to learn and provide essential support to the students and clients in your care. You shouldered the weight of multiple communities, as well as your own needs, and carried on. It is hard to find words powerful enough to express my respect and admiration for the work you have done and that you continue to do.

This spring, while the challenges we faced in the fall continue, we have many reasons for hope. There is progress in vaccine development and treatments for COVID-19. There is new leadership that promises a more effective, coordinated, and science-based response to the pandemic. There is the continued struggle against systemic racism and anti-Blackness. In support of all of this, we have the strength of a community that has weathered this storm and remains standing – ready to sustain each other and our collective pursuit of a more just, inclusive, and compassionate world.

Below on this page you will find updated information on health protocols, LC community guidelines, and our plans at the Graduate School for returning in the spring. This includes COVID testing for all students who will begin taking classes in-person in January. I urge you to stay in contact with your program directors and academic advisors regarding your individual needs and the modality of your classes. Our first priority is always your safety and well-being. We will continue to monitor conditions, make adjustments, and create opportunities for the best possible learning environment for you.

Scott Fletcher

Health and Safety Expectations for All Community Members

Lewis & Clark’s institutional Health and Safety Expectations for All Community Members webpage has the most comprehensive and updated information on Fall reopening plans and requirements. Please review this page carefully as it contains essential information regarding how you can support the health and well-being of the entire Lewis & Clark community.

COVID-19 Monitoring, Isolation, and Quarantine Plan

COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students

Students are expected to avoid behavior that places them, and therefore the LC community, at higher risk to COVID-19 exposure. This includes participation in social gatherings or patronizing indoor establishments at which social distancing cannot be maintained or wearing a mask is not feasible. Students are also expected to carefully monitor their own health, to report any COVID-19 symptoms to Lewis & Clark Health Service staff, and to not come to campus if they have such symptoms.

Please review the following requirements that are specific to the Graduate School’s grounds and operation.

Face Coverings
  • Face coverings are required in all indoor areas, including: classrooms, meeting rooms, common areas (masks may be removed in York Commons when eating), hallways, restrooms, and staff and faculty offices. (Staff and faculty in single-occupancy offices, while working alone, may remove their masks. Please wait for them to put on their mask before entering the office and observe the social distancing indicators that are present.)
  • Face coverings are required when attending class outdoors, both inside and outside of the tents provided.
  • Face coverings are not required outdoors when you are not in class and where social distancing can be maintained.
  • Face shields can be used either (a) as a supplement to a face mask or (b) when a face mask cannot be worn for accessibility or equity reasons. Two face masks will be provided to all students.
Eating and Drinking
  • Eating is only permitted in York Commons or outdoors. Face coverings may be removed while actively eating or drinking in these locations only. Social distancing should be maintained while eating.
  • Eating is prohibited in all other indoor spaces including classrooms, meeting rooms, hallways, and other common areas. Beverages may be consumed indoors using a straw in a manner that does not require full removal of face mask.
  • Accommodations for students with specific medical needs should be discussed with the instructor or the Student Support Services Office.
Disinfecting Protocols
  • Common areas and classrooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly. The campus cleaning schedule has been updated with enhanced disinfecting protocols and increased frequency in all campus buildings.
  • Students will be responsible for disinfecting and sanitizing their work area before and after use. This includes attending class and using a common space for any activity such as studying or eating. Cleaning supplies certified to work against the COVID-19 virus will be provided in all common areas.

COVID Testing Requirements for Graduate Students

College staff have been working diligently to make the spring academic experience as safe as possible. As part of our efforts, all Graduate students attending in-person classes or who plan to use campus facilities will be required to have a negative COVID test result on record with the college shortly before the start of their in-person class or planned visit to campus. Students who have a negative test on record and will be continuing to attend in person classes or use campus facilities may be selected at random to test again.

To Begin Attending In Person Classes

If you are enrolled in a class that will start meeting in-person, you will receive an email from Janet Bixby, Associate Dean, with detailed information on how to fulfill this testing requirement. You will not be permitted to join your in-person class until you have successfully completed this testing requirement.

To Study On Campus or Use Campus Facilities

If you wish to come on campus for any other reason, such as to study, please email Murray Cizon in the Dean’s Office to receive details on how to complete the testing requirement.

To Continue Attending In Person Classes or Using Campus Facilities

Students who have already been cleared to attend in-person classes this semester may also be randomly selected to take another COVID test in the coming weeks, as part of the college’s ongoing surveillance testing program. It is important that all students taking in-person classes at the graduate school watch their emails and follow instructions to come in and get tested if requested to do so.

Doing Your Part

The best way to stop the transmission of COVID-19 is through prevention. WeB4Me@LC! We ask that you take the following preventive measures during Spring semester:

  • Wear face coverings and wash your hands frequently. Face coverings are required on-campus at all times, other than an individual in a private office with the door closed and when eating. Eating is not allowed in the classrooms.
  • Do not attend large gatherings or participate in high-risk behaviors, such as parties or visiting bars.
  • Self-assess for COVID symptoms before leaving your residence each day. This includes taking your temperature. At the first sign of symptoms, self-isolate in your residence; fill out the COVID Self-Check and Report Form (SCARF) in the Health Information Portal; and contact the Health Service (503-768-7165). If the Health Service is closed, consider contacting the Nurse Consultation line (1-844-915-2069).

It is also critical that students answer their phones, as that is the way our Wellness Service staff will reach out to students who might have been exposed to a positive case of COVID. Please also be sure your voicemail is not full, so that staff who are trying to reach you can leave a message. Please add our contract tracer, Ami Hanna ( and 503-768-8737) to your contacts list.

Technology Recommendations for Online and Hybrid Learning

  • Please review the recommended equipment, system requirements, and resources needed.

Program-Specific Information

The Graduate School will offer a robust schedule of classes conducted in a variety of modalities: in person, hybrid, and online. If you become ill and need to self-isolate or quarantine, accommodations will be made for you to participate in distance learning. Faculty program directors will be communicating directly with students via email as information becomes available. If you have additional questions about your program, please contact your faculty program director.

Counseling, Therapy, and School Psychology Department
Educational Leadership Department
Teacher Education Department