SALINAS — Students looking to attend Hartnell College for its spring semester have a little longer to submit their proof of vaccination, a requirement that was set by the school in October.
The deadline to upload proof of vaccination has been extended to Monday, Jan. 17, the college announced this week. This is the second time Hartnell has extended the cutoff for submitting vaccination status.
When put in place back in October, the original deadline was set for Dec. 10. At the time, Hartnell said it wanted to ensure students were vaccinated, or at least aware of when the requirement would go into effect before registration for the college’s spring semester began in November.
Nearing the December deadline, Hartnell allotted more time to fulfill the requirement, setting its sights on what would have been this Friday. The latest change now gives students until 5 p.m. Monday, essentially a week before the new term begins on Jan. 24.
The college has also altered the mandate itself, requiring that students receive only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid being deregistered for the new term. Originally, Hartnell had asked students to be fully vaccinated by the cutoff date, or they would be dropped from their spring classes.
Those who only receive one dose by the time classes begin will undergo weekly COVID-19 testing until they get their second shot.
Though Hartnell is offering a mix of in-person and online courses — about 53% full face-to-face, the rest being online or hybrid — the vaccine mandate applies to all students enrolled in the spring.
To ensure no one faces deregistration, Hartnell staff spent Friday calling individual students who have not yet provided their proof of vaccination, according to director of communications Scott Faust. The college has also reached out to students via email, text and social media to publicize the extended deadline.
Through this week, Hartnell has held four separate in-person registration fairs across its campus sites. The final fair took place on Friday at the college’s main campus, 411 Central Ave., where staff helped students submit their proof of vaccination alongside facilitating registration.
“Our focus is not on enrollment numbers but rather on making sure that returning and new students have all the support we can provide to help them continue their education at Hartnell,” said Faust in an email.
Meanwhile, Hartnell officially has a new leader going into its spring semester. Tuesday night, the Hartnell Community College District governing board voted unanimously to appoint Steven Crow — Hartnell’s vice president for administrative services — as interim superintendent/president, starting Jan. 15. Crow will serve in the temporary position until June 30, carrying the college through the end of its spring term as district officials complete an ongoing national search for someone to fill the role on a permanent basis.
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