Given the significantly improved public health environment of our community and recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, MCLA has transitioned to a mask optional campus and asymptomatic testing will no longer be required for students who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
MCLA will continue to implement best practices to make the campus experience as safe and successful as possible for the entire community. To that end, we will continue to require all enrolled students to be vaccinated and to receive a booster shot in order to attend classes or participate in activities on campus. See the FAQ regarding vaccination requirements here.
As MCLA lifts its current indoor mask mandate beginning on Wednesday, March 30, masks will be optional around campus and individuals should decide to wear or not wear a mask based on their personal choice. There are notable exceptions:
As we have throughout the course of the pandemic, MCLA will continue to monitor campus, local, regional, and national data surrounding COVID-19 and be prepared to respond to changes as necessary. If our safety protocols need modification, or the conditions change, we will be responsive and continue to keep the campus informed.
An archive of campus messages regarding COVID-19 can be found below. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and links to helpful information from the Commonwealth.
MCLA has set up a hotline phone number for questions related to COVID-19 at 413-662-5550. The hotline is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can also leave a message outside of these hours.
|Testing Period||Total Test||Total Cases||% Positive Test|
|Last 7 Days||—||—||—|
Data as of 5/24/2022
MCLA is not running an on-campus testing program for the Summer 2022 semester.
The above dashboard reflects all tests conducted through MCLA's on-campus testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute, beginning in January 2022 and ending May 2022 for the Spring 2022 semester.
The community category tracks cases reported as of January 16, 2022 in the MCLA community through outside testing sources.
|Total positive cases reported from
health agencies or other sources
|Current Positive Cases
A COVID-19 vaccination requirement is now in place for all students, all three collective bargaining units (AFSCME, APA, MSCA Contract), and our non-unit employees.
|MCLA (7-Day Positive Test Average)||—|
|Massachusetts (7-Day Positive Test)*||5.37%|
|Pittsfield (Percent Positivity - Last 14 Days) *||5.43%|
|North Adams (Percent Positivity - Last 14 Days) *||4.71%|
Religious and medical exemptions will be reviewed and granted following the same exemption procedures MCLA utilizes for other vaccination exemptions as is consistent with Massachusetts state law.
Students seeking a medical or religious exception will need to complete and submit the Health Services Vaccine Declination Form, which can be obtained by contacting HealthServices@mcla.edu.
Medical exceptions will be approved by Health Services and require a letter from a medical provider documenting the condition that prevents the administration of the vaccine. Religious exceptions will be approved by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office.
For questions, please contact the COVID Hotline at 413-662-5550
MCLA will work with unvaccinated students to meet their needs and enable them to continue their education in pursuit of their degree. MCLA requires all students attending in-person classes, living in campus housing, participating in on-campus activities, or accessing on-campus facilities to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus regardless of age or credit load, unless they have obtained an approved religious or medical exemption.
Due to the length of time it takes to become fully vaccinated, students are encouraged to schedule vaccine appointments as soon as possible. It is recommended students get their first dose of a two-dose vaccine by July 1st to be prepared for returning to campus in the fall.
Resources for doing so include:
Students will be unenrolled for spring 2022 classes and will be unable to move into residence halls without presenting a copy of their official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card showing that they have received a booster shot, (or when eligible and no later than six months after a second shot) or have an existing medical or religious exemption to Health Services by January 14, 2022. Please email a copy of your vaccination card along with your name, date of birth, and MCLA A# to Health Services at email@example.com.
Employees must submit a photo image copy of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card showing that they have received a booster shot to Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org, or a hard copy in person to Human Resources by April 15, 2022. Human Resources is currently located in the Garden Level of Eldridge Hall.
Adjuncts working solely in the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education were required to be vaccinated by November 29, 2021. DGCE adjuncts will need to submit copies of vaccination cards by May 29, 2022, to receive contracts to teach beyond Spring 2022.
All visitors are welcome to campus and will be required to comply with all COVID health and safety protocols. Visitor policies will be updated based on public health guidelines.
Yes, all vendors and contracted employees working on campus will be required to be vaccinated.
MCLA requires COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster shot of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination.
According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:
2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
All students engaging in on-campus life or activities must be vaccinated.
Yes, in accordance with current CDC guidelines students need to be fully vaccinated.
We will evaluate the need for surveillance testing in the fall and adapt the testing protocols according to the data and recommendations by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Yes. All individuals who test positive for the virus are treated as active cases and will need to isolate immediately and regular contact tracing protocol will occur.
Mandatory weekly testing for all students (resident students and commuters) will begin the first week of classes. Testing will be robust and more frequent, and like last year, employees are eligible for a weekly, free COVID-19 test. Voluntary asymptomatic testing for employees will continue to be available in the Spring 2022 semester, as well as required asymptomatic weekly testing for employees with approved exemptions.
The protocols below were developed in consultation with our local DPH contacts and MCLA’s Health Services staff, in alignment with the latest state and federal guidance.
If an unvaccinated individual has close contact with any person who tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to do the following:
MCLA is holding isolation space in the residence areas for COVID-19 positive cases.
You can help by minimizing the spread of the disease through taking steps to protect yourself and others. Learn more about these steps via the Centers for Disease Control.
Yes. Students may fill out a form here to access emergency funds from the Charlotte Degen Student Aid Fund. This fund helps ease immediate needs for our students, including food insecurity, technology needs, and other unforeseen challenges.
MCLA's Help Desk is here for you. The IT staff and students who run the Help Desk are now using Teams, a live chat tool, as well as their usual ticketing system, to help students, faculty, and staff work remotely. Learn more about that here.
Check out MCLA IT Help Center's handy list of ISPs who have pledged to help.
As a reminder, MCLA’s Public Safety department remains open and staffed 24/7 to ensure the safety of the campus and our community as we move to remote instruction. Campus Police officers will continue to do regular rounds and respond to emergency situations. In an emergency, dial 413-662-5100 (911 from a campus phone); for non-emergency situations, call 413-662-5283 or 5284 (5283 or 5284 from a campus phone).
Counseling Services will reopen for in-person counseling sessions at the start of the fall 2021 semester. Counseling Services staff is eager to support students and will primarily be offering in-person services to vaccinated students, with teletherapy services continuing to be offered by special request. Unvaccinated students will be offered teletherapy only. To schedule an appointment, students are invited to call Counseling Services at (413) 662-5331 between the hours of 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday, or email Counseling Services at Marissa.Parker@mcla.edu. More information can be found here.
Health Services will be open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students who would like to be evaluated are encouraged to call 413-662-5421 during hours of operation to be triaged and provided an appointment either through the tele-medicine platform Doxy.me or in person as appropriate. This includes any complaint that a student would seek medical attention for, as well as COVID related complaints. Students experiencing a medical emergency, or when Health Services is closed, should contact MCLA Campus Police at 413-662-5100 or 911. For complete information on services, please visit Health Services on the MCLA website.
Freel Library's fall semester hours begin on Wednesday, September 1:
Sunday: noon - midnight
Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - midnight
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: noon - 4 p.m.
Visitors to the library are required to follow current campus COVID safety guidelines. For the latest information on library services and operations, please visit the library website.
The MCLA Bookstore is open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-in visits are welcome! However, ordering your Fall textbooks online is highly recommended. Email communications from the store manager (email@example.com) went out with directions for purchasing required course materials at MCLASHOP.com as well as important information about text rental and order pick-up.
To avoid long lines, online orders are to be picked-up at the mailroom.
Questions? The preferred method of contact is emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If your issue requires immediate attention feel free to call the store during normal business hours at 413-662-5240.
MCLA’s Writing Studio will be offering both face-to-face and asynchronous appointments this semester. For a face-to-face appointment, come to Murdock 120 with your written work and please wear your masks; if you’d prefer an asynchronous appointment, you can upload your essay through our scheduling software, WCOnline, and you’ll receive written feedback within 24 hours. Our hours are Sunday, from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm, and Monday through Thursday, from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged during midterms and finals. For more information and to make an appointment, go to the Writing Studio website at www.mcla.edu/writingstudio.
The Math Help Drop-In Center is now open virtually as the Math Help Drop-In Channel on Microsoft Teams! To get online help with any math question from any course, please sign into Portal and follow this link: From 4 – 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, there will be student Tutors live on the Channel, ready to help you with math. You can even post questions to the Channel after-hours, and the Tutoring team will try to get back to you as they are able.
All members of our community are encouraged to wear masks while on campus, especially inside College buildings. All students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to be masked in all indoor spaces, including classrooms, common spaces, and residence areas outside of their own rooms. This policy is necessary to begin the semester based on the latest data and information surrounding the Delta variant. As with all our COVID-19 protocols, this is subject to change, based on prevailing public health data and best practices. COVID-19 can be spread by vaccinated individuals, and a mask is the best tool available to help stop any potential spread of the virus.
Athletics is planning on competing in full schedules for this year. We are following NCAA and MASCAC guidelines related to COVID. At this time fans are welcome to attend both indoor and outdoor sporting events and must follow the campus masking policies that are in place. If you are interested in participating in a sport please reach out to the coach via email https://athletics.mcla.edu/information/directory/index.
The Trailblazer Fitness Center will be open once classes begin and will follow any campus masking policies in place. All updates can be found here: https://athletics.mcla.edu/information/facilities/TFC
All students, including those who have completed their on-campus residency requirement, will be required to have a meal plan in the coming year. These are the meal plans:
Dining plans are still being developed, but there will be two dining areas with limited seating to meet state guidelines. Students will be required to reserve a spot in either the Centennial Room or Venable Gym during meal times, and there will be several seating times per meal. Most items will be prepackaged and take out will also be available. The retail dining operations will likely provide a limited choice meal at lunch and dinner on the meal plan to help ensure adequate availability of meals.
The bookstore is open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, if you can’t make it to campus, you can still return your rentals and sell your books back online.
You can ship your rentals to the store, using the shipping carrier of your choice. Follow the steps below to process your rental return. Due date reminders will be sent to the email you used for setting up your account.
Note: Shipping is at your expense.
If the store is closed you can sell your books online at Valore Books on our website Sell Your books here. The process is easy
As always, questions can be directed to email@example.com or you can call the store at 413-662-5240 during normal business hours.
Yes! Please see this page for information about Student Financial Services and COVID-19.
The Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) remains committed to providing academic support to MCLA students. For students seeking tutorial support, please submit requests online through the MCLA portal as follows: Portal > Student Academics > Request a Tutorial
Yes! The Office of Admission is hosting virtual tours and information sessions Monday
through Friday. Visit the tour page for more information and the registration link.
You can also view the following information sessions:
Abbreviated Information Session (6 minutes) - Learn about the Admission & Financial Aid process.
Full Information Session (24 minutes) - Learn about the Admission & Financial Aid process, academics, and life on and off-campus.
MCLA is waiving the SAT/ACT testing requirement for applicants for fall 2022, and we will be piloting a test-blind (test-free) policy for fall 2022 applicants. National and institutional data point to high school work being indicative of student success in college and a more equitable means of assessment. Additionally, as an institution we have a staunch commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and the use of SAT/ACT scores in admission decisions is posing a significant barrier in carrying out that tenet of our mission
Changes to your grades due to COVID-19 will not affect your application negatively. MCLA evaluates first year applicants based on high school academic performance, strength of curriculum, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay in accordance with guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE). E-mail your admission counselor if you have additional questions.
At a residential liberal arts campus like MCLA, a highlight is the interaction we have with one another in spaces where we live and learn. We expect to be able to return to fuller capacity, back to offering double rooms occupancy. Information about the housing process for students is forthcoming.
Once you're vaccinated:
MCLA CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP Act (HEERF I, II, III) Reporting
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):