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COVID-19 and WSC

Click below to view Testing Sites

Testing Sites

 

Click below to view the Reopening Safety Plan

Reopening Safety Plan

 

Click below to view the 2020-2021 Continuity of Education Plan

Continuity of Education plan


WSC CARES Act Reporting (October 1, 2020)

On September 8, 2020, Westminster Seminary California was awarded $464,210  through the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) under Section 18004(a)(3) of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  These funds will he used in accordance with the Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement (signed and submitted on 6/14/2020) to 1) provide additional emergency grants to students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) additional tuition grants to students, and 3) to defray institutional expenses, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology and staffing costs related to the transition to an online/hybrid educational model, and PPE, cleaning supplies, and facility cleaning costs associated with the seminary’s Reopening Safety Plan. 

Expenditures related to the CARES Act Sections 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3) will be reported on a quarterly basis on this webpage using the Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting Form.

The following information is provided to  demonstrate compliance with requirements of the CARES Act Section 18004(e) for institutions receiving allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). As of October 1, 2020:

1. WSC Signed and submitted the Recipient’s Certification and Agreement on June 10, 2020 and has used all funds in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

2. WSC was awarded $35,790 emergency grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on June 16, 2020.

3. No less than 50% of those funds must be distributed to students as emergency financial aid grants. 

4. WSC has disbursed $18,475 in emergency financial aid grants to students to help cover expenses as a result of the disruption of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

5. The estimated total number of students at WSC eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grants under  Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act is 107.  

6. The emergency grant recipients and award amounts that WSC students received were determined by an application through which eligible students made submitted requests for assistance with unanticipated expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

7. WSC sent notices by email to eligible students about how the grants were being disbursed.


WSC CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding  (July 29, 2020)

On June 16, 2020, Westminster Seminary California was awarded $35,790 emergency grants under a provision of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act designed to help students and institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established pursuant to Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, with the requirement that no less than 50% of those funds be distributed to students as emergency financial aid grants. WSC Signed and submitted the Certification and Agreement on June 10, 2020 and intends to use all funds in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

As of July, 21 2020, WSC has disbursed $18,475 in emergency financial aid grants to students to help cover expenses as a result of the disruption of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The estimated total number of students at WSC eligible to receive the emergency financial aid grants is 107. To date, 40 students have been awarded an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under the CARES Act. WSC provided an additional $4,000 in assistance to 7 students who were not eligible for HEERF funding through the generosity of a private donor. 

The emergency grant recipients and award amounts that WSC students received were determined by an application through which eligible students made submitted requests for assistance with unanticipated expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. WSC sent notices by email to eligible students about how the grants were being disbursed and is providing this information on the institutional website to demonstrate compliance with requirements of the CARES Act for institutions receiving allocations from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).


COVID-19 Update: Summer Greek and Fall Intentions (July 3, 2020)

Dear WSC Community,

Due to Governor Newsom's recent announcement, Westminster Seminary California will offer NT 400 (Greek I) this summer entirely online. While we look forward to offering in-person instruction as soon as allowed by California regulations and safe for our community, WSC is in a position to offer an engaging, rigorous, and personal online educational experience for students enrolled in Greek I. In addition, this format will allow the seminary to accommodate those students who would not have been able to join class session on campus physically.

We are cautiously optimistic that we will be offering on-campus, face-to-face classes this Fall once the restrictions that have been in place since March are lifted by county health officials. We are actively monitoring local policies that govern higher education, however, and will be prepared to pivot accordingly, including a move to 100% online education if the situation requires it. First and foremost, we are making all the necessary preparations for safety protocols for the health and well-being of our community. Please look for another update in the end of July.

In the meantime, we wish the Lord’s blessings upon you this summer and pray for a smooth transition and joyful return to studies at WSC.

Sincerely,

Ryan Glomsrud


Guidelines for Reopening the WSC Campus

As WSC reopens the campus, we will follow a three-phase approach of returning to normal business operations.  Initiation of each phase will depend upon national and local health guidelines, consideration of institutional needs, and the health and safety of the people of WSC.  

Phase 1

  1. Office will be closed.  Most employees will continue to work remotely.  Each department will assign employees required to be in the office to perform essential duties.  
  2. Employee Guidelines
    1. Employees are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and not congregate while at the office.  All group meetings will continue via video conference. 
    2. Employees that are high risk, have a vulnerable situation at home, or are uncomfortable with being at the office may continue to work remotely during phase 1.  
    3. Employees should not come to work if feeling ill or have symptoms related to COVID-19, flu, or cold.  
    4. Additional cleaning service will be provided by a professional crew.  Moreover, employees are asked to wipe down common areas and equipment after use (e.g. counters, meeting rooms, coffee room, restrooms, copier/printers) to the maximum extent possible.  
    5. Employees will be expected to wear face masks using proper procedures when in common areas or in shared offices in close proximity with other employees.  
    6. All international and non-essential domestic seminary related travel restrictions will be in effect unless approved by the administration.  
  • Campus Access 
    • Visitors will not be allowed at this time.  
    • Classrooms, chapel, and student lounge will remain closed unless approved by the administration. 
    • The WSC Library will remain closed in phase 1.  
  • Westminster Village
    • Visitors to Westminster Village are strongly discouraged and residents will be expected to follow social distancing and face mask guidelines.  
    • The indoor commons building and gym will remain closed. 

Phase 2

  • Office will be open in a limited way.  Front office will be open.  Working remotely will continue as needed and employee hours in the office will be determined by each department supervisor. 
  • Employee Guidelines
    • Employees are expected to follow moderate social distancing guidelines and not congregate while at the office. 
    • Employees will be expected to wear face masks using proper procedures when in common areas or in shared offices in close proximity with other employees. 
    • Employees that are high risk or have a vulnerable situation at home may continue to work remotely during phase 2.  Employees who do not have a high-risk situation may request consideration to work remotely.
    • Employees should not come to work if feeling ill or have symptoms related to COVID-19, flu, or cold.  
    • Additional cleaning service is provided by a professional crew.  Moreover, employees are asked to wipe down common areas and equipment after use (e.g. counters, meeting rooms, coffee room, restrooms, copier/printers) to the maximum extent possible.  
    • International and domestic seminary-related travel is discouraged and travel to high risk areas require approval by the administration. 
  • Campus Access 
    • Only approved visitors will be allowed on campus.  
    • Classrooms, chapel, and student lounge will be open under conditions of moderate social distancing.  
    • Faculty will be allowed to meet with students at the discretion of the individual faculty member.  
    • The WSC Library will be open under conditions of moderate social distancing.  No outside patrons will be allowed.  
  • Westminster Village
    • Westminster Village will be open and residents are expected to follow moderate social distancing. 
    • The indoor commons building and gym will be open under conditions of moderate social distancing. 

Phase 3

  1. Office will be open. 
  2. All employees will be allowed in the office and working remotely will be approved as appropriate to the work requirements and policy.  Staff handbook requirements will be in effect. 
  3. All campus areas will be reopened for use.  Visitors are allowed on campus. 
  4. Westminster Village will be fully open including the indoor commons and gym. 

* Note that policy and practices may be updated without prior notice to comply with regulatory requirements or to meet the needs of changing circumstances. 


Commencement Announcment (April 21, 2020)

Dear Westminster Community,

On behalf of the faculty and staff, let me thank you for your graciousness, humility, patience, and good humor as we have transitioned to 100% online education this Spring semester. We are grateful for the many kindnesses and smiling providences of the Lord to our seminary family. Our hearts are heavy, however, with the recognition that our graduating seniors will be concluding their studies in this most unusual and even anticlimactic fashion. Please join me in praying for them and encouraging them as they seek to finish the semester faithfully. 

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have had to make some difficult decisions and modify our traditional graduation exercises. The seniors themselves have already been briefed regarding these changes by the President, but we want to offer a brief summary of details for the sake of the broader community. 

1.  All “Traditional” in-person graduation events are cancelled without further notice. This includes the traditional Friday evening reception for graduates that had been scheduled for May 29th. 

2.  The graduates will be enjoying a reception time with faculty via Zoom in order to give thanks to God for our time together these past years and share news about short-term plans and long-term hopes for ministry. This event will be for graduating seniors and faculty only. 

3.  There will be a revised virtual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 30th, at 10am (as previously scheduled). Information about where and how to access this public online event will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. Friends, family, churches, and fellow-students are encouraged to join us online. In lieu of a guest speaker, President Kim will deliver his charge to the graduates as a commencement address. There will be prayers of thanksgiving and dedication from faculty. The presentation of the graduates will occur, followed by the conferring of degrees while senior photos are shown on the screen so that each graduate will be appropriately recognized. Following the commencement service, there will be a video/slideshow featuring senior reflections and photos submitted by the students themselves. Video recordings of both the commencement ceremony and the slideshow will be available for all graduating seniors. 

4.  As a final note, the 2020 graduates have been invited to return to Westminster Seminary California in the Spring of 2021 for a class reunion and to “walk” and receive their diplomas at next year’s commencement ceremony.  

In the meantime, we pray the Lord’s blessing on each of you as you continue working hard to finish this semester well academically and spiritually, serving and striving in the strength that the Lord provides. Please let me or the Registrar know if you have any questions at this time, recognizing that further information will be provided as it becomes available. 

Sincerely, 

Ryan Glomsrud


Contact Information

WSC community, please direct your questions, needs, and concerns to the following departments this semester.

  • For technical assistance, please contact Tech Support (support@wscal.edu).
  • For questions about academic policies, please contact your Academic Dean, Dr. Ryan Glomsrud (rglomsrud@wscal.edu).
  • For questions about financial aid, please contact Barbara Clark, Financial Aid Coordinator (bclark@wscal.edu).
  • For any questions regarding campus policies, please contact Dr. Marcus McArthur, Vice President for Administration (mmcarthur@wscal.edu).
  • For questions about library policies, please contact your librarian, James Lund (jlund@wscal.edu).
  • For questions about housing policies, please contact Caley Meza, Housing Manager (cmeza@wscal.edu).
  • For housing leasing questions, please contact Mark MacVey, Vice President for Enrollment Management (mmacvey@wscal.edu).

WSC Zoom URL

Westminster now has a vanity URL with Zoom so you can:

  • Log-in to your Westminster authorized Zoom account if you have one been given one.
  • Join a Westminster affiliated meeting with the Meeting ID or personal link.
  • Host a meeting from your authorized account.

The URL is wscal.zoom.us


Shifting to Online Classes (Spring 2020)

WSC will be moving all classes to the online meeting platform, Zoom in conjunction with Populi.  We are asking for your patience, flexibility, and willingness to help when necessary as the faculty, staff, and students transition to this platform from face-to-face instruction.  Westminster is committed to providing you with the high-quality and personal teaching you expect, but screen to screen instead of face-to-face.

Thankfully, Zoom does not require much training to use as a participant.  You will still be able to get all the required class hours and lecture material as you would in a regular face-to-face class.  You will still be able to contact and speak to your professor when you need to or during their office hours, but their office will be online instead of on campus.

What follows is a guide to using Zoom as a student participant. If you have technical issues in class you can e-mail support@wscal.edu or ask a fellow student in the class through a private chat function in the Zoom meeting. We may update this page as needed with more helpful information.

Class Expectations

Due to the changing circumstances, follow your professor’s instructions regarding possible changes to syllabi which are meant to ensure you meet the course’s student learning outcomes.

Regularly check your e-mail and the course page in Populi where most, if not all, course communication will occur.

Attendance is required per the WSC attendance policy.  Attendance can be tracked in the Zoom meeting or the professor may require that you access the link through the Lessons page in Populi for each class.

Most, if not all, of your classes will be through synchronous, live, online instruction.  Your classes will meet at their regularly scheduled times, resuming on March 23. Additionally, your professor may use his discretion to record the lecture to allow those who were unable to view the class at its scheduled time, to view it later.  However, these recordings will only be available for a limited amount of time and you are still required to attend the live class, per Westminster’s attendance policy.  Inform your professor of all absences and continue the practice of asking another student or students for notes from the missed class. Some professors, due to material and time constraints or for pedagogical reasons, may pre-record a lecture for you to listen to on your own (this will be uncommon). The seminary’s and professor’s policy on individual recording remain in-tact and such activity is strictly prohibited.[1] 

Your professors may opt to change assessment methods by using assignments or tests in Populi, oral examinations, graded discussions, papers, or opt for another type of assessment. Please be flexible as we figure this out over the coming weeks.

If you are willing and capable of providing technical assistance to your fellow classmates please let your professor know so that they can give you access in Zoom.  If you are willing to help moderate questions and discussion please let your professor know.

Zoom Set-up and Use

The Dashboard page of each course in Populi will have Zoom invitations (within the next week) with meeting times, a URL to the Zoom Room for that course, as well as phone numbers if you want to call in instead because you have a slow internet connection. Just follow the instructions in the link. Zoom can be viewed from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. In addition to this guide you may wish to visit support.zoom.us for additional help.

  • Basic Equipment:
    • Mobile Device (iOS, Android, Kindle) or Computer (Mac, PC, or Linux)
    • An internet connection – broadband, WiFi (a/g/n/ac) or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
    • Webcam or HD webcam – built-in or USB plug-in
      • Or an HD cam, or HD camcorder with a video capture card.
    • Earbuds or headset
    • (Optional) Bluetooth wireless speakers and microphone (such as Jabra Speak 510, Logitech P710e, or Plantronics Calisto 620)
    • If you don’t have access to a computer or mobile device you can call in using your cell phone or landline.

Joining a Meeting

  • When you click the link in the invitation under “Join Zoom Meeting” a new browser page will open and you will be asked to download or open the Zoom app. You may participate in your browser, without using the app, but it is much slower and lower quality.
  • When you join a meeting, Zoom may ask you to enter your name, please enter your full name so the professor can keep accurate attendance.
  • For more instructions you can view this support page: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697-Getting-Started

Audio & Video Setup

  • After launching the Zoom meeting from the meeting URL, you will be prompted to join the room’s audio. Click “join audio by computer.” Zoom allows audio participation through your computer’s internal speakers, a headset, or a phone line.
  • If you are in a class where you a required to participate in discussion (like a seminar) or preach we recommend that you use a headset or earbuds so that it is easier for you to hear and be heard. With built-in computer or camera mics the sound quality is decreased due to ambient noise and turning your head away from the mic when you speak.

Mute Yourself/Stop Webcam

  • To mute, click the microphone icon in the bottom left corner. To unmute, click the microphone icon again.
  • Follow the same process to turn the webcam on and off.
  • Background noise can be minimized if you mute yourself when you’re listening.

Viewing Options

  • In the meeting you can switch between speaker view (focuses only on the person speaking) and gallery view (so you can see all of the participants regardless of who is speaking).

Communicating in the Live Class

  • Raise Your Hand – Click the participants icon at the bottom of the screen if the side bar is not already open.  At the bottom of the participants sidebar click “Raise Hand” so the professor knows you have a question.
  • Your professor can unmute you and ask you to speak. Or if you’re in a seminar you can unmute yourself to enter the conversation.
  • You can also use the chat to ask questions. Your professor may ask a student to be a moderator who will gather the questions from the chat to ask them at the appropriate time.

Thank you for your patience as we transition to this platform. 

[1] All class lectures and materials are the intellectual property of the professor and are strictly prohibited from recording, reproduction, and/or distribution.


Announcement Regarding COVID-19 (March 14, 2020)

Dear Westminster Family, 

Thank you for your continued patience and prayers as we assess the fast-developing health crisis (COVID-19). Over the last week, WSC administration has been meeting regularly to discern a proper response based on the most recent updates from the national and local public health officials and wisdom of other schools and institutions in our area. In light of the most recent developments, the administration, faculty, and the board of Westminster Seminary California are taking the following steps. 

  • Classes: ​All scheduled classes will be canceled until March 23. Starting March 23, classes will move to online instruction through Zoom conference until the end of the spring semester. Students will receive a separate communication with instructions and guidance.
    • If you have any questions about our temporary online instruction or experience difficulties with Zoom or equipment, please contact support@wscal.edu.
    • If you have any questions about academic policies, please contact your Academic Dean, Ryan Glomsrud, at rglomsrud@wscal.edu.
  • Campus Events: ​All seminary events for the spring semester are canceled. A decision regarding commencement will be made later in the semester.
  • Campus Access:​ The WSC campus will be closed to outside guests until further notice.
    • Classrooms, chapel, and student lounge will be closed.
    • The WSC Library will remain open, with limited hours, for students to check out books. No studying will be permitted in the library.
  • Office: ​The front office will remain open. Each employee should contact his or her supervisor to determine which staff should remain in the office and what schedule should be kept. However, if you become ill, please stay home and contact your supervisor immediately about your illness.
  • Travel:​ In compliance with the California Department of Public Health, please note that the seminary must “exclude students, faculty, or staff who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as Level 3 Travel Health Notice (see​ ​CDC’s Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation​). Additionally, exclude those who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 from campus for 14 days from the day of their last exposure.”
    • All international and non-essential domestic seminary related travel is suspended until further notice.
    • All staff, faculty, and students are discouraged from traveling internationally, but if you do travel, please notify Mark MacVey (mmacvey@wscal.edu).
  • Westminster Village:​ Westminster Village will remain open, though residents are encouraged to limit outside visitors. The indoor commons building and gym are closed. Please be wise in your gathering and maintain the recommended social distancing guidelines. Parents should keep sick children inside their apartments. If you live in the Village and have any questions about policies or procedures, please contact Caley Meza, Housing Manager (cmeza@wscal.edu).
  • Communication:​ We will continue to be in regular communication with the WSC community through email. Our website also now features a COVID-19 page where we will post any information. Be aware that this is an evolving situation that may require additional or different measures for the benefit of the community. If you have any specific questions about the decision and policies, please direct them to Dr. Marcus McArthur, Vice President for Administration (mmcarthur@wscal.edu).

This was not an easy decision for us. We all cherish the community here on campus and in Westminster Village and place a premium on face-to-face education where we learn from one another both in and outside the classroom. We also know that introducing such a major change in the middle of the semester is not ideal for students or the professors. Nevertheless, WSC is taking this voluntary step of moving to online instruction in our desire to protect and care for the health of our students and families while honoring our commitment to teach and prepare our students for the church. 

Perhaps many of you are wondering about what you can do. ​Be safe​. ​As mentioned in our previous emails and many service announcements, heed the common sense advice and guidelines of authorities that minimize the spread of viruses, not only for yourself but out of love for your neighbors. ​Be patient​. We are entering uncharted territories and we realize that this transition will affect each student and family differently. Moreover, though many are working tirelessly and prayerfully to ensure the safety of the Westminster family and prepare for ongoing education needs, we are dealing with challenges and changes that are new and constantly evolving. We are in this together and we appreciate your patience and understanding (and suggestions) as  we seek to serve the community. Finally, ​pray with us​. ​Many are filled with fear and anxiety – for their health, for their loved ones both old and young, and for their neighbors who must cope with constant closures and cancellations. Despite all the changes, we believe in the One who does not change, our Father in Heaven. Pray that the Lord would heal and protect those who are sick, provide wisdom and clarity to those who lead, and grant much needed strength and faith to face these challenges with endurance and trust. 

As the Psalmist declared: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…Be still and know that I am God...The Lord of hosts is with us” (Ps 46:1,10,11). May God who is with us protect and keep us as we fix our eyes on him even in the midst of trouble. 

In His service, 
Joel E. Kim