Community college leaders support vaccinations so campuses can begin to reopen

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The leaders of the 10 community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties issued a statement today urging their employees and students to get a vaccination protecting them against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible.

The colleges, which serve more than 200,000 students in the two-county area, have been offering mostly online learning for the 2020-21 academic year because of the pandemic. Only a limited number of classes and labs that train essential workers have been offered at the college campuses.

“Widespread vaccinations will allow our colleges to start reopening our campuses this fall and to continue to offer the top-quality education that our students want and deserve,” says the statement, which was endorsed by leaders for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca, Imperial, MiraCosta, Palomar, San Diego and Southwestern college districts.

San Diego County opened vaccinations to educators, which includes employees at community college districts, beginning February 27. Educators in Imperial County were eligible for vaccinations on February 22.

The statement notes that the Centers for Disease Control has found that the vaccines are safe and the most effective way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The three vaccines now available met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality, and are undergoing an intensive safety monitoring.

“We are eager to begin safely returning to our campuses this fall so that we can welcome back our students and offer them a full range of in-person services,” said Lynn Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and president of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA).

This is the statement issued by SDICCCA leaders:

The leaders of the 10 community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties urge their employees and students to get a COVID-19 vaccination when they are eligible. The Centers for Disease Control says the vaccines are safe and the most effective way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.

During the pandemic, our colleges have been holding most courses online to keep our students and employees safe and healthy. This has reduced access for some students with limited broadband availability. Widespread vaccinations will allow our colleges to start reopening our campuses this fall and to continue to offer the top-quality education that our students want and deserve.

Lynn Ceresino Neault, Ed.D.

Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Chair, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association

Julianna Barnes, Ed.D.

President, Cuyamaca College

Marsha Gable, Ed.D.

Interim President, Grossmont College

Martha Garcia, Ed.D.

Superintendent/President, Imperial Community College District

Sunita Cooke, Ph.D.

Superintendent/President, MiraCosta Community College District

Jack Kahn, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent/President, Palomar Community College District

Constance Carroll, Ph.D.

Chancellor, San Diego Community College District

Ricky Shabazz, Ed.D.

President, San Diego City College

Pam Luster, Ed.D.

President, San Diego Mesa College

P. Wesley Lundburg, Ph.D.

President, San Diego Miramar College

Carlos Turner Cortez, Ph.D.

President, San Diego College of Continuing Education

Mark Sanchez, Ed.D.

Superintendent/President, Southwestern Community College District

 

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