Why is the College only allowing online instruction?

Providing remote instruction is the best way to keep the Pomona community safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the U.S. and in Southern California, as a hoped-for summer slowdown in transmissions has not materialized. Instead, the number of cases continues to rise, nationally, statewide and here in Los Angeles County.

Last week, the governor shut down beaches and other areas where people can congregate and neither the State nor LA County has yet to issue guidance governing how institutions of higher education should plan to operate nor have they approved higher ed institutions to move to phase 3 of general reopening plans. What we do know is that any reopening will be accompanied by strict rules to limit density on campus and adherence to strict public health protocols.

For these reasons and our concern that any on-campus experience for students would be necessarily restrictive led us to pursue an entirely remote mode of instruction for the fall semester.

Will students be allowed on campus for the spring semester?

Our hope is that the public health situation in California and across the U.S., and the globe will permit us to invite students, faculty and staff back to campus in the spring. We will closely monitor the health situation and update the community in the fall.

What are the starting and ending dates for fall 2020?

The first day of instruction will be Aug. 24, one week ahead of the traditional start date.

Under the new schedule, undergraduates will complete all coursework by Nov. 24. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Dec. 4.

Why is the semester starting and ending early?

The Claremont Colleges agreed to change the academic calendar under the presumption that students would return to campus. This early start and early end by Thanksgiving was intended to allow those students who travel for Thanksgiving to do so and not have to travel immediately back to campus and thus minimizing the impact of COVID-19 and the flu season on our community during the winter months.

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in California and elsewhere around the country has led us to pursue remote instruction for the Fall semester. We will still follow the revised academic calendar.

Work Guidelines

When can employees who have been working remotely return to campus to work?

Given the continuation of the public health emergency all staff who can work remotely should continue to do so until further notice.

Can I come to campus if I have work to do?

While the campus will be closed for the semester, we understand that faculty and staff may, from time to time, need to be on campus for specific reasons. We urge you to limit these visits for only essential tasks. If faculty and staff need to come to campus, you must let your supervisor or department chair know, and be sure to follow public health protocols (wearing a mask or face covering, frequent handwashing, maintaining a minimum of six feet physical distancing and staying home from work if you have any symptoms).

The College is in the process of developing more specific protocols for coming to campus and we will provide more information in the coming weeks.

How does the College plan to help faculty and staff manage childcare issues?

We understand that most K-12 school districts have announced that they will at least start the academic year with online instruction. We are asking supervisors to be flexible with staff regarding the time of day that work is performed so that parents have flexibility to assist children with remote schooling and other matters.

What should hourly employees who need to work on campus do as the closure continues? Will they continue to be paid?

Some hourly employees do work that is currently being done from home; others are in roles that require the job to be done on campus.

If you are an hourly employee and your supervisor schedules you to come onto campus to work, you will be expected to work on campus for that schedule.

Hourly staff who typically have work that must be done on campus but do not have work to do under the current closure may continue to use the Excused Time Paid Kronos code until Aug. 31. However, if your supervisor schedules you to work, whether on campus or remotely, you are expected to report to work and you should not to use this code. If you do not want to, or can’t, work your scheduled hours, you may request vacation from your supervisor and/or an unpaid personal leave, or take sick leave if you are ill.

What should I do if I am exposed to someone with COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please self-isolate, monitor your symptoms and contact your physician or a medical professional immediately for further advice. We are also asking you to immediately contact Brenda Rushforth in HR to initiate the appropriate contact tracing protocols to determine if there are any other contacts within the Pomona College community who need to be notified.

If you have an on-campus job, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and must self-isolate, please use your available sick time. If you exhaust your sick time, contact your HR business partner for possible leave of absence or other arrangements. Please note that If you are sick more than three days in a row, you may be eligible for disability benefits. Please contact your HR business partner for more information about eligibility.

What should I do if I am in a high-risk group?

If you are in a high-risk group, please stay home. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed that those 65 years old or older and those with chronic health conditions isolate themselves at home.

Student Employment and Temporary Staff

Will the College hire student workers to work on campus or remotely?

Yes, various offices will hire student workers to work remotely. Beginning Aug. 10, students may apply for jobs via Handshake software hosted by the Career Development Office (CDO). New students will be able to access training information for Handshake in early August so that they will be knowledgeable about the software prior to the recruiting period.

Can my office hire temporary staff?

In most cases, in light of the current crisis and campus closure, the College is no longer employing/hiring temporary workers. However, supervisors of temporary workers who are still employed by the College, should contact their HR business partner for guidance on the continuation of that work.

College Finances

How does the decision to be fully online impact the College’s finances?

Moving to a fully online semester does present financial challenges. The College will lose room and board revenue and potentially tuition revenue if students choose not to return. At the same time, the College will continue to incur costs to make the campus ready to receive students, faculty, and staff at some point in the future. 

The College could see an annual budget shortfall ranging from $21 million to $35 million depending on final enrollment. The College is working on financial plans to make up this shortfall that will include deep reductions to the budgets of departments and offices, deferral of maintenance and renovation of our facilities and use of reserves, among other means.

Campus Operations

What are we doing to ensure the safety and health of our service workers, particularly housekeeping, grounds and maintenance employees?

All members of the Facilities and Campus Services staff are screened on a daily basis and provided all required personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary for the performance of their duties in a safe and responsible manner

How can employees access campus and what measures are in place to secure campus buildings?

Building access is limited, 24 hours a day, to those with card or key access. Many interior spaces, such as classrooms, will remain locked.

Does mail services still do mail pickups and deliveries?

The College’s Campus Mail Services will continue to operate Monday through Friday 8 a.m. through noon. Departments are currently required to pick up and drop off all mail at the mail services office in the lower level of Sumner Hall. The campus mail delivery schedule will be reviewed weekly and adjusted as required.

Information Technology Services Support

ITS has developed a number of instructional and operational continuity resources to help support online teaching and learning as well as remote work. An overview of these resources can be found below. For more information on instructional continuity, please visit the Instructional Continuity site, our Instructional Continuity Sakai page or the Instructional Continuity FAQ page.

As faculty, how do I access applications and my local files while working remotely?

ITS has built a terminal server to offer faculty and staff remote access to work resources from anywhere using any device. Through the terminal server, faculty and staff will be able to connect remotely to commonly used software and their local files from almost any device. This service does not require a VPN connection. To access the service, simply follow these easy steps or see the job aid for more details.

Open a Web Browser

Open https://pomonacollege.cloud.com in your browser and sign in using your Pomona College email account and password (user@pomona.edu) and password. In the “permissions requested” window, select “accept.” If you are currently enrolled in DUO you may be asked to authenticate your login.

Download Citrix Workspace

After logging in, you will be taken to a “Welcome Citrix Workspace” window. Select “detect workspace.” Next, check the box to indicate that you agree with the Citrix license agreement and select “download.” If prompted, open the file to begin the download.

Install Citrix Workspace

Open the downloaded file and install Citrix Workspace. At the “Add Account” installation step, select the checkbox “add account” and select “continue” to complete installation.

Add Account

To add your account, enter “pomonacollege.cloud.com” to Citrix Workspace and select the “add” button. Enter your Pomona College email account and password (user@pomona.edu). If you are currently enrolled in DUO, you may be prompted to authenticate your login. Please note: if you receive a message that you were unable to login, reenter your username and password to proceed.

Select Desktop

Select “Desktops” on the left to expand the menu. Select “all desktops” which will display the environments you can access. Select your preferred desktop and login with your Pomona College email account and password (user@pomona.edu). Please note: you may see a grey colored blank screen. This is a known bug – click anywhere within that space to display the login prompt.

Start Working

Once you’ve logged in, you will see what appears to be a Windows computer. From this screen you can access basic software such as Microsoft Outlook, Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.

For support, the ITS Help Desk may be reached at (909) 621-8061 or servicedesk@pomona.edu.

How do I access telecommuting or network services from home?

ITS offers a broad range of technologies, resources and services to help staff successfully work remotely in the event of an emergency:

Software

All Pomona College staff have access to Microsoft 365, which means that your email, documents, and the entire Microsoft Suite, including Microsoft Office, are accessible from virtually anywhere. To download the application, login to office.com with your Pomona College email account select the application you’d like to download.

Collaboration

To help employees stay in touch with one another, ITS has implemented Slack and instituted Slack workplaces. Slack is an all-purpose collaboration app that allows staff to continue collaborating when they aren’t together through private, encrypted and secure conversations. To use Slack, please refer to the Slack installation and Job Aid.

Video Conferencing

To facilitate meetings remotely, ITS has implemented Zoom. Zoom offers users video meetings, chat and screen-sharing features. It also has the added bonus of split-screen video conferencing so you can see everyone at once, much like an in-person meeting. Learn how to setup and use Zoom at Pomona College

Cloud Storage

If you currently use Box, all of your files are already in the cloud and will be accessible from home. If you have not started using Box and store your files locally, now is the time to move your files so they are accessible via the cloud. Learn how to setup and use Box at Pomona College.

Equipment Availability

Please note that equipment procurement has faced some challenges in recent months.  We are seeing extended delays in equipment delivery from many of our regular vendors. 

Support

When in doubt, contact the ITS Service Desk, Servicesdesk@pomona.edu or 909-621-8061. ITS has invested in making our remote support tools more robust and will be available remotely.

Remote Work Setup

What if I use my personal phone for work calls?

During the temporary period when employees will be permitted to work remotely, employees should use their personal phones, laptops and other devices.

What if I don’t have a reliable internet connection at home?

Employees should, where possible, use available municipal WiFi, such as in public libraries. To the extent that this is not available, the College is still open, and employees should come to campus to work and use the internet to perform their work when possible. We recommend not using internet cafes or coffee shops.

Will I be compensated for my home internet plan?

Employees who are designated for telework are responsible for their own home internet service and plans. The College can consider assisting staff with internet capacity on a case-by-case basis.

Am I able to telework from locations other than home?

Employees may be able to telework from other locations – please discuss the details with your supervisor.

Do I still need to use Kronos?

Hourly employees are still expected to keep track of their time in Kronos. Employees and their supervisors are still expected to sign off on their timecards regularly.

Will overtime be offered?

In accordance with College policy, overtime must be approved in advance by the supervisor before it is worked. Employees should not be working overtime without express approval from their supervisor, and this includes any increments over eight regular hours per day.

What if there is a meeting on campus and I am unable to attend in person?

An employee should be in regular contact with their direct supervisor and should immediately inform the supervisor regarding attendance at meetings.

Other Resources for Faculty

What Other Resources Are Available?

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all faculty and staff 24 hours a day/7 days per week. Please call (800) 234-5465 or log onto www.liveandworkwell.com The access code is claremontcolleges

Other Resources for students

What support will campus life offer to students?

The Office of Campus Life is prepared to support ASPC as well as campus clubs and organizations to provide a robust online student experience. The leadership of ASPC has funded clubs and is working with student leaders across the Claremont Colleges to engage students in co-curricular activities. Stay tuned for a calendar of events, speakers, movies, games and online gatherings.

Will students still have access to student leaders like RAs, sponsors and mentors?

Yes, all of these roles will still exist and will be reaching out to you as we get closer to the start of the semester. They will have “office hours” and other gatherings online throughout the semester.

What mental health and medical resources are available to students?

Students will have access to Monsour Counseling and Student Health Service as well as Timely MD/Campus Health which will provide telehealth and counseling services. Additionally, Pomona College will continue to provide reimbursement of up to $50 for 10 sessions per semester for sessions with a licensed provider. Students can find more information on our wellness page.

What resources are available for international students?

For international students, we recognize the complications brought on by Monday’s announcement by ICE modifying temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during fall 2020 semester. We will be reaching out to students individually and offering updates in coming days. For more resources, please visit the international student services page.

What resources are available for DACA and undocumented students?

Pomona College offers a range of resources for DACA students as well as undocumented students to foster their academic success.