In the past six weeks the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the MCAD community. I know it has profoundly affected each one of you. In light of this, MCAD has had to make difficult decisions, guided by advice from leading medical organizations and governmental agencies.
What has not changed is MCAD’s responsibility to its students, faculty and staff–a responsibility that we are passionate about. We know that you share this passion as we read your emails and social media posts. Your perspective is incredibly valuable as we continue seeking creative solutions.
Our fundamental belief is that we must place health and wellbeing above all else. We have that responsibility to our students, as well as to our faculty, staff, and the broader global community.
With our goal to communicate clearly and often, we want to share some important updates:
Announcing the Emergency Student Assistance Fund
With gratitude to our donors, we are happy to announce the COVID-19 Emergency Student Assistance Fund. This fund will help students with emergency needs such as temporary housing, space to self-quarantine, food supplies, transportation, mental health support, and other essentials.
Information on accessing this emerging fund will be made available to students shortly.
Student Housing Clarification
We are balancing the imperative for social distancing with the need to support students who may not have an alternate place to live. For that reason, we made the decision to limit occupancy in our campus apartments, while allowing students with extenuating circumstances (such as students who face travel restrictions, unsafe alternative living situations, health issues, or other challenges) to petition to stay. We have already received many petitions and are open to more.
No student will be left without a place to live. We know that for some, moving is not an option. In order to support these students, we need all who are able to move home (or to another safe place) to do so. Students who are not able to move should select "I cannot move out due to special circumstances" on the move-out form, and provide a brief explanation of their situation. These petitions will remain confidential and be reviewed with great care. Students who remain in MCAD housing may be asked to move to a different unit.
We know it is not easy for any student to move mid-semester, but we are relying on those who are able to move to do so. MCAD student housing is a very condensed form of apartment living, and without significantly reducing the population, our residences can be particularly vulnerable to an outbreak.
Tuition and Financial Update
MCAD is committed to the strongest possible framework for students’ education through the spring semester and beyond. With over two decades of successfully delivering courses online, MCAD will finish the semester with remote instruction. Refunds on tuition are not possible as tuition supports faculty, the delivery of instruction, and the technology faculty and staff use to support students in earning credits.
With that decision, we commit to the following:
- Students will receive full credit for the classes they complete this semester.
- Passing seniors will graduate with their degrees at the end of this semester as planned.
- Faculty will continue to be paid for instructing classes, remaining available for office hours, and providing students valuable critique and support.
- Staff will be paid for continued services that keep the college functioning. This includes IT and online learning to ensure the transition to virtual classes goes smoothly; the business office to pay work study students as well as faculty and staff; admissions and fundraising to ensure MCAD’s future; our invaluable facilities team to care for our campus; and many more committed personnel.
- MCAD will refund prorated remaining balances on all prepaid student accounts including:
- Student Activity Fees
- Classroom Materials (including Papercut)
- Art Cellar
- Meal Plans
Now more than ever, we are grateful for our team of committed educators and staff who will deliver and support high-quality, online classes in these new and challenging circumstances.
Please continue to reach out with your questions and concerns as we navigate this ever-changing situation.
All my best to you,