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On-Campus Program Health and Safety Policies

What to Expect When Coming to Campus

We are thrilled to once again open our doors to learners and visitors on Appian Way. As we welcome Professional Education participants to the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) campus in 2022, we assure you that the health, safety, and well-being of our community remain our top priority. We are closely monitoring health and safety protocols as provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Massachusetts, and Harvard University, and we will continue to make adjustments in response to evolving public health guidelines.  

Please note that the health, safety, and well-being of our community remain our top priority through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Professional Education participants must adhere to all public health guidelines instituted by Harvard University and HGSE. All individuals accessing the HGSE campus are required to abide by the same policies as our faculty, staff, and students. Our current policy requires all participants in on-campus Professional Education programs to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including booster shot(s) when eligible) prior to arriving on campus, and adhere to indoor mask mandates as determined by the University and course faculty. 

Due to the uncertainty of evolving public conditions, HGSE’s COVID-related safety requirements may be different when your program begins. We will provide all participants with current COVID-related safety requirements at least two weeks before the start of your program. Thank you for your understanding and attention to these details, as we continue to take the steps necessary to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community. 

If you are enrolled in an on-campus program, please watch your inbox for important emails from the HGSE Professional Education program team. Information about HGSE’s coronavirus response and community expectations can be found on the HGSE website. Information about Harvard University's health and safety measures, along with testing results, can be found on Harvard’s coronavirus website.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: May 20, 2022

Preparing to Come to Campus

Will I need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend an on-campus program?

Yes. All HGSE Professional Education participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to coming to campus, meaning that at least two weeks have passed since receiving the final dose of a vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) (currently Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, AstraZeneca, SII/Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm, and Sinovac/CoronaVac) and that you have received a vaccine booster if you are eligible. Please note: Admission to on-campus HGSE Professional Education programs is contingent upon submission and approval of proof of vaccination by three weeks prior to the program start date.

When and how do I submit documentation to prove I received an FDA or WHO-approved vaccine?

A link to submit vaccination proof is included in your application for admission to an on-campus program. Vaccination records are considered private and highly confidential; as such, they are only reviewed by trained, approved HGSE personnel

I received a COVID-19 vaccine in another country that was not approved by the FDA or WHO. Should I be re-vaccinated when I get to the U.S.?

To participate in an HGSE Professional Education program on the Harvard campus, your vaccine must be approved by the FDA or WHO. Please note that we cannot make a medical recommendation as to whether you should get a second, different vaccine to satisfy our vaccine requirement. This would need to be determined by a medical professional.

Are other Harvard community members required to be vaccinated?

Yes. Harvard University requires all community members who have any on-campus presence (faculty, staff, students, and other groups such as researchers and visiting scholars) to be vaccinated, including the booster shot when eligible.

Will international participants be permitted to attend on-campus programs?

Our hope is that we can welcome all participants, though there continue to be restrictions on the entry of travelers from certain countries to the United States. All international applicants should review the current U.S. travel restrictions before applying to and/or registering for an HGSE Professional Education Program.

Coming to Campus

Is COVID-19 testing required for program registration?

As of May 20, 2022, HGSE requires that every on-campus Professional Education program participant complete an HGSE Clear attestation that you have received a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within one day of your program start time (or have been symptom-free for at least 10 days if you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days). Upon completion of the attestation, you will receive a green checkmark to show at the registration desk – you do not need to send anything in advance. If you arrive at your program registration and have not been tested within the previous day, HGSE will provide a rapid antigen test for your use.

What if I experience symptoms of COVID-19 during my on-campus program?

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 during your on-campus program, HGSE will provide a rapid antigen test for your use.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 during my on-campus program?

If you test positive for COVID-19, please contact us through the Professional Education Community. (Select “Program Experience” in the drop-down, and use “Urgent: {Program Name} Attendance” in the subject line.) Your positive result will stay anonymous and not be shared with your faculty or classmates. Participants who test positive for COVID-19 at any time during the Program will be asked to exit the program for their health and safety. Depending on the exit date, a program refund, deferral, or certificate of program completion will be issued. 

Are masks required to participate in my on-campus program?

Masks will be required inside HGSE’s classrooms and buildings during on-campus Professional Education programs in June-July 2022. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. For further masking details and guidance, please refer to information provided by the specific program you are attending.

How will meals be prepared and served on campus?

Our dining services and catering provider closely monitor and adhere to CDC and WHO safety recommendations. All dining associates and managers are trained in the latest protocols for cleaning, protection, and food safety.  Please  click here  for more on  the  HGSE Campus Drinking and Eating Policy Amid COVID Safety Protocols.

What precautions have you put in place to ensure air quality and ventilation?

HGSE  has upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems across campus to ensure that all systems meet the recently enhanced CDC recommendations for air filtration and exchange.

What cleaning and personal hygiene protocols are in place?

High-touch surfaces at HGSE—including classrooms—are disinfected each night per CDC-recommended standards. High-traffic spaces are disinfected several times per day,  including  service counters, door handles, restroom facilities, handrails, and elevators. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers are available to enable self-sanitizing as needed.

Are there distancing requirements in HGSE classrooms?

Since August 2021, we have been operating HGSE degree program courses on Appian Way in our regular classrooms with no distancing requirements. As a result of the multiple safety protocols and requirements in place (vaccination, negative test results, and required masking), HGSE COVID infection rates have remained extremely low, with no evidence of classroom transmission. We plan to continue to utilize all HGSE classroom spaces at permissible capacity as dictated by public health conditions.

Rescheduled Programs, Cancellations, and Refunds

What happens if HGSE cancels my on-campus program due to COVID-19 or for any other reason?

HGSE is closely monitoring public health guidelines as well as case counts in Cambridge and on the Harvard University campus. If it is determined that a planned on-campus program is no longer safe to host in-person, the Professional Education team will either transition the program to an online format (with an option to attend, defer your enrollment and use the tuition for another HGSE Professional Education program within one calendar year, or receive a tuition refund) or postpone the program to a later date (with options to defer participation until the next offering, defer your enrollment and use the tuition for another HGSE Professional Education program within one calendar year, or receive a tuition refund).

Will HGSE refund travel fees or other incurred costs related to attendance of a canceled program?

HGSE will refund tuition fees only—not travel fees or other expenses incurred. However, many airlines have waived cancellation fees in light of COVID-19. It may be helpful to share emails you have received from the Professional Education team regarding a canceled program with the airline when requesting an airfare refund.

What happens if I am unable to provide proof of a required vaccine booster (if I am eligible) no later than three weeks prior to my program start date—will I be refunded?

In the event that you cannot provide proof of the required vaccine booster (if eligible) by three weeks prior to your program start date, HGSE will refund your tuition. We are unable to refund travel fees or other expenses incurred.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 within three days of my program start date and cannot attend—will I be refunded?

In the event that you are unable to attend the program due to a positive COVID-19 test, you may defer your enrollment and use the tuition for another HGSE Professional Education program within one calendar year, or HGSE will refund your tuition. We are unable to refund travel fees or other expenses incurred.

What if I experience symptoms of COVID-19 during my on-campus program?

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 during your on-campus program, HGSE will provide a rapid antigen test for your use.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 during my on-campus program?

If you test positive for COVID-19, please contact us through the Professional Education Community. (Select “Program Experience” in the drop-down, and use “Urgent: {Program Name} Attendance” in the subject line.) Your positive result will stay anonymous and not be shared with your faculty or classmates. Participants who test positive for COVID-19 at any time during the Program will be asked to exit the program for their health and safety. Depending on the exit date, a program refund, deferral, or certificate of program completion will be issued.