State Center Community College District Vaccine Mandate Deadline Extended, Additional Changes


The SCCCD Board of Trustees approved extending the date for students to comply with the vaccine mandate. Students now have until Nov. 15, 2021 to be fully vaccinated. Image courtesy: SCCCD website.

The State Center Community College District Board of Trustees extended the vaccination mandate deadline for students from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, 2021. 

The resolution was passed during the district’s vaccine mandate update meeting via Zoom on Sept. 24.

Of the seven trustees, Richard Caglia chose not to vote and Bobby Kahn voted no. 

Interim SCCCD Chancellor Douglas Houston said the district is only changing the effective date for students.  

According to Houston, the resolution allows students who choose not to comply with the mandate to get through 60% of the semester and avoid financial aid penalties for being dropped or disenrolled from classes.

Testing is only an alternative for those with approved medical or religious exemptions. According to the resolution, they must get tested twice a week.

The district is considering a number of accommodations for those exemptions, however, details were not given.

Other changes include: 

  • Student-athletes, coaches and officials for athletic competitions can compete and perform in SCCCD facilities if they practice California Community College Athletic Association COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
  • Spectators attending athletic, academic or art events must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before entry into district facilities.
  • A person wearing face-covering regardless of vaccination status may temporarily enter district facilities for up to 15 minutes to use the restroom, drop off or pick up items or to visit the Ram Pantry.
  • Employees are required to provide proof of full vaccination by Oct. 15, 2021 unless they requested and were granted a religious or medical exemption by Oct. 8, 2021. The students will have until Nov. 15, 2021. 

Proof of vaccination can be reported on the COVID Vaccine Submission page on the SCCCD portal. Vaccination information will be secure and held confidentially, according to the district.

According to the District Director of Environmental Health and Risk Management, Darren Cousineau, last week Fresno County averaged 430-440 new cases. This week’s numbers were down roughly by half with 214 cases.

COVID-19 cases in Fresno County are still over 100,000 positive cases and updated daily on the Fresno County Department of Public Health site

“If we were to be using the tiered system like we had a few months back, we’d still be well into the purple range,” he said. 

According to Fresno County’s vaccine dashboard, there is a slight increase in the people willing and wanting to get vaccinated against COVID-19. People 65 and older or high risk showing the highest rate.

Cousineau said within Fresno County about 53% of residents are partially vaccinated and about 49% are fully vaccinated.

FCC President Carole Goldsmith said she knew that this vaccination mandate would be a challenge.

However, she said that vice presidents and deans across SCCCD are working with faculty leadership to work with students who have medical or religious exemption.

“As you’ve heard, our online learning is getting better. So there is an opportunity for our students to be able to complete courses online. If needed, we could also arrange for independent study,” she said.