On This Page
- July 16, 2021: LA County Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate
- June 18, 2021: Biola Returns to a Fully Operational Campus
- June 15, 2021: Biola Receives Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
- May 14, 2021: Update on Yellow Tier and Face Masks
- March 24, 2021: Biola Returns — Update on Fall 2021
- March 19, 2021: LA County Transitions to Red Tier
- March 12, 2021: New Federal Coronavirus Financial Relief Funds
- February 10, 2021: Phase 3 Housing Application Deadline Today
- February 5, 2021: Phase 3 In-Person Outdoor Chapel Details for Undergraduate Students
- February 3, 2021: Phase 2 Move In Reminders and Updates
- January 29, 2021: Phase 3 Announcements
- Phase 3 Qualifications & Details
- January 29, 2021: Outbreak Communication
- January 3, 2021: New County 10-day Quarantine Mandate
- December 15, 2020: Phase 3 Repopulation Plan
- Presidential Spring 2021 Update: All enrolled students invited to campus
- December 1, 2020: Update on LA County Meeting
- November 20, 2020: Update on LA County
- November 17, 2020: Update on Wellness Days and Advocacy Efforts
- October 29: Message from the President about Spring Semester
- September 17, 2020: Spring 2021 Semester Update
- September 17, 2020: Update from Los Angeles County Public Health Department
- August 19, 2020: Fall Semester Update
- July 28, 2020: Message from President Corey on Fall 2020 Reopening
- July 31, 2020: Update to Students on Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant
- July 24, 2020: Update on the State’s College Reopening Guidelines
- July 24, 2020: PacWest Conference Delays Fall Athletic Season
- July 10, 2020: Homeland Security Changes for International Students
- May 29, 2020: A Safe Return to Campus
- May 29, 2020: Safe Return to Campus in Fall 2020
- May 5, 2020: CARES Act: COVID-19 Student Financial Assistance
- April 30, 2020: Message from President Corey
- April 30, 2020: Biola University is Reopening in the Fall
- April 24, 2020: Update on the Credit/No Credit Grading Policy
- April 9, 2020: Academic Decisions Announced by the Provost
- Grading Policy for Spring 2020
- Biola’s Campus to Remain Closed Through at Least May 8
- March 20, 2020: How “Safer at Home” Affects Biola University
- March 19, 2020: Urgent Notice of New Move Out Date
- March 19, 2020: Remote Learning Resources Available to Students
- March 17, 2020: Presidential Update on Coronavirus
- March 15, 2020: Biola University Cancels Spring Competition, Team Activity
- March 14, 2020: Update on Housing Refund
- March 13, 2020: Message from President Corey
- March 12, 2020: Coronavirus Update on Classes
- March 12, 2020: Follow Up Email from Housing & Residence Life
- March 12, 2020: Biola University Suspends Play of Spring Competitions
- March 12, 2020: Biola Bound Cancellation Notice
- March 11, 2020: Update on the Coronavirus from President Corey
- March 11, 2020: Important Changes to Chapel Due to the Coronavirus
- March 10, 2020: Grandparents Day 2020 Canceled
- March 6, 2020: COVID-19 Update to Students
- Helpful External Resources
Updates and information about Biola University's continued preparedness, action and response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Below is a running log of updates and information about Biola University's response to COVID-19. The updates will be time stamped with the most recent appearing at the top.
If you have any questions, please call (562) 903-6000.
July 16, 2021: LA County Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced an indoor mask mandate. Effective Saturday, July 17 at 11:59 p.m. everyone, whether vaccinated or not, must wear masks indoors. This means that Biola employees, students and visitors will be required to wear face coverings on campus while indoors at all times unless they are eating or drinking or alone in an enclosed office or dorm room.
The county is implementing the mask mandate because COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise. On Thursday, the county reported 1,537 new infections, the highest number since early March. Cases have doubled across the nation in the past three weeks. They are concerned that vaccination percentages are not where they need to be. Biola is not requiring employees or students to be immunized against the coronavirus but they are encouraging it.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update the community.
June 18, 2021: Biola Returns to a Fully Operational Campus
We are pleased to announce the following changes to our safety protocols based on the state of California removing most restrictions related to COVID-19 and the LA County Department of Public Health’s subsequent updated protocols.
All physical distancing restrictions have been lifted effective immediately. This means indoor and outdoor community spaces will reopen without any distancing restrictions.
Eateries and the Library will return to normal operations effective immediately. The Caf will reopen its self-serve stations over the next couple of weeks.
Capacity limits in all campus buildings have been removed. To allow our Facilities Management team to refresh all spaces, we anticipate these spaces will be fully ready for use by June 28. Over the next few weeks, the team will work to replace furniture in the remaining community areas, make drinking fountains operational, and return the campus to a fully operational status. This means students in summer school may begin to use lobbies, kitchen areas and all spaces in the residence halls once these spaces are reconfigured.
Offices will resume in-person operations on August 2. Offices that serve students, such as Admissions, Registrar and Financial Aid, will open for in-person indoor operations on August 2. Until then, these student services will continue to be available remotely.
All events and conferences under 5,000 guests will resume with in-person programming. We are excited to resume Biola’s traditional student events in the fall semester and explore new event opportunities. Biola will be ready to welcome back students with a full schedule of events during Welcome Week. Chapels will resume in person and indoors in the fall semester.
Effective immediately, masks are not required for anyone outdoors. Face masks are not required to be worn by anyone when outdoors.
As it relates to mask wearing for non-employees indoors, the County is expected to release its best practices guide next week. In the interim, students and visitors will still be required to wear face masks indoors.
According to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, which issues regulations and guidance for employees in the state, fully vaccinated faculty and staff are not required to wear masks — they are optional. Unvaccinated faculty and staff are required to wear face masks indoors (unless they are alone in a fully enclosed office). We will share updates on mask wearing when we receive best practices for higher education from the County.
In our commitment to the health and safety of our community, we will continue to ask students and employees to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and stay home if they are feeling sick. Biola will continue enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices throughout campus.
Returning and incoming students and families are invited to a Town Hall before the fall semester on July 13 at 5:30 p.m. via Biola’s YouTube to hear updates from President Corey and other Biola leaders and answer questions about the fall. Students and families are welcome to submit their questions using this form by Friday, July 9 at 5 p.m.
We are grateful to God for his faithfulness in this new season of transitions and our return to a fully operational campus in the fall. We look forward to uniting as a Biola community on the first day of classes and Convocation Chapel on Monday, August 30, 2021.
June 15, 2021: Biola Receives Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
In the middle of May, the federal government announced they were releasing a third round of stimulus funds to colleges and universities.
This third round of funding is from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) by the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional financial need (e.g. students who receive Pell Grants or Cal Grants) in awarding grants to students. The grants are intended to help Biola students respond to the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 crisis and assist with the costs of attending college.
We are grateful to share that Biola has received $5,297,833 in federal relief funds to be distributed to Biola students. Over $4.5 million will be distributed via a block grant to students with exceptional need who meet the criteria below. The remainder will be distributed to students who have exceptional need based on significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID.
Using the 2020-21 FAFSA students have on file, we have identified eligible students based on their financial aid profiles. We acknowledge that every student has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. However, Biola is required and committed to using the HEERF III funds to help those students with exceptional need while providing financial support to as many students as possible.
The “block grant” will be allocated to all full-time and part-time students who meet the following criteria as of May 25, 2021:
- Students must have been enrolled (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, post-traditional, online students) as of the end of the spring 2021 semester.
- Students filed a 2020-21 FAFSA and completed their file with Biola’s Office of Financial Aid.
- Students must have a 2020-21 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than or equal to $15,000 or were paid a Cal Grant in 2020-21
- Students must have unmet financial need (Cost of attendance less EFC less gift aid) greater than $5,000.
- Students must have net spring 2021 tuition charges greater than $2,500.
Students who qualify for the block grant and have additional significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID may complete this questionnaire in order to qualify for additional aid.
Students who DO NOT qualify for the block grant and have exceptional need based on significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID may complete this questionnaire to determine if they qualify for aid.
Eligible students who meet the criteria for block grants will receive communication by Tuesday, June 15, 2021 from the Office of Financial Aid including the amount of the grant, distribution timeline and an FAQ. Since these grants are automatic, eligible students need not apply to receive them. If students anticipate facing financial challenges with their Fall 2021 bill, we encourage them to opt in to applying their grant to their Biola account using this form. If students opt to apply all the grant to their university expenses, it will either pay down existing charges or be applied to Fall 2021 tuition as of July 1, 2021. If students choose not to apply the funds to their Biola account, the funds will be automatically deposited into the bank account they have designated as their refund account, if they have it set up, or a check will be mailed to their permanent mailing address on file.
Altogether, Biola will disburse block grants to about 1,800 eligible undergraduate, graduate and post-traditional students. Our goal is to have the grants disbursed via direct deposit by Tuesday, July 6, with checks going out by Wednesday, July 7 to those who do not have direct deposit set up. We hope this will help students pay for their university education at Biola as we want to do our best to help students with the resources and support they need to pursue their education, although students can spend the funds in any way that is most helpful to them.
Additional Relief Funds
If students do not meet the qualifications for the federal aid from HEERF III, there may be other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help them. Students are encouraged to fill out this questionnaire and the Office of Financial Aid will review the student’s information and assist them in identifying every option available to them to meet as much of their unmet need as possible.
We understand that students and families continue to contend with economic challenges brought about by COVID-19 and are slowly recovering from the impact of the pandemic. We hope this aid will provide you and your family with some relief as you plan to return to Biola in the fall. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at email@example.com.
May 14, 2021: Update on Yellow Tier and Face Masks
Los Angeles County is now in the “yellow-tier” in the state’s reopening plan. As a result, the guidelines for Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) were updated on May 11, 2021 by the LA County Department of Public Health. One significant change that impacts our community is that those currently living on campus or accessing campus who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face mask when outdoors and not gathering with others.
The CDC defines fully vaccinated as 2 weeks after a person receives their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
However, face masks are still required while indoors for all individuals (except in students' individual residence hall rooms and faculty and staff in fully enclosed offices). Both vaccinated and unvaccinated faculty and staff that work in cubicles must wear a mask at all times, even if physically distanced from others, unless eating or drinking. Also, unvaccinated individuals will still be required to wear face coverings when outdoors (and not eating or drinking).
The CDC’s announcement on May 14 did state that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a face mask during outdoor or indoor activities, large or small. However, Biola is bound by the county protocols of IHE. The county shared with BURT leaders in May that they are not changing their mask guidelines to align with the CDC, as of now. Therefore, for now, fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear face masks outdoors, but will need to wear indoors until further notice. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask outdoors and indoors.
We anticipate this guidance will change within the next month as the state of California plans to fully reopen and lift most of the state’s coronavirus restrictions on June 15 if the state’s coronavirus case numbers continue to improve.
It is the expectation that the Biola community will follow the current protocols for IHE outlined by the LA Department of Public Health. The BURT compliance team will continue to monitor this and all other COVID-related requirements and will update the community when new information is available.
March 24, 2021: Biola Returns — Update on Fall 2021
After 12 long months of the majority of Biola students doing Biola at Home, we are excited to announce that Biola Returns for Fall 2021. Our students will be returning to living and learning on campus for the new academic year. We are hopeful for a strong return of students in the fall with a much more normal semester beginning August 30 with all in-person classes except those pre-designed for online delivery.
We intend to resume all campus operations, including on-campus eateries, co-curricular activities with appropriate health and safety protocols in place. With the increase of vaccination distribution across the state and cases dropping significantly, we are hopeful we will see robust in-person activities — the normal slate of collegiate athletics with fans, plays, lectures, concerts, art exhibits and the like.
Plans noted below for the fall have been drafted with the expectation that the county will move into the orange tier in the next couple of months, allowing for expanded on-campus activities. If the guidelines become even less restrictive, we will adjust our practices accordingly and send an update.
We currently expect our residential living will resume at our typical capacity with two students per bedroom. Please submit your fall housing application by the deadline in order to secure your spot. More details on Fall 2021 housing selection can be found on the Housing & Residence Life website.
This fall, all classes will be delivered in-person with accommodations available for students who cannot travel to the United States or have other health conditions which prevent them from being on campus. Fully remote options will be available for the fall through the Learning Center for any student who is unable to attend in person.
Since there are current restrictions on international travel to the United States, we are uncertain as to what visa challenges our international students may or may not face. We are monitoring the situation and will update international students in the coming months.
More than likely, chapels will be held indoors at a reduced capacity to accommodate for physical distancing. Students will have the opportunity to attend chapels in-person or watch asynchronously online.
All on-campus eateries will reopen at a reduced capacity with tables and chairs spaced out to accommodate for physical distancing guidelines. Outdoor dining will be strongly encouraged. All tables and chairs will be sanitized daily. All the stations at the Caf will be open with servers plating all the food options with the exception of the salad bar. The salad bar will not be self-serve. It will have grab n’ go side salad options.
On Campus Services
All on-campus services and offices will be open for students to access with appropriate physical distancing, and in some cases, at a reduced capacity.
The Library will be open at a reduced capacity of normal occupancy for students, faculty and staff. The occupancy will be announced during the summer since we expect LA County to move into the orange tier over the summer, allowing a higher occupancy than what is currently allowed.
The Biola Store will be open at a reduced capacity for the Biola community. The capacity and hours will be announced over the summer months in order to comply with the most recent county guidance. Students can continue to shop online at www.biolastore.com and request to pick up your order in the store during business hours.
Health and Safety Practices
Our plans to return to campus this fall will be in compliance with public health guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control, the State of California and Los Angeles County. We will continue to put the health and wellbeing of every member of the Biola community as a top priority.
At this point, we are planning for all faculty, staff and students to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering at all times except while eating or drinking. Classroom furniture and occupancy will be adjusted to allow for physical distance between students and professors. Again, if county guidelines change and become less restrictive, we will adjust accordingly. Plexiglass shields are installed at tech podiums and lecterns around campus. All classroom touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected each weekday morning.
Classroom desks and other surfaces will be treated every 60 days with a microbiostatic coating to prevent microbes including viruses from being able to live on surfaces. Hand-sanitizer dispensers will be available in every classroom and throughout campus. Furniture in the indoor and outdoor common areas, such as patios and courtyards, will be adjusted to allow for required physical distance between individuals.
Students, faculty and staff are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus, but they are encouraged to get it. Students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working. There may also be other requirements for those not vaccinated such as mandatory quarantine in the event of an outbreak.
We hope that visitors are allowed to visit students in their residence halls and for social gatherings. However, we will know specifics about visitors, indoor events and social gatherings in the summer months.
We invite incoming and returning students and families to Biola Returns: Fall 2021 Town Hall next week on Tuesday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. PDT. If you have specific questions, please fill out this form by Sunday, March 28 at 5 p.m. We will respond to your questions and provide as much information as we are able.
The Biola University Reopening Team will continue to work diligently to prepare Biola’s return. We are grateful to return in the fall — “All As One” Biola community.
March 19, 2021: LA County Transitions to Red Tier
Dear Biola students and families,
This week marks one year of remote learning and working caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have been changed, losses have been unimaginable and the challenges have felt insurmountable, at times. We initially thought and hoped our campus closure would be temporary yet it became more permanent. We have journeyed a long road together All As One, Biola.
We are grateful to announce that we are turning a corner, gazing upon a bright horizon. Los Angeles County has moved into the red tier as a result of cases dropping significantly to under 10 new cases per day per 100,000 people and maintaining those numbers for two consecutive weeks. As a result, we are excited to share that after a challenging year, some restrictions are loosening as we move into the less restrictive red tier.
Below are the expanded permitted activities for the spring semester available to students in Phase 1, 2 and 3. In addition, students who are living locally and are not part of the three phases may access the following campus resources for academic purposes. The Health Module must be completed prior to accessing campus. Additionally, students who are not part of the three phases and wish to access campus will need to register via the Campus Access Registration form.
- The Library will reopen on Monday, March 22 at 50% capacity of normal occupancy with reduced hours for students, faculty and staff who have access to campus. This means there is a limit of approximately 488 persons in the Library at any one time. All entering the Library will be required to fill out an online health screening form in order to be cleared to access the library. Seating has been reduced and relocated so furniture should not be moved and study rooms will be limited to one person at a time. Students cannot use the rooms for study groups. The normal food policy is suspended until masks are no longer required. Use of outdoor spaces such as the Library Terrace, Heritage Cafe Patio, and the Giumarra Courtyard is strongly encouraged as each has wifi access.
- The Writing Center will have limited opportunities for in-person appointments which can be scheduled via their website.
- The Biola Store has reopened for the Biola community at 25% capacity with reduced hours. It is now open from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for educational purchases. You can also shop online at www.biolastore.com and request to pick your order up in the store during business hours.
- Experiential learning, vocational skill building (e.g. labs, studios, etc.) will be offered to students in Phase 1, 2 and 3 with no room limit but students will need to allow for physical distancing in the space students are using.
- Campus tours are allowed for small groups with physical distancing and will need to be pre-scheduled. As of April 5, in-person tours are only available for admitted students from the state of California and drive thru tours for visitors outside of California. If you are interested in scheduling a tour of campus please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit biola.edu/visit.
In addition, indoor dining is available to students in the three phases. Starting this week, indoor dining is available in the Caf for 100 people. It will be first come, first served. Outdoor dining is still strongly encouraged and ample seating is available. The Caf has reopened all the food stations including a grab n’ go salad station. All other eateries remain closed except for the Heritage Cafe.
We are not allowed to expand residential housing during the spring semester beyond those students currently living on campus. In addition, we will not be expanding the list of available in-person classes, and most student activities and gatherings will continue to be virtual.
Spring 2021 Commencement
We are excited to be able to celebrate our graduates with an in-person Commencement Ceremony with family/pod assigned seating over the course of three days — May 7, 8 and 10. The list of schools with their respective ceremony days are listed on the commencement website; however, the specific ceremony times are yet to be determined.
Summer Courses and Housing
The majority of our summer courses in session A and B will be offered online or remote, with a few exceptions. In-person options may expand as we near the start of summer session A if circumstances continue to change.
We are permitted to offer summer housing to more students who wish to live on campus. More details will be shared from Housing & Residence Life next week regarding who is eligible, the process for applying, summer dates and more.
Summer Conferences and Camps
We will be hosting outside organizations for their summer conferences and camps on campus during the months of June and July. The groups will be required to follow all of Biola’s health and safety protocols while they are staying on and visiting campus.
Biola students, faculty and staff on campus will continue to be required to practice health and safety precautions across campus including those who have been fully vaccinated. All must wear a mask at all times while on campus except for while eating and all must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more.
These changes reflect progress as we move toward fully reopening Biola’s campus. We will remain hopeful and continue to practice appropriate health and safety measures as we care for each other by limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Office of University Communications
February 10, 2021: Phase 3 Housing Application Deadline Today
Dear Biola students,
As a reminder, students who qualify to live on campus during Phase 3 must first submit a housing deposit before getting access to the housing application. Please review the steps to complete the application process. The deadline to submit the housing deposit and application is today, February 10 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Update on LA County
Last week, the LA County investigators visited campus to evaluate Biola’s health and safety protocols in response to a campus “outbreak.” We are grateful to report that the visit went well. They were impressed with all the Biola teams have done to implement mitigation measures across campus. Biola did not receive any citations or violation notices.
Students who are not living in Biola housing (i.e. commuters) during Phase 3 are not allowed to attend the in-person, outdoor chapels at this time. We will monitor county restrictions and provide an update if this changes.
Health Module Reminder
This is a reminder that if you have not done so already, please complete the COVID-19 Health Module on Canvas by Friday, February 26. All students are required to complete the Health Module, regardless of their intent to access campus. Students who do not sign the agreement embedded within the module will not be allowed to access campus. Even if you completed the health module in Fall 2020, you are required to complete the Spring 2021 module.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Office of University Communications
February 5, 2021: Phase 3 In-Person Outdoor Chapel Details for Undergraduate Students
We in Spiritual Development are excited to welcome students back on campus as part of Phase 3. As announced on January 29, students who qualify to live on campus can return to campus as part of Phase 3 if they attend an in-person outdoor chapel service once a week as part of their housing requirement. We’re happy to have this opportunity to be back together again for chapels!
In-Person Chapel Details
- In-person chapels (required for Phase 3 students) will consist of two opportunities offered on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Phase 3 students must attend one of these Wednesday services each week, either morning or evening. If you are unable to attend one of the chapel opportunities each week, you will be ineligible for on-campus housing. This requirement is connected to county health regulations, so exceptions cannot be made.
- Tentatively, these will be held outdoors in Lot C in the parking lot next to McNally Field. View the campus map to see this location.
- These will be physically distanced gatherings and all students will be required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
- No food or drinks are allowed because students must keep masks on for the whole service.
- Be sure to bring your Biola ID to each chapel.
- All chapels will be about 50 minutes long (the usual length for on-campus chapels). Morning chapels will include musical worship and preaching from God’s word, similar to the regular Monday and Wednesday morning chapels we had in the past. The evening chapel programs will rotate between Fives (guided prayer), Singspiration (all-musical worship) and AfterDark (student-led) chapels.
- The first in-person outdoor chapel will be held on Wednesday, March 10 and the last will be Wednesday, April 28.
- If rain is forecasted or apparent, students will be emailed a notice if chapels are canceled. We will also post this information on the Spiritual Development Instagram and the Biola App.
Important Details about Chapel Engagement Credit
- As a reminder, all students are required to engage in 14 chapel credits this semester. The official requirement is 20, but like the fall semester, we’ve given you 6 credits to begin with.
- In-person, weekly chapels will count toward your 14 credits, but will not completely satisfy your chapel requirement. You will still need to engage in chapels remotely through the Biola at Home Chapels site on Canvas to add to your weekly in-person attendance in order to obtain 14 chapel credits.
- A running total of your chapel credits will be reflected in My Account. Please be sure to check your chapel credits on My Account regularly. If you have any concerns about your chapel record, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
- Students attending in-person chapel must arrive at chapel on time and be able to stay for the entirety in order to receive chapel credit.
- ID scanning will begin 10 minutes before chapel begins and will end 5 minutes after chapel begins.
- Even if you have met your chapel engagement requirement of 14 at some point during the semester, you will still be required to attend and scan-in for weekly in-person chapels for the rest of the term as part of your on-campus housing agreement.
- Even though graduating seniors are typically not required to attend chapel during their graduating semester, all graduating seniors returning to campus in Phase 3 are still required to attend the in-person chapels as part of their housing agreement.
- You may have friends who moved onto campus in late January and mid-February as part of Phase 1 and 2 of Biola’s repopulation plan. These students are not required to attend in-person chapels because, according to LA County, their in-person classes allow them to live on campus. Therefore, students living on campus as part of Phase 1 and 2 are not required to attend in-person chapels as part of their housing requirement, but instead can fulfill their entire chapel engagement requirement remotely as they did last semester. However, if they choose to attend an in-person chapel, it will count toward their requirement.
- At this time, only students who are either 1) living on campus or 2) commuting to campus to attend an in-person Phase 2 eligible course are able to attend in-person outdoor chapel, according to LA County Health guidelines. We hope this may change in the future.
Please continue to check the Phase 3 FAQ site which is updated regularly. And please reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions or difficulties. We hope chapels continue to be a place of worship, guidance and comfort for you in these times.
Todd Pickett, Dean of Spiritual Development
Mike Ahn, Assistant Dean of Chapels and Worship
February 3, 2021: Phase 2 Move In Reminders and Updates
We are so excited and ready to welcome you to campus in just a couple days! Below are a couple key reminders and updates regarding your move in, testing, and quarantine when you arrive.
Reminders for Arriving on Campus
- Please arrive at your check in appointment within the Student Services building alone; anyone helping you move in should wait in the car.
- Bring your SID, either a physical card or digital Eagle ID.
Los Angeles County Travel 10-Day Quarantine
We wanted to remind students traveling from outside the Southern California Region of the LA County Travel 10-Day Quarantine. In a previous communication shared on January 3, the Health Center communicated that “Those returning to live on campus who have been outside the So Cal region and are not exempt must stay in their rooms and not leave campus for 10 days, leaving only for meal pick up at the cafe or urgent/emergent medical care.”
We had hoped that the Southern California Travel Quarantine would be lifted by this time. Unfortunately, it has not. Therefore, if you are traveling to campus from outside the Southern California Region, (defined as the counties of: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura), you will need to quarantine for 10 days from the date you enter the Southern California Region. Your faculty has been informed of this possibility and will be gracious with you should this affect your ability to attend in person classes starting the week of Feb. 15. You will be able to leave your room for meal pick up at the cafe once your baseline isolation is complete.
We understand that this may not have been clear to you before. If you have questions regarding the 10-day travel quarantine, please contact 562-906-6000. You can also review the LA County Travel Quarantine FAQ.
- Your COVID-19 testing window is 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 5. You should receive results within 48 hours of your test. Prior to your test window, please do your best to limit contact with others present on campus. You must quarantine in your room after taking the test and until the results return (approximately 48 hours). Meals and student support will be available during this time.
- Should you be cleared from your baseline test, you will need to complete your 10 day travel quarantine from the day you arrived in the Southern California Region.
- Complete your meal request as soon as possible if you would like any meals delivered during your baseline quarantine, if you haven’t done so already. Meals will only be delivered during your baseline testing window; after this point you may get your own meals from the Cafe.
As a reminder, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, or are feeling any symptoms, please do not come to campus, but instead contact the Health Center at 562-903-4841. We will happily coordinate a later move in time.
My staff and I are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus this weekend. Should you need anything before or after you arrive, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Director of Housing & Residence Life
January 29, 2021: Phase 3 Announcements
Dear Biola students,
Happy first week of classes! I hope your transition back to remote learning has gone well. Students are dearly missed on campus, but we believe that this semester we are seeing hopeful signs and making progress toward what you have longed for in the Biola experience.
I am writing to give you an update on the current plan for our Phase 3 repopulation. We expect we will be able to implement this plan, but you should know that we have recently experienced what the county defines as a COVID-19 outbreak. In light of this, there will be a campus visit with the county outbreak investigator next Thursday, February 4. We will notify the community of any changes to our plan the week of Feb. 8.
As you recall, we shared with you in December that we have been working diligently to explore every reasonable option to allow as many students who want to have an on-campus experience to return by March 1. We remain committed to this phased-in plan and we want you to be well-informed about what you can expect, as well as what we cannot guarantee due to current government restrictions and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, at this point government restrictions still prevent us from having indoor lecture classes. We don’t know when these restrictions will be lifted. This means we need to offer students the option of remote or — when permissible — in-person classes, technology will not enable us to simultaneously deliver online and outdoor classes. Unless yours is a class that is part of Phase 2 that we previously announced as being in person (such as a lab or a studio class in the essential workforce categories), all courses will remain remote until state or county orders change. Will this happen by March 1? We still do not know and may not know for weeks.
However, government orders allow us to offer in-person worship activity given the religious identity of Biola and recent judicial decisions supporting constitutional protections. In our biblically centered university, educating students in mind and character to impact the world for Christ is our mission and is at the core of what we do. It is essential to the Biola student experience. As many of us have experienced, being separated from church and spiritual community has made COVID-19 a very difficult time.
Beginning in mid-February, we will offer in-person chapel services. Initially, these chapel services will be available to all students who reside in on-campus housing, and further information on this can be found in the FAQs. We hope circumstances will change soon so that any student who wants to worship in person can come to campus to do so, and we will certainly keep you updated on our progress in making that happen.
For Phase 3 students, if you wish to return to campus to participate in our chapel services, and you have no other housing available to you as required by the county (e.g., you live outside of the state or more than 25 miles from campus), you may live in single-occupancy housing on campus. If you choose this option, please know that in-person chapel attendance is required as a condition for living on campus.
Students who live on campus should expect a very different experience than what they hoped for or are used to. We have policies in place requiring strict adherence to safety protocols such as usage of face coverings, testing, contact tracing, isolation, quarantining, distancing and sanitization. These policies apply to our residential students as well as those commuter students who will be coming to campus to access classes as part of Phase 2. We also are still under restrictions for eating venues, services such as the library and indoor fitness facilities, and all gatherings except for physically distanced outdoor worship.
As of today, the campus remains closed for outside visitors, and the majority of campus services are closed for in-person operations but continue to serve our student community remotely. Campus services open to students are the Caf and Heritage Cafe. The Bookstore and the Library are open for curbside pick up. Based on the downward trend in cases in LA County and the distribution of the vaccine underway, we are hopeful things will improve so we can open more campus services in March and April.
While we can’t wait to see you in person, the well-being of all, those in and outside of our community, has to be paramount. I so wish we could offer more than this, but I see us moving in the right direction this spring semester and preparing for a strong in-person start to the fall semester. Again, some of what we hoped we might be able to do come March is currently not advisable either from a health standpoint or under the state restrictions yet to be lifted. We continue to actively advocate to LA County and the State of California to be able to safely provide you more on-campus Biola experiences March 1, so please know we are working hard to help students who so desire to return to campus soon.
If you are interested in living on campus, please read more details on Biola’s coronavirus website about your return during Phase 3. If you have questions about Phase 3, I invite you to attend the virtual town hall on Tuesday, February 2 at 5:30 p.m. via this Zoom Webinar link.
We are grateful to welcome more students on campus and to offer, at a minimum, in-person chapel services for the spring semester. I look forward to seeing more of you on campus in the coming months.
Blessing in Christ,
Barry H. Corey
Phase 3 Qualifications & Details
Students who want to move onto campus must meet all the criteria below to be allowed back onto campus for Phase 3 repopulation.
- Student is committed to attending one in-person chapel each week and
- Student does not have any other feasible housing alternative (e.g. student lives further than 25 miles from campus)
Students who meet the above qualifications should review the Student Handbook and the important information below.
If you meet the Phase 3 criteria above and would like to apply for housing, please follow the steps to complete the application process by February 10 at 11:59 p.m. PST:
- Submit a $100 housing deposit via your Student Account
- To pay:
- Click the “Deposits” tab at the top of the screen
- Select “Spring 2021” from the term dropdown menu
- A “Select Deposit” box will then appear and you will click “Undergrad Housing Deposit” and follow the prompts from there
- Note: there will be a delay of one business day between your deposit submission and the housing application appearing on your self-service.
- To pay:
- Apply for housing on MyHousing Self Service.
- Under the Forms & Applications tab, the application is labeled “Spring 2021 Housing Application.”
- You will receive a confirmation email of your application.
- Read thoroughly and sign the COVID-19 Health Informed Housing Policies before moving onto campus.
- Found on MyHousing Self Service under the Forms & Applications tab.
- This must be signed prior to check in.
Students approved to move onto campus will receive their placements by February 22, 2021. Details regarding the check in process will be included with your placement. Please note, while we will ask for your housing preferences on the application, our options are limited due to the continued need to appropriately space students so preferences cannot be guaranteed. Students will not be sharing rooms due to county and state guidance.
Housing and meal plan rates will be prorated based on a March 1 move-in date. Should you choose to cancel your housing assignment, you have until February 28 to do so without paying cancellation fees.
Students living on campus are required, according to the county, to participate in one in-person chapel service each week. In-person chapels will take place on Wednesday mornings and evenings. All other chapel requirements can be completed remotely on Canvas.
The county requires any students living on campus to be engaged in a permitted campus activity. Chapel is one of those permitted activities. Students living on campus are required to participate in one in-person chapel service each week. In-person outdoor chapels will take place on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Details about the in-person chapel days and times will be sent out the week of February 1. All other chapel requirements can be completed remotely on Canvas.
Below is information about the chapel requirement for the spring semester for residential students in Phase 3.
- Chapel services will be held outdoors, to adhere to county guidelines until further notice.
- Students will need to have availability on Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. or Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m., when two chapel services will be held.
- Students attending chapel in person will be required to adhere to 6 feet physical distancing and mask wearing at all times.
- Graduating seniors confirmed to graduate in May 2021 do not have regular chapel requirements during the Spring 2021 semester. However, if they wish to live on campus, they will be required to attend in-person chapel once a week.
- Students in Phase 3 who live on campus and fail to meet the weekly chapel attendance requirement will be reported to the Biola Reopening Compliance Task Force who will determine appropriate consequences including possibly requiring the student to move off campus.
As a reminder, all full-time, undergraduate students enrolled in the spring semester, including those who are fully remote, still must engage in 14 chapels this term (six have already been gifted to help students to reach the usual total of 20). Please see the Canvas Chapel page for these requirements and how to successfully attend chapels remotely.
Students in Phase 1 and 2 who are already living on campus have the option to attend in-person chapels, but are not required to. Phase 1 and 2 students can fulfill their required chapels remotely through the Canvas chapel site.
Students who are currently outside of the U.S. and require a Biola I-20 to enter the U.S. must receive clear guidance from their international/immigration advisor(s) at Biola before entry to the USA. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initial campus entry and routine surveillance testing will be required for all students and faculty involved in in-person classes or living on campus. Upon return to campus, residential students will be required to take a COVID-19 saliva based PCR test prior to check-in, and quarantine in their room until the results return (approximately 48 hours). Meals and student support will be available during this time. Students and faculty living on or accessing campus will be required to take a COVID-19 test twice a month. COVID-19 surveillance testing will be free of charge when students and faculty make their scheduled time as assigned by the Health Center. Students moving to campus in Phase 3 will receive their baseline testing window with the housing placement and check-in information.
Required COVID-19 Health Module
Regardless of your intent to access campus, every student enrolled in the spring semester is required to complete the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Health Module on Canvas. This module includes watching a brief health video, reading the COVID-19 Student Handbook Policy, and reading and signing an Agreement to Abide by Safety Standards, Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk and Release/Waiver of Liability. Students who do not sign the Agreement will not be allowed to access campus. Students who completed the Fall 2020 health module are required to also complete the Spring 2021 Health Module as there are some updates and changes.
Once you enroll in the course with the link above, the course will appear on your Canvas dashboard. Please complete the course by February 15, 2021.
Students accessing campus for Phase 3 who plan to have a car on campus are required to purchase a parking permit. Please visit My Account to purchase your parking permit prior to accessing campus in March.
January 29, 2021: Outbreak Communication
Dear Biola community,
This past week, we experienced a COVID-19 “outbreak” on campus. The county defines outbreak as, “a cluster of three or more cases that have an epidemiological link (i.e., same dorm floor, team, class, etc.).” Based on our investigation, we are reasonably certain the transmissions occured in off-campus settings. Our protocols related to COVID-19 management were immediately executed, including contact tracing. Those involved with this incident have been identified, isolated or quarantined and tested when indicated.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) becomes involved with further assessment when an outbreak occurs. As such, you may notice LACDPH signs across campus advising of the outbreak and location. The county will also be visiting the campus next week to review the situation with us and evaluate our mitigation efforts.
Biola University has prepared well by implementing important health and safety mitigation strategies (i.e., physical distancing, cloth face coverings, handwashing, staying home when ill) intended to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 on campus. Strict sanitization procedures are also in place for commonly utilized areas several times a day. It is essential that each of us remain committed to these efforts, including during off-campus activities. We need your help in our ongoing efforts to prioritize the health of our entire Biola community.
Director, Student Health Center
January 3, 2021: New County 10-day Quarantine Mandate
On December 30, the “Safer at Home” order was extended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in response to the widespread transmission of COVID-19 within our county, state, and nation. During the last week, Los Angeles County has experienced a daily average of 14,614 new COVID-19 cases each day. The surge is negatively affecting hospital capacity and is expected to continue through at least the end of January. For this reason, a new quarantine requirement is in place for anyone who has engaged in non-essential travel outside of the county of Los Angeles. Anyone who has travelled outside of Southern California (defined as the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura) must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival to the Los Angeles County area.
The county has made exemptions for student athletes, clinical nursing students and speech pathology students. They do not need to quarantine for 10 days. However, all persons exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements must still monitor themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after arrival.
Those returning to live on campus who have been outside the So Cal region and are not exempt must stay in their rooms and not leave campus for 10 days, leaving only for meal pick up at the cafe or urgent/emergent medical care.
As we head into the Spring semester, it is crucial that we care deeply for our Biola community as well as our larger community of La Mirada. While it’s possible you may not be affected severely by COVID-19, many in our local community can suffer serious effects from this illness. To prevent widespread infections, all students, faculty and staff must play a role and take these measures seriously.
We need your cooperation with the following guidelines:
- Students with COVID-19 symptoms should not report to campus while ill. Please contact the Student Health Center at 562-903-4841 beginning January 4, 2021 at 8 a.m. for symptom evaluation and clearance to move on to campus. For after hours help, please call the Campus Safety line at 562-777-4000 and they will put you in touch with a staff member from the Health Center.
- Avoid non-essential travel until the County’s Mandatory Directive on Travel has been lifted. If you have traveled outside of the Southern California region you are directed to follow the County’s required 10-day quarantine period and may not come to work or attend class unless you are exempt as outlined above.
- Please do not attend gatherings with others outside of your household.
- Students and faculty with on-campus engagements are required to come to their assigned COVID-19 surveillance testing window, including those following the 10-day quarantine.
Thank you in advance for coming together as a strong community focused on the health and care of our larger community. Each of us has the opportunity to contribute to the success of our campus health. If you have further questions please contact the Student Health Center at email@example.com.
Director of the Health Center
December 15, 2020: Phase 3 Repopulation Plan
We are excited to share that we are aggressively advocating for all students who so desire to be able to return to campus by March 1 in Phase 3 of our campus repopulation plan.
If you are receiving this email, you are in Phase 3 and were not eligible for return in Phase I and are not enrolled in eligible courses under Phase 2 that will commence in person on Feb. 15. We expect to implement this third phase based on our anticipation that by March 1, we will be relieved of the more restrictive county protocols that have prevented a more significant re-population. As that occurs, we will also continue with our strong support of remote learning for those who choose not to return to campus.
With some faculty needing to remain remote in their teaching because of personal circumstances, and with classroom density limits imposed by authorities, we cannot guarantee the number of course sessions our students will have in person after March 1. Some classes may be delivered remotely and others may be in person.
Campus Health and Safety Measures
In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to protect vulnerable populations, on campus students, faculty and staff will work together to protect the Biola community by abiding by the following health and safety protocols as well as any others that may need to be implemented at that time:
- Testing – Initial campus entry and routine surveillance testing will be required for all students and faculty involved in in-person classes or living on campus. Upon return to campus, residential students will be required to take a COVID-19 saliva based PCR test prior to check-in, and quarantine in their room until the results return (approximately 36 hours). Meals and student support will be available during this time. Commuters and faculty will need to report for testing two days before the week of Feb. 15. Students and faculty living on or accessing campus will be required to take a COVID test twice a month. COVID-19 surveillance testing will be free of charge when students and faculty make their scheduled time as assigned by the Health Center.
- Vaccine Requirements – As a regular practice at Biola University and at other colleges and universities, vaccines are required, particularly for those residing in campus housing. Students are required to provide proof of the following vaccines given at the appropriate intervals: two doses of Measles, Mumps & Rubella, a Meningitis ACWY (for residential students only), and a 20-21 flu vaccine (for all students accessing campus for any reason during the spring semester). Please upload a complete vaccine record by logging on with your NETID and password at biola.medicatconnect.com. Students may apply for a medical or religious exemption from these vaccines by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Application does not guarantee approval and exemptions will only be granted if the reason for the waiver meets the medical or religious criteria.
- Monitoring Symptoms – All students must monitor their own health symptoms daily before leaving their dorm room or home and coming to campus. If you are sick, STAY HOME! COVID-19 symptoms can be very mild in healthy college students. Please call the Student Health Center for a telehealth appointment or contact your personal physician to evaluate your symptoms before returning to campus or leaving your dorm room.
- Cloth Face Coverings – Students are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times while on campus except for while eating and when students are in their room. Violations for not wearing a mask may result in a $100 citation from Campus Safety and possible removal of campus/housing privileges.
- Physical Distancing – Students, faculty and staff are required to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between each other to reduce droplet transmission of COVID-19.
- Routine Hand Washing – Students will be expected to be diligent about washing their hands as doing so with warm water and soap helps to reduce the spread of infected droplets that may be on the hands. If soap and water aren’t available, a gel based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be used.
- Routine Cleaning of Surfaces – Furniture and other frequently utilized spaces in students’ rooms will need to be cleaned often.
- Quarantine and Isolation – Quarantine and isolation protocols will be followed closely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Students are expected to respond to daily electronic health symptom screeners. These screeners assist healthcare providers with monitoring student health. Student care, such as meal delivery and emotional/spiritual support, will be offered to students for the duration of their quarantine or isolation period.
All enrolled students who are permitted to be on campus can access the Health Center for their healthcare needs. Students may see a healthcare provider at the Student Health Center free of charge, regardless of insurance. Services such as COVID-19 testing, other lab work, immunizations and medications are available for a fee.
Housing and Dining Services Details
In order to have an idea of how many rooms will be available to students returning on March 1, we are waiting to get final numbers of those students returning to residential living on Feb. 15. Once we have those numbers, we will inform students in Phase 3 of their potential housing options. In the meantime, we would like to assess students’ interest in living on campus starting on March 1 so, in the event we can repopulate campus with more students on March 1, please fill out this form to express your interest.
Heritage Cafe will be open with regular hours throughout the Spring semester. The Cafe will also be open during the Spring Semester for grab and go meals during the following hours:
Breakfast — Monday-Friday, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and Sundays 7:30-8:30 a.m.
Lunch — Monday-Friday, 11:30-2:00 p.m., Saturdays 11-1 p.m. and Sundays 12-2 p.m.
Dinner — Monday-Thursday, 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, 5-6:30 p.m.
Meal plans and housing rates will be prorated based on a student’s move-in date. Visit the coronavirus website to review the housing and meal plan costs.
We encourage you to watch this story from students who experienced living on campus this fall. We hope this video will give you a sense of what living on campus in Spring 2021 may be like.
Currently, we are unsure which campus buildings and services will be open for students to access. There are some campus services that will remain closed if we remain in the purple tier of the state system. For example, the Fitness Center will be closed as indoor workouts and conditioning is prohibited. There are other services that may open (if county restrictions are lifted) but with reduced capacity such as the Library and Bookstore. Students will be updated in early February as to what facilities and services are available and at what capacity.
Students will be expected to purchase parking permits for the spring semester at a prorated amount for those in Phase 3 if they return to campus. Students will receive further information on how to get their parking permits prior to the start of the semester.
We understand some students were waiting to get more details about Phase 2 and 3 in order to finish their enrollment tasks. If you have not finished your enrollment tasks, please do so this week by visiting My Account.
Students in Phase 3 will receive follow up communication in late January or early February with information on a required health module and an acknowledgment of risk/waiver form students will need to sign. We also appreciate that some students, regardless of what courses we are able to offer in-person, desire to continue their education remotely for the spring semester. We will be asking those students to let us know their intent as part of that communication as well. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Office of University Communications
Presidential Spring 2021 Update: All enrolled students invited to campus
Dear Biola Students and Families,
We are one day away from the end of the fall semester. Congratulations students. You made it! As you conclude the fall semester remotely, I want to share some exciting and hopeful news about Biola’s spring semester.
On Tuesday of this week the Board of Trustees met to discuss a plan put forth by Biola’s administration, a plan developed in consultation with representatives from across the university and based on lessons learned from those outside of Biola’s community. In its meeting, the Board approved a motion to begin a safe return to campus in the spring 2021 semester.
Board chair Michael Maples said after the meeting, “The Board of Trustees of Biola University firmly believes that a residential on-campus experience is essential for most students' spiritual formation and education. Therefore, the board unanimously agreed that our campus has been closed for too long and adopted a resolution for the university to make every possible effort to safely reopen our campus to all students by March 1.”
Let me acknowledge that we all are well aware that cases of COVID-19 are high and rising in many parts of the nation, including California and Los Angeles County. This global pandemic has been among the more turbulent health calamities in our history. But it is not just virus-related illnesses that are defining the crisis. The emotional and mental distresses, loss of spiritual community, financial setbacks, the deferring of health check-ups — all of these and more have contributed to the deep suffering in our nation. On top of this, many students have for the last nine months forfeited their on-campus education to the detriment of their college dreams.
We understand the hardships and hindrances many students have experienced. We want to assure you and your families that our faculty and staff are doing our diligence in taking all reasonable steps to keep the campus safe and preparing to welcome students back to campus in phases. We will begin our semester as planned on January 25 with the majority of classes delivered remotely and then phase in return to campus as follows:
- Phase one - In early January, intercollegiate athletes (based on NCAA guidelines) and students already approved to live on campus in the spring will move onto campus.
- Phase two - In the days leading up to Feb. 15, students who are enrolled in specifically designated courses in programs such as CMA, journalism, health sciences, etc. (based on the categories of students being educated for jobs comprising the “essential workforce” as delineated by the State of California) AND whose courses, based on the learning outcomes of those courses, cannot be taught without access to specialized equipment or campus facilities (e.g., labs, studios, etc.) will be able to return to campus. Also, international students and students who have no other feasible residential option that allows them the appropriate educational benefits, will have the option to apply for a housing exception. If approved, they will be able to move onto campus in the days leading up to Feb. 15.
- Phase three - In the days leading up to March 1, all other students who wish to live on campus, as well as commuter students, will be welcomed back. We expect to implement this third phase based on our anticipation that by that time, we will be relieved of the more significant county restrictions. We will continue with our strong support of remote learning for those who choose not to return to campus.
This phased-in approach will allow us to bring students back to campus in stages, helping us prepare for a safe campus and legal repopulation as well as assisting faculty in the complexities of their course preparation.
This current fall semester has allowed us to learn from other colleges and universities across the country that have opened their campuses with ample preparation, implementation of safety measures and committed community compliance. Though the stories are widespread of the occasional college with COVID-19 case surges or a university that opened only to require students return home weeks later, these are the exception and not the norm. Many more college campuses have welcomed students and remained open, managing their environments safely without compromising their educational quality. We recognize that the restrictions on our campus by the LA County Department of Public Health have been greater than those in other counties, and even seemingly arbitrary based on what we now know. We therefore expect that by March 1, compliance with the current state guidelines will be appropriate, which will allow us to assist our students who have for too long been in a remote learning environment.
Though the campus will feel different in some ways, we will be doing all we can to make students’ Biola experience socially, academically, spiritually and emotionally fulfilling. In many ways it will feel familiar as students re-engage in life on campus and the vibrancy that comes with on-campus living and learning. At the same time we acknowledge that because of COVID the campus will feel different for those who are returning. Protecting our individual and collective well-being will require the commitment and cooperation of everyone who returns to campus in the spring. This compliance includes mask wearing, physical distancing throughout campus and meticulous disinfecting. In addition, students will be required to be tested upon arrival to campus and surveillance testing will take place throughout the semester.
Though the risk of serious illness and death is very, very low in younger people, we will be abundantly cautious in our protocols though we will not be unreasonably repressive. We have those in our community and beyond whose age or health conditions warrant prudent measures of safety. We will be working with our faculty and staff to minimize their exposure and protect them, their families and others they may encounter. We believe what we have observed this fall in other colleges and universities are workable blueprints for opening our campus with a strong adherence to safety measures throughout the community, mitigating risk of exposure and spread. Some of the factors that have been problematic at other colleges are less of a factor at Biola. For instance, we are a smaller community, we do not allow Greek life and we are known widely as a college without a reputation for reckless partying.
With some faculty needing to remain remote in their teaching because of personal circumstances, and with classroom density limits imposed by authorities, we cannot guarantee the number of course sessions our students will have in person. Some classes may be delivered remotely and others may be in person. Yet with our campus in Southern California, outdoor opportunities for students throughout the year present us far more options than other parts of the nation, especially in these early months of the year. This spring semester, we will safely provide our students not only a first-rate education, but socially supportive communities, encouraging counselors, healthcare access, faculty who mentor them, spiritual formation, times of worship (as allowed), and healthy meals.
Details about housing options, information on deadlines, prorated room and board fees and move-in processes will be communicated early next week. Also, we will waive the tuition late fee for those students who sign up for housing after the posted Dec. 15 deadline. For those moving onto campus in the spring, and to assist with their educational progress, students taking courses in either summer session A or B will be allowed to continue to live in our residences during those enrolled summer sessions at no charge for housing.
We know our students and families will have questions. Some answers can be found on Biola’s coronavirus website and other questions will be addressed at the Spring 2021 Town Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. In addition, students who are enrolled in the courses returning by Feb. 15 will receive a follow up email with further housing information and health requirements early next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call 562-903-6000.
A little over a week ago, CDC Director Robert Redfield — amidst the growing case counts — noted that university and college campuses have largely avoided campus outbreaks through a strategic use of surveillance testing as well as prevention measures like mask wearing. “I used to think that the most difficult group that we were going to have to help contain this was basically college students,” he said. “But what happened over the summer and the fall, is many of the colleges and universities really stepped up to developing comprehensive mitigation steps.”
Given our long-planned precautions as well as the hardship students have gone through over the last nine months, our intention is to begin repopulating the campus in the spring semester based on this phased-in approach. We know that situations could change and there are no guarantees, but we are firmly committed to work at every level for the wellbeing of our community and advancement of our mission, not just in our campus preparation but also in addressing every legal, political and public relations impediment we might face. The Board of Trustees and the leadership of the university are committed to extending every reasonable resource toward our safe and legal campus reopening. We look forward to seeing students returning to campus in the spring.
I want to express my gratitude to all Biola students, families, faculty and staff for their patience and resilience as we navigated the special challenges of this year. I have a special gratitude for those who worked tirelessly to support our remote instructional delivery.
We look forward to welcoming students safely back to campus. We encourage students and their families to prayerfully consider which option is best for them for the coming semester. We will support our students however they choose to continue their studies in the spring.
Blessings in Christ,
Barry H. Corey
December 1, 2020: Update on LA County Meeting
President Corey and the president of Pomona College as designated higher education leaders in Los Angeles County met with representatives from the LA County Department of Public Health (LADPH) last week to discuss campus repopulation options for the county’s colleges and universities. Unfortunately, the LADPH had still not settled on its revised guidelines for the spring. In light of this, the President’s Cabinet with other experts met this week to discuss our intentions to phase students back to campus in the spring term. This week and next, the President’s Cabinet together with the Board of Trustees plan to reach some major decisions and will update the Biola community on December 10.
Credit/No Credit Grading Policy
Some students have asked if Biola will offer the grading option of Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) for the Fall 2020 semester. Biola’s position has not changed from its announcement to students at the start of the fall semester that the CR/NC option would not be offered. A CR/NC grading policy has limited benefit to students. The temporary policy of CR/NC offered in Spring 2020 was available due to students needing to pivot quickly and assist students who suffered academically due to the sudden change; however, minimal students opted for the CR/NC grade. Faculty redesigned their courses and assignments for remote delivery this fall and likely would have designed their courses differently for a CR/NC approach. Biola encourages students to communicate with their professor to determine if it’s possible to work toward improving their class grade if possible prior to the end of the semester if needed. Students who are struggling to complete the semester have the option to request an Incomplete (IN) grade or appeal a grade in a class.
Class Schedule Start Dates
As shared on October 29, there are some classes that will start the spring semester on Jan. 11 with the majority of traditional and graduate classes starting on January 25. All classes have been updated to reflect the correct start date. Please review your class schedule for their corresponding start date on My Account.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of University Communications
November 20, 2020: Update on LA County
Biola’s leadership has been waiting to hear back from LA County on its request to repopulate the campus for the spring semester.
President Corey has heard from the LA County’s Board of Supervisors officials this week with an invitation to meet with the directors of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday, November 23. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss campus repopulation options for Los Angeles County colleges and universities. This is in response to a petitioning letter Dr. Corey and Pomona College president, Gabrielle Star, co-wrote to the County Board of Supervisors.
If President Corey receives any pertinent news in his meeting on Monday, Biola’s Cabinet will process that information as it relates to the spring semester. With next week being a short week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, administrative offices will be closed November 25 through November 27. As a result, we may not have a further update for students until December 1, if we know any new information at that time.
We invite the Biola community to continue to pray for Dr. Corey and the key meeting taking place next week with the county officials.
Office of University Communications
November 17, 2020: Update on Wellness Days and Advocacy Efforts
Dear Biola students,
As we approach the end of the fall semester, we would like to provide a few updates to you about the spring semester.
Advocacy Efforts for Reopening Campus
In the last month President Corey and Pomona College’s president co-led an advocacy effort to petition LA County to allow colleges and universities in the county to repopulate their campuses for the spring semester. Twenty-four college and university presidents and leaders in LA County co-signed this letter, including those presidents from Claremont-McKenna, Cal Tech, LMU, Occidental, Pepperdine, Scripps and Harvey Mudd, to name a few.
Last week, President Corey and others met with teams from several members of the LA County Board of Supervisors to make two requests:
- Allow colleges and universities to gradually reopen campuses in the spring by following the state tiered guidelines without additional restrictions imposed by LA County.
- Notify colleges in the month of November of what is permitted for the spring semester in order to give colleges time to prepare our campuses, notify our students and assist our faculty in their hyflex teaching model.
After these meetings, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted last Tuesday to request the Department of Public Health — which is under the Supervisors’ purview — to provide feedback by today on any rationale for additional restrictions for colleges over and above the state’s existing guidelines. We hope to receive an update from the county on this closed meeting by the end of the week. We will send an update to the Biola community on Friday, Nov. 20 with what we learned, if anything, from the county and how it impacts Biola’s spring plans.
Spring 2020 Wellness Days
As shared by President Corey in his October 29 letter, spring break 2021 will be replaced with five wellness days throughout the semester. We understand the importance for students to take time for mental health and wellness during the semester. For this reason, traditional students will observe February 8, March 2-3, April 22-23 as the five wellness days in which classes will not meet. In addition, Biola will be closed for Good Friday on April 2.
A friendly reminder that the flu vaccine is an LA County requirement for all students accessing campus to help reduce the burden of the flu season in the midst of COVID-19. Students are required to submit vaccine records by December 15, 2020 online. If students want to apply for one of the two waivers — medical or religious — that are available, please visit the coronavirus website for details.
Lastly, Biola’s leadership continues to work toward resuming in-person classes using a hyflex model in the spring semester, which will allow students to take classes remotely.
We expect to have more students on campus in the spring. However, based on current virus trends and positive cases in LA County we will have a capacity lower than 100%, which is still to be determined. We will work to accommodate students who prefer to take their spring semester courses remotely.
We appreciate the Biola community’s patience and forbearing through this uncertain season when things are always changing. We will provide updates in the Student Life newsletter sent to undergraduate students on Mondays and to the rest of the community via the mobile app.
Please continue to pray for Biola’s leadership, slowing the spread of the virus and the county’s leadership.
Office of University Communications
October 29: Message from the President about Spring Semester
Dear Biola students,
Let me start by saying how much we miss you on campus. You are now more than half-way through the fall semester! I want to tell you how proud I am of you for your stamina, even though I know some dimensions of remote learning are hard. You represent one of the most resilient groups of students we’ve ever had at Biola, and I encourage you to keep persevering through this challenging season with your digital classes. Be encouraged! We will get through this.
This letter is to update you on the evolving plans for the Spring 2021 Semester.
Much work has taken place over the past few weeks in order to assess different scenarios for the beginning of 2021. For the remainder of this semester, as you know, county health restrictions prevent us from resuming any on-campus activities. We have been informed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that they are anticipating college campuses will have some level of repopulating for the Spring Semester. We are communicating regularly with our local health officials and the LA County Board of Supervisors to advocate for a flexible and phased plan to bring students back in January as we continue our plans to resume in-person living and learning. As chair of the L.A. Education Sector Reopening Work Team, I have been working with other college and university presidents speaking up for campus reopenings. Based on what we have been told by the LA County Department of Public Health, we intend to share with you by the middle of November a more specific set of guidelines for the spring. In the meantime, we’d like to share what we know to date and the decisions we have made.
Changes to the Spring Semester
First, the official start of the Spring Semester will be on January 25 for the majority of students taking traditional and graduate classes, which is two weeks later than originally scheduled. This will provide a two-week window during the flu season, and it will afford faculty and staff the additional weeks to prepare for their Spring Semester classes. It will also allow time for a staged move-in process. There are some exceptions of classes (e.g. some online programs, session A classes) that will begin on January 11. Students in those classes will receive follow up communication next week. Students from the approved on-campus programs this fall (e.g. clinical nursing) will also receive further information next week about their start date. Classes will end as scheduled on May 8, 2021, with the final exam week May 3–7. Spring Commencement is planned for May 7–8, subject to health requirements. View more key semester dates.
Second, in order to minimize the risk of the virus spreading due to extended travel, there will be no spring break. We know, however, it’s important for our students and faculty to have time for mental health and wellness during the semester, so we created five wellness days to replace spring break. More details about the dates will be released mid-November.
Third, our 91st Annual Missions Conference (March 17-19) will not be delivered in its traditional 3-day format. We know this will be disappointing to many students because of the rich connections students make with mission organizations and they get to hear our heart and soul for the Great Commission. The days for Missions Conference will need to be used instead for instructional days. The Student Missionary Union is working to create conference content that will be delivered through Canvas for students to watch throughout the week.
Fourth, in light of the financial challenges students and families are facing due to the pandemic, Biola is providing an additional COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant to students, ranging from $150 to $1,000, based on their spring enrollment status and program level. There are some exceptions for those students whose tuition is already covered or will be fully covered by institutional aid and/or other tuition-based scholarships. Visit the COVID-19 tuition and financial aid page for more details.
We are moving forward with our Spring Semester plans to phase in a more robust on-campus experience and expect to offer more in-person classes, house more residential students and provide campus co-curricular activities. As we experienced in the summer, it is difficult to say with certainty what will happen in the weeks and months ahead. Our plans will remain flexible to meet the unpredictability of the pandemic. For students returning to campus, they may experience that some of their classes will be in-person and some delivered virtually. This will depend on state guidance and county orders on classroom occupancy levels as well as faculty teaching decisions and other relevant factors. For students who may prefer to take their Spring Semester courses remotely, we will work to accommodate them. You will be hearing more on the classes that will be offered remotely for the Spring Semester by mid-November. In the meantime, please initiate your registration process based on your assigned time on or after Monday, November 2. (Please note that start dates on the class schedule are still being revised to reflect the correct start dates for all classes.)
The success of our opening and staying open throughout the spring semester will be a direct result of the community’s adherence to Biola’s health and safety measures, which are required by local and state authorities. We care about the health, safety and well-being of our community to foster a caring community, putting the health of others first by wearing face coverings and physically distancing. In addition, in compliance with county requirements, the flu vaccine is mandatory for all students accessing campus to help reduce the burden of the flu season in the midst of COVID-19. Students will be required to submit vaccine records by December 15, 2020. You can read more on the coronavirus website.
In the coming weeks, students will receive updates from various departments including housing. We will continue to be guided by health and safety measures as we prepare to provide in-person classes in the spring. We hope and pray that 2021 will be better than 2020, but regardless of the outcome God is still sovereign and we will get through it together as one community. May God’s grace be with us all.
Blessings in Christ,
Barry H. Corey
September 17, 2020: Spring 2021 Semester Update
At this time, the university is intending to resume in-person classes for the spring semester. We remain hopeful that the conditions will continue to improve so that the county provides the clearances for colleges and universities to welcome students for in-person classes in spring 2021.
Additional information will be provided later this semester.
September 17, 2020: Update from Los Angeles County Public Health Department
Last month, President Corey shared that the existing Los Angeles County health order for colleges and universities would be in place for up to six weeks. At that time the county would assess local health conditions and determine if modifications would be made to its orders. We have now received an update from Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, on health orders for the county’s colleges and universities.
Dr. Ferrer shared that the number of cases has decreased in Los Angeles County compared to early August. This is good news and heading in the right direction. The transmission rate among college aged students, however, has remained elevated. In light of that data point and the influenza season, the county has decided not to review or modify orders for colleges until after Thanksgiving. For the balance of this semester Biola will not be able to welcome back any more students on campus or make modifications to on-campus services. We are obviously disappointed by this news, as we had hoped to phase students on campus this semester.
With the exception of students approved to be on campus and essential employees reporting to campus, Biola’s physical campus remains partially closed. The university’s leadership will continue to stay in regular contact with the county for ongoing updates and will keep you informed. As Biola continues to remain remote for the fall semester, all offices will continue to be fully operational and available remotely. Above all, we are committed to serving our students and families with excellence during this remote season.
At this time, the university is intending to resume in-person classes for the spring semester. We remain hopeful that the conditions will continue to improve so that the county provides the clearances for colleges and universities to welcome students for in-person classes in spring 2021.
In an effort to be transparent with our community, we will publish a dashboard on biola.edu/coronavirus next week with information about any positive COVID-19 cases among faculty, staff or students who are accessing or living on campus. At this time, we do not have any positive cases among our residential students. We encourage our community to visit the dashboard once it is available for the most up-to-date information.
We are grateful for the Biola community’s patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
August 19, 2020: Fall Semester Update
Biola’s leadership has been preparing since April for a number of fall semester reopening scenarios in light of COVID-19. In the absence of state guidelines, on July 27 we announced five decisions regarding the fall semester which included allowing students in two programs to return to campus even though we hoped it could be more. The state on August 7 finally released guidance for colleges and universities, instructing us to confer with local county health departments. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued its Order of the Health Officer and Protocols for Institutes of Higher Education on August 12. Biola’s leadership thoroughly reviewed the order and protocols, and Friday afternoon LA County’s higher education leaders received further clarification from public health authorities. The LA County order states:
- "Colleges and universities in Los Angeles County will not be able to resume all in-person academic instruction, at this time. Institutions may continue to offer in-person training and instruction for essential workforce for required activities that cannot be accomplished through virtual learning. All other academic instruction must continue to be done via distance-learning."
We worked hard to examine the language of the order and the clarifying comments made by the county to see if there were ways we could invite a larger group of students back to campus, but the expressed words from the county did not permit us or other colleges and universities in the county to do so. This was abundantly clear. Outside of rare exceptions, the county’s institutions of higher education must begin the semester remotely and limit significantly any housing density on campus.
Exceptions have been granted by the county on a limited basis for “activities required for training of essential workforce…that cannot be carried out via distance learning” if that activity “entails coursework or training that is essential for completing certification, licensure, or educational requirements” for those programs. In other words, for a course to be eligible for in-person instruction, it must meet three requirements: 1) it must support a major that is considered training for essential workforce, 2) the course must be one that cannot be delivered remotely, and 3) the course must be part of a student’s program required to finish a degree or certification.
The “essential workforce” language was defined by the governor in March to allow exceptions to his stay-at-home order for those in certain “essential” infrastructure sectors who were needed to maintain operations during the shut-down. The purpose of this was to ensure continuity of functions critical to public health and safety.
Given the parameters of the county’s order and what constitutes essential workforce, we have expanded our initial list of programs eligible for in-person instruction (clinical nursing and doctoral psychology) to also include undergraduate seniors enrolled in clinical practicum in the communication sciences and disorders program and all students in the master’s in speech pathology program. Students in these programs will also be able to live on campus if they have no other viable local housing options. These students will be emailed further housing information later today.
As it relates to housing for students outside the four programs eligible for in-person instruction, we are able to provide on-campus housing to students who either have an unsafe home environment or who are homeless. The state and county have also specifically stated that student athletes engaged in intercollegiate sports may be offered on-campus housing. Students who are currently living on campus based on earlier exemptions are allowed to remain as well. Students who fit these categories are encouraged to fill out the “Request to Live on Campus” form, found on MyHousing Self Service, by 6 p.m. Thursday, August 20. Those students will be informed by 12 p.m. Saturday, August 22 if their request has been approved or not. If you have already been approved for an exception to live on campus, you do not need to complete any additional steps.
Students living on campus will take the majority of their courses remotely with the exception of those labs or courses that cannot be taught at a distance, as described above.
In addition, the county’s order for its colleges and universities includes clear restrictions on campus activities and residence life for those who are eligible to live on campus based on the criteria above. All public spaces such as kitchens, lobbies and study areas will be closed. Access to residential buildings will be limited to residents only. No campus events or gatherings will be allowed until further notice. Dining will be “grab and go.” With rare exceptions, the county’s campuses will be closed to all visitors coming from outside the county with the exception of curbside services. For Biola, curbside services include pick-ups from the library, bookstore and the CMA production center for film equipment.
This county order will be in place for up to six weeks at which time the county will assess local health conditions and determine if modifications will be made to its order for colleges and universities.
The county is concerned that the highest case rate of COVID-19 transmission in the county is among those who are between the ages of 18 and 25. County public health officials underscored that colleges don’t exist within their campuses alone. They are a part of larger communities with populations outside of the college-aged students, including faculty, staff, neighbors, families and others with whom they are in contact. Since community transmission in LA County is currently high, county officials do not at this time want to repopulate college campuses with large numbers of students and risk outbreaks in college communities. In fact, in recent days colleges around the country are experiencing these outbreaks, forcing some to send students home as they shift from in-person to remote learning.
LA County is requiring its colleges and universities to keep on-campus numbers low in order to move forward in reopening sooner rather than later.
Biola University continues to hold as a priority not only the highest levels of educational quality but also the ongoing health and safety of our community of students, faculty and staff. We are committed as well to honoring the authority of our state, county and local government leaders, and will seek to comply with their safety protocols and operational directives.
July 28, 2020: Message from President Corey on Fall 2020 Reopening
Dear Biola community,
I know the COVID-19 pandemic has created a long season of uncertainty, especially for new or returning students and for their families. Many have been waiting for news on how we will begin the fall 2020 semester in light of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in California. I am truly thankful for your patience during these past few weeks. I am also grateful for the fortitude of Biola’s own 1,000-member community of faculty and staff who for weeks have been working on a number of scenarios for the fall in case the state issued guidance with tighter restrictions than we expected or kept our existing prohibition from opening.
On April 30, I shared that absent any restrictions from California’s state or county authorities, we would be prepared to have on-campus instruction this fall. We have planned extensively with dozens of leaders covering with precision every imaginable detail for hyflex on-campus education. Our decision in April as well as our reopening plans in the intervening months were made with good data, a lot of input and with prayerful discernment. They were also always pending state and county guidance.
Unfortunately, we are still waiting as no updated guidance has been issued by the state, and we are not alone in waiting for it. The state has released guidelines for almost every type of business in California to reopen, but nothing on higher education.
Now, with the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state and L.A. County, the state has focused its efforts on mitigating the spread of the virus and rolling back reopening plans across the state. California is still in Stage 2 of its reopening plan, and higher education is allowed to reopen when we are into Stage 3. We don’t know when we’ll move to Stage 3, but I hope that comes soon.
In light of the fact there has been no further guidance issued by the governor for higher education, we need to make our decisions based on already-existing guidance. Because of this and with full support from the Cabinet and approval from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, I am announcing today the following decisions.
Our first decision: We will begin the fall semester August 31 remotely in all of our undergraduate and graduate programs with the high level of academic excellence and student support services distinctive of Biola University. For our continuing students, we recognize that the quick pivot to remote learning this last spring was challenging for all. We have focused considerable effort over the last few months in preparation to deliver an exceptional remote classroom experience this fall. Students will notice the difference!
Most of our courses will be taught from our Biola classrooms aided by the significant infrastructure investments we have made over the summer in new educational technologies. We are even launching new remote ways to walk with students through programs in spiritual formation, prayer and worship, academic advising, career guidance, faculty mentoring, specialized learning, internship networking, personal counseling, clubs and organizations and all of the other student services characteristic of Biola. We are also launching a brand new university mobile app during the fall to enhance the student experience at Biola. We have a wide array of plans underway that will support students until they come to campus.
Our second decision: If at some point we are granted permission by state and county authorities to reopen in the fall semester for on-campus learning and living — consistent with Biola’s high level of educational and safety standards — we will assess when and how to welcome students to return to campus. We will make our decisions based on government guidance at that time, county health authorities, healthcare experts, best practices in reducing risks and our own safety assurances. We will do so with an unwavering care for the health of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors. We wish we knew more about when we could do this, but again we will follow the guidance of the state and government for the go-ahead to return to campus this fall.
Our third decision: In the event we open our campus at any point in the semester for students to join for in-person living and learning, students will have the option to continue the semester in a remote learning mode. Maybe the digital learning option will suit some students for the fall. Maybe because of health, distance, job or comfort level, students would rather complete the semester remotely. That is perfectly fine. We will be flexible. We want to accommodate what works best for students, serving them and adapting our academic courses and co-curricular programs in a way that meets their needs during this COVID-19 disruption.
Our fourth decision: To provide students with a COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant toward the fall semester. We know how difficult COVID-19 has been for so many. Some students have not been able to work this summer, or their families had to tighten their belts financially, or it’s just been a long season of hardships. To help a bit with these challenges, we are providing our students with a relief grant (with some exceptions for those students whose tuition is already covered or will be fully covered by institutional aid and/or other tuition-based scholarships).
Full-time students will receive a one-time Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant for the fall semester that is based on their program, in accordance with the table below. Part-time students will receive a prorated amount based on their program enrollment level.
(to be applied to fall semester tuition)
This will be in addition to the financial aid package students were given. (The Financial Aid office will follow up with students later this week.) Students will not have to pay this back. It’s not a loan, and they are not going to lose it when they return to campus. It’s meant to be a way of standing with them in the hardships they have faced, and I know there have been many. We want students here! And for prospective students who have not yet committed to Biola and are still interested in attending, they should connect with an admissions counselor. If admitted and they choose to enroll, we will offer these potential students this grant as well.
Finally, our fifth decision: Current state guidelines allow for limited exemptions based on students who are being educated to support the essential healthcare infrastructure. We are confident our clinical nursing and psychology doctoral students qualify for this exemption. They will be welcome to on-campus learning and living at the beginning of the fall semester. We are still waiting for further guidance as to whether students with extenuating circumstances who are not already living on campus will also be part of the exemption.
So those are our decisions.
- We are planning to begin the semester August 31 with remote learning.
- If we get the green light from the government, and consistent with Biola’s high level of educational and safety standards, we are open to welcoming students to campus during the fall semester.
- We want students to feel no pressure to return if we open the campus, and they will still receive a quality education if they choose to remain remote for the semester.
- To help students, we have set aside grant money as a way of standing with them financially.
- The campus will be open for clinical nursing and psychology doctoral students to take program-specific courses and live in on-campus housing when we start the semester at the end of August, and this exemption may also extend to others.
I understand these decisions are certainly not what our students and their families--not to mention our faculty and staff--imagined when thinking of Biola this fall. And we all have had more than a few setbacks and hardships these past four months. This unanticipated pandemic seems to have altered all of our best-made plans, and yet we are fully committed to making this a worthwhile season for all at Biola. It is going to be a different semester for all of us, but it is going to be a strong semester.
We still believe that the quality education students will be experiencing remotely will be distinctively Biola, both in academics and co-curricular student services. Faculty members have been fine-tuning their courses for the fall. We are developing new ways through technology to connect with our students until they return, going above and beyond to make our educational experience truly transformative.
There could be no better time than during this COVID-19 pandemic to be part of Biola University where students are encouraged to live into their passions, to bolster their faith, to mature their biblical worldview, to examine current culture through the lens of Scripture and their academic discipline, to sharpen their minds and to learn to live for Christ. The world needs a generation of Jesus followers to emerge from this disturbing season of suffering in order to serve the church and society with new creativity, more courage and a heart of compassion for the world.
Students and their families will see that Biola is not compromising our mission one iota. Not at all. We are as committed as ever to provide a biblically centered education for our students to grow in mind and character in order to influence the world for the cause of Christ. This is why we are so confident that Biola University is a place where students develop, especially during this challenging season. This is what gets us up every morning, even during this temporary season of remote learning.
What a time for students to be stretched and grow into the incredibly mature, wise and godly person Christ is forming them to be. Throughout history, Christians — many of them young adults like our students — persevered and matured profoundly in the midst of tough times. This is why we are so confident in the strength of a Biola education.
Thank you for taking the time to read our decisions for the fall. We look forward to seeing students on the screen and then in person. I encourage you to reach out to let us know how we can help. Feel free to call the main Biola number at (562) 903-6000 if you have any questions about the fall. Visit Biola’s Coronavirus Response site for FAQs or to learn more about other financial support available for the fall semester.
In closing, we invite incoming and returning students and families to a town hall next week. Details will be forthcoming. If you have specific questions, please submit them via this form. We will respond to your questions and provide as much information as we can.
We are here for you. We are praying for you. We love you. Rise up with wings like eagles!
Barry H. Corey
July 31, 2020: Update to Students on Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant
Thank you for your patience as our office diligently worked to add the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant to every student’s financial aid package. We are happy to be able to serve our students in this way. We trust that the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant along with cost savings from not living on campus will be a help to you as you finalize your financial plans for the fall.
The process of awarding the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant has gone well and this grant should now be reflected in your financial aid package. Your student bill will reflect your financial aid, but may not reflect the credit for your room and board, if applicable, as that is still being processed. It will be processed next week.
Please note that if you are a continuing student, the grant will be added to your aid package once you have registered for classes.
Below are some important points to keep in mind as you plan for the Fall Semester.
- Students whose tuition is already or will be fully covered by institutional aid and/or other tuition-based scholarships may not be eligible for the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant.
- The addition of the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant and/or the adjustment of your federal cost-of-attendance budget may impact your federal loan and private loan eligibility. Any changes to these types of aid will be reflected in your financial aid package.
- If you have not yet completed your financial aid file, please do so as soon as possible. Any additional requirements needed to complete your financial aid file can be found on your MyAccount portal under the Student Financials tab.
- If you would like to reduce your loan because of your lower school bill, please select the applicable Loan Change form on our website.
- If your family has experienced financial difficulties due to COVID-19, you can complete the COVID-19 Financial Impact Questionnaire which will assist our office in determining if there is additional assistance available.
- If you need financial assistance to purchase a laptop, you can use federal and private loans, providing you meet their eligibility requirements. Note that the loans would have to create a credit balance on your bill to be able to be used. You may request credit balances beginning September 21.
- If you plan to take a gap semester, you can find more information under the Gap Year/Withdrawing heading on our Coronavirus FAQ page.
- If you are not enrolled at least half time for any term, you must request a leave of absence from the Cal Grant program. Details for how to request a leave of absence can be found on the California Student Aid Commission website.
- If you are not enrolled at least half time for more than six months, and have not already used up your grace period, your federal loans will enter repayment after the grace period the government provided due to COVID-19. For more information regarding your federal loans, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
We understand that this is a challenging season while you change plans from being on campus to Biola at Home. We are here to serve you with your financial aid needs and questions. We hope that this final month of summer will be a good one for you as you prepare for the coming remote semester. If you have questions regarding any of this information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Director of Financial Aid
July 24, 2020: Update on the State’s College Reopening Guidelines
Last Friday, California Governor Newsom gave guidance for K-12 schools on reopening this fall. He stated that K-12 schools in counties on the state’s “watch list” would most likely be required to start the year providing “distance learning only” until their COVID-19 metrics improve.
Though these guidelines were for K-12 schools, some are speculating that he might take a similar approach on reopening guidance for colleges and universities. We are awaiting the guidelines specifically for colleges and universities to make our decisions with more certainty. Though the expected release date for the state’s higher education reopening guidelines have been postponed, we have reason to believe the Governor will release them tomorrow, Friday, July 24. If he does, Biola's leadership will spend time reviewing the guidelines over the weekend, and we will announce early next week decisions on our fall plans.
If the Governor does not release the guidelines tomorrow, Biola’s leadership will still move forward on the same timeframe. For the planning purposes of our students, their families, our faculty and staff, we look forward to making an announcement in the coming days on Biola’s Fall Semester plans assuring our students we will provide them the highest possible educational quality and co-curricular experience.
Please visit Biola’s coronavirus website for the latest updates.
July 24, 2020: PacWest Conference Delays Fall Athletic Season
Due to the concerns arising from all the challenges surrounding COVID-19, the PacWest Executive Board voted unanimously Thursday to postpone intercollegiate competition in PacWest fall sports until after January 1, 2021.
PacWest fall sports include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The action was taken due to rapidly changing information and guidelines from the NCAA, as well as the states, counties, and areas where the 11 PacWest institutions compete.
“We continue to be committed to the health and safety of all members of the Biola community,” said Dr. Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “This decision was made following careful consideration of several different options for fall sports. We are glad to be able to still have a competitive season for our fall sport student-athletes, albeit at a later date.”
While this decision postpones fall 2020 sports competition, institutions will still be allowed to conduct organized team activities at their own discretion, including workouts, practices, strength and conditioning, and access to their athletic training staff, as local, county, and state guidelines permit. Options for moving fall sport schedules into the winter/spring are being developed and reviewed.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority. We remain committed to giving all of our student-athletes a positive competitive experience as much as possible,” PacWest Commissioner Bob Hogue said. “This was a very difficult, but well-thought-out decision and one that so many individuals worked together on over the past several weeks. We’re appreciative of everyone’s efforts and look forward to a time when we can all be safely out on the field of play again.”
A decision on the start of the 2020-21 winter sports season, as well as the non-championship segments of spring sports, is expected to be made by October 1.
Biola Athletics will host a virtual town hall with President Barry Corey, Vice President of Student Development Dr. Andre Stephens, Senior Director of Athletics Dr. Bethany Miller and the rest of the Athletics Leadership Team for student-athletes, families and supporters on our YouTube channel at 6 p.m. August 5. All student-athletes will receive communication with more information on the town hall and a link to a survey to submit questions prior to the livestream for our panel to answer live.
As more information becomes available it will be communicated as quickly as possible. For updates from the university, please continue monitor to this coronavirus response updates page.
July 10, 2020: Homeland Security Changes for International Students
Dear Biola students,
On Monday, July 6, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) — a branch of the Department of Homeland Security — released updated guidance indicating that F-1 visa students who are attending a school operating entirely online this fall may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. This Fall, Biola is planning to re-open with in-person classes through a hybrid model. This will make it possible for students studying on F-1 visas to remain in the country as long as the student is not taking an entirely online course load during the fall semester and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.
We are committed to the success and well-being of our students as we celebrate the richness of culture that international students bring to the Biola community. Our international students have always been and will continue to be an important and significant part of Biola.
Departments across the university including Biola’s Student Immigration Services and Global Student Programs & Development are working together to support and care for international students and advocating for them by communicating with our elected officials. We are staying apprised of the evolving situation and will update our international students as soon as more information is available.
If you are an international student and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com. Your ability to fulfill your dreams of earning a Biola degree is of utmost importance to us.
Vice President for Student Development
May 29, 2020: A Safe Return to Campus
May 29, 2020: Safe Return to Campus in Fall 2020
May 29, 2020
Dear Biola community,
As I shared at the end of April, Biola is planning to be open for on-campus, in-person undergraduate and graduate studies for the Fall 2020 semester. I couldn’t be happier. From what I can tell, this has been met with relief and anticipation.
Our commitment throughout this entire COVID disruption has been to make our reopening decisions based on two criteria and two alone. First, we will assure you as students that we will provide the continued level of excellence Biola University is known for in our academic programs and student services. And second, we will do all we can to ensure the safety of those who study and work on our campus. These pledges have been at the heart of all our planning.
Today I want to share with you some additional details on decisions we have made since my April 30 announcement with research-based recommendations from the Biola University Reopening Team, which was made up of health professionals, faculty, campus safety leaders, administrators, and a student leader. The BURT team utilized both internal and external resources to develop strategies for addressing areas across campus, including reviewing the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, World Health Organization and the American College Health Association.
Academic Calendar Changes
For students who will be living on campus, we will open our residence halls and apartments in August. Students, sometime in July you will be assigned the date and time you can move in, with first-year students arriving in one of the earlier groups. Move-in dates, orientation and student leader arrival dates will be staggered to allow for appropriate physical distancing. More details will be shared over summer.
On-campus courses will begin as planned on Monday, August 31 and continue through November 24. This means we will complete our on-campus instruction the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The final two weeks of the semester will include a week of remote learning after Thanksgiving and then a week of remote final exams. The semester will officially conclude on December 11. In order to accomplish this, we will modify the Torrey Bible Conference in October to preserve and maximize the number of instructional days. December Commencement will most likely be rescheduled for some time in 2021.
The schedule I am communicating today will enable us to end on-ground instruction Thanksgiving, and most students leaving campus at that point with some exceptions made for certain academic majors and those with extenuating circumstances who will need to remain on campus past Thanksgiving. This schedule minimizes the challenge of students leaving for Thanksgiving break, possibly getting exposed to the virus, and returning to campus and possibly spreading it to others. Additionally, it minimizes the risks of COVID-19 symptoms being commingled with flu symptoms in what is already considered flu season.
Because of this modified on-campus schedule, we want to help students and families with an average 13 percent credit for room and board fees for the Fall semester. (Please note that in some cases the credit may impact loan eligibility and in rare instances other aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will notify you of any changes at the time the credit is processed.) For students who may be thinking about commuting from home, this might be a great semester for you to move on-campus.
Our Fall schedule configured this way will result in less travel, less potential virus spread and will hedge against a second wave of the virus should that come later in the calendar year. We believe that this is a wise and prudent stewardship of the semester.
When students return to campus in late August, the way in which they experience Biola will be different than what has been typical for us. For one, all of our classes will be offered in a hybrid-flexible model or hy/flex with the exception of our current fully online courses. In addition, post-traditional students will not be affected by the hy/flex model.
The hy/flex model means though students will experience the best of classroom learning, all of our courses will also be adaptable for students who cannot be present for some or all of the semester. This hy-flex option will be accommodating for a variety of students such as global students whose visas may not allow them to start the first of the semester or for students whose health situation may mandate a temporary on-campus quarantine. This added benefit of hy-flex gives all students options that suit their learning situations and schedules and will allow our professors to accommodate any number of situations posed by this COVID disruption.
Classes may include students who are simultaneously, in the classroom, connected via live web conference from their dorms and across the U.S. or abroad. Recordings may be utilized for student populations that experience significant time zone differences or limitations in accessing live web conference events. The faculty from the various academic programs will be working over the summer months to determine which classes will be offered in which format. As faculty prepare for fall classes using the hybrid/flex model they will be ready to pivot their courses away from in-person instruction to online or remote delivery if a resurgence of COVID-19 occurs during the semester. If we need to return to remote instruction and ask our residential students to move out of the residence halls, we will credit our students for housing and meals based on the time of the semester.
Health and Safety Measures
We will be taking extraordinary steps to assure Biola is safe and healthy across our campus. This will be evident in our policies, processes and systems I believe will be among the most thoughtful and safe in higher education.
Earlier this month I was asked by LA County to chair the County Work Team framing the best-practices for the County’s 80 colleges and universities to open for their nearly 700,000 students. In this role I have had a front row seat with County supervisors and public health administrators, participating in frequent conversations and planning meetings. Through this we have learned much about a safe and healthy reopening of Biola, though most of the work of our planning has taken place through an amazing internal Biola task force. Let me share with you a few things you can expect, and I want to thank our Biola University Reopening Team chaired by Dr. André Stephens and vice chaired by Dr. Tammy Anderson and Chief John Ojeisekhoba.
What will this look like here at Biola in the Fall?
- Everything we do will be within strict adherence to Los Angeles Department of Public Health guidelines, and we will report to LADPH as necessary.
- All faculty, staff and students will be given a thorough orientation to Biola’s COVID-19 culture of safety and health practices, behaviors and priorities.
- Residence halls will have rooms configured to maintain appropriate distances and rooms and community bathrooms will be sanitized frequently.
- We will be limiting residential room occupancy to no more than two students per room.
- All common and high-touch areas will be routinely disinfected by increased custodial support, and hand-sanitizing dispensers will be placed throughout campus.
- Dining venues will not offer self-served meals but will staff-serve our diners and will offer to-go service and honor dining density protocols in all eateries.
- Classrooms and other spaces such as the library and outdoor spaces are being reconfigured to meet physical distancing guidelines. There will be fewer students in classrooms. Even though the vast majority of our courses have fewer than 25 students, we will be ensuring that all classrooms maintain a six-foot distance between students.
- This physical distancing protocol will also be true for chapels, lectures and social gatherings.
- NCAA DII intercollegiate sporting events are still planned to take place, though spectators will be limited and most all competition will be accessible through live streaming.
- Highly trafficked pedestrian ways will be designated as one-way sidewalks to prevent over-exposure.
- On-campus COVID testing will be provided for symptomatic students in cooperation with CDC and LA County guidelines.
- Safety policies will be in place to accommodate high risk and vulnerable students and employees, including options to study or work remotely.
- Policies will be in effect for the wide use of cloth face coverings, and an ample supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) will be on hand for Biola’s medical professionals and those who are symptomatic. Every student will receive a cloth face covering.
- Students who exhibit COVID-like symptoms can be evaluated and tested by the Health Center.
- Residential students who exhibit COVID-like symptoms will be moved to on-campus quarantined rooms where they will receive support, including meals, remote coursework and health services.
- Processes and training programs will be set for contact tracing and a response team will be established to make sure we are limiting contagions.
- Access to campus will be monitored 24/7 to ensure safety and health protocols are known and followed.
These are the guidelines currently in place, and we will be adding to these and adjusting these over the summer months. As you can see, we are working hard and non-stop to make sure the Fall semester provides students all they expect from a Biola University education, and more. We will continue forming our students in all of our educational delivery to live into their calling and be the best at who God has called them to be. This will happen through faculty mentoring. This will happen in our co-curricular programs in leadership, in service, in the arts. We will do this through internships and intercollegiate athletics. We will continue to develop our students to be part of a learning community where conversations happen over meals and in residence halls. We will commit to nurture the life of the mind through academics and research opportunities. At Biola, vibrant worship will continue to happen and lifelong relationships will be fostered. And as we have for generations, we will do this in community.
And above all, this historic moment will enable us to see the sovereignty of God at work on our campus and in our world. And our students will rise up through this setback to live more courageously, lead more confidently, love more contagiously, and learn more collaboratively. And we do this in a biblically centered university equipping our students in mind and character to influence the world for the cause of Christ. No virus will rob Biola of these virtues.
I so look forward to seeing you in late August. Please keep in touch with us, as we are eager to help you. Visit our COVID-19 website. We are here for you, and stay tuned for additional virtual town halls throughout the summer when we will be updating you on more developments toward our August reopening. May the peace and joy of Christ fill your hearts today.
Blessings in Christ,
Barry H. Corey
May 5, 2020: CARES Act: COVID-19 Student Financial Assistance
We understand how difficult this semester has been with the disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, especially when it comes to your finances. We want to help you by sharing important information about financial assistance available to you. Please read the following information on the financial support that is available to Biola University students.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved by Congress in late March. Biola has submitted the necessary paperwork and is hoping to receive its funding by early June. Biola is committed to using the CARES Act funds, within the parameters set by the government, to help those students with the greatest needs while meeting the needs of as many students as possible.
If you have incurred expenses, beyond what you would have typically, as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, there may be funding available through the CARES Act if you are eligible for any type of federal Title IV (FAFSA) aid including federal loans.
To find out if you are potentially eligible for CARES Act funding, please do the following:
- Determine if you are eligible for federal Title IV (FAFSA) aid, including federal loans, by:
- Reviewing your most recent official financial aid award notice (not an estimated notice) to see if you were awarded Federal Direct Loans or Pell Grant.
- Visiting the FAFSA website if you did not file a 19/20 or 20/21 FAFSA and reviewing the eligibility criteria.
- If you are Title IV eligible according to the website, please submit your request for funds via the online form below by May 18, 2020.
Students who fill out the above form will be notified if they qualify. Students who have expenses covered by the CARES Act will be issued a payment which will be mailed to the address indicated on the application.
For additional details about the CARES Act and other financial resources, visit Biola’s Coronavirus Financial Resources website.
If you or your family have experienced a loss of income that is impacting your ability to pay your school bill next year, please complete the COVID-19 Financial Impact Questionnaire. The Office of Financial Aid will review this information to determine if there are potentially other available resources to assist you.
Senior Director of Financial Aid
April 30, 2020: Message from President Corey
April 30, 2020: Biola University is Reopening in the Fall
Dear Biola community,
I am announcing today that Biola University plans to open for on-campus, in-person undergraduate and graduate studies for the Fall 2020 semester. Adhering to commonsense health standards and permissions set by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the State of California, the university is intending for new and returning students to begin classes in early September, preceded by New Student Orientation.
As Governor Newsom shared in his briefing on April 28, California is working on moving from the “stay at home” order to reopening with adaptations. Though no clear date has been set on when the “stay at home” orders will be modified, State authorities are monitoring six key indicators that will relax the current orders. As the state moves toward lifting the orders, we are now planning for the Fall semester.
To ensure a well-planned transition back to campus life, I have commissioned a Biola University Reopening Team of qualified academic, health, logistic, counseling, science, safety and communication leaders. This task force is currently underway planning in detail a multi-tiered process in preparation for students to join us on campus this Fall. Safety, flexibility and quality will be the hallmarks that define our reopening. Among the many priorities, our faculty and staff will be working on our academic offerings, campus security and safety, risk mitigation, cleanliness standards, distancing protocols and the protection of the health of each member of this community—physically, and emotionally. This is what we do as a Christ-centered and caring Christian educational community. These are the ways we love our neighbors on campus.
In making this decision, the Cabinet and I are committed, throughout the university, to follow prudent cautionary measures to protect our students, faculty, staff and neighbors as well as extended family members. We have not taken this charge lightly. Through this global disruption new challenges have arisen, challenges we will address with wisdom, timely data, creativity and innovation. Among the many precautions we are taking both to protect our community and to provide a life-enriching on-campus Biola experience, we will establish protocols on how we will gather together, monitor health, house students safely and prepare flexible course delivery options to be able to pivot seamlessly.
Though Biola University over recent years has developed and will continue to develop strong digital learning programs, we also know the value of a campus-based college education. As a New York Times op ed said Monday, “The reopening of college and university campuses in the fall should be a national priority.” I agree. Our students are formed to live into their calling through faculty mentoring, co-curricular programs in leadership and ministry, experiencing the arts, research in labs, the richness of our library, deep conversations over meals, residential housing, vibrant worship, intercollegiate sports and through building lifetime relationships fostered in community. These are virtues of Biola for which we have longed to return since transitioning abruptly to remote academic delivery six weeks ago.
For weeks now, university leaders charged with strengthening Biola through this unprecedented season have been meeting tirelessly. I have seen in them and throughout the university our already stellar faculty and staff rising to the occasion. From this extraordinary work, I believe we will emerge through this COVID-19 crisis as a better, stronger, more educationally effective, missionaly energized, more compassionate and collaborative Biola equipped for a greater and more faithful global influence.
What we offer at Biola is distinct and needed now more than ever. Through this season, I believe God is preparing us as never before for a renewal of our Kingdom mission to educate a rising generation called to be culture-shaping, gospel-loving, truth-telling, grace-exuding little Christs, as C.S. Lewis names them. Imagine the good these Biola graduates will offer with excellence to the world of healthcare, public policy, education, commerce, research, the arts, media and the Church. Imagine the strength these diverse students with a Biola degree will bring to non-profits, to families, to neighborhoods, to congregations and to cities across the nation and around the world.
For these reasons and absent any government restrictions indicating otherwise, we plan to be open for business come the fall semester with careful preparation to ensure health and safety. We look forward to experiencing again this life-giving dimension of our campus community.
Blessings in Christ,
Barry H. Corey
April 24, 2020: Update on the Credit/No Credit Grading Policy
All of us at Biola are thinking of you and praying for you as you near the end of the semester. As I think about you, it saddens me to realize this is not the end of the school year you were expecting when the semester started. I am inspired by your resilience and willingness to persevere during this time, and we want to do whatever we can do to care for you well and close out the semester. We can’t wait to have you back in the fall! Or, if you are graduating, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in the days and years ahead and see you at your commencement ceremony sometime in the future.
A few weeks ago on April 9, I sent communication about the temporary grading policy that provides students the option to change their grades to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) this spring 2020. As a reminder, the decision to allow this temporary grading policy option for students was made in direct response to the unprecedented situation of COVID-19. Details of the policy are available on the coronavirus website. As we said in the communication, we have developed a series of FAQs for you as you consider the implications of your decision. You may receive more specific guidance from your academic program.
The CR/NC grade change form will be released in MyAccount on Wednesday, May 6 and you have until May 30 to submit the form for any course you wish to change to CR/NC. As in any other semester, faculty will submit course grades at the end of the spring 2020 semester. You will then be able to request to change one or more of your courses using that form. Please review the policy, guiding questions and answers, read any communication sent by your academic program, and consider consulting an advisor before you make a final decision about whether or not to change to a CR/NC grade. You will not be able to reverse the Credit/No Credit option once selected, so these decisions should be made carefully.
I’m hopeful that this option provides some breathing room for you. I’ve heard stories from many of your faculty members that you are pressing in and working hard up until the end. President Corey and I are establishing a regular opportunity for students and families to hear updates from us and answer your submitted questions. We invite you to a virtual town hall on Thursday, April 30 at 5:30 PST. Here are the details for how to submit your questions and a link to watch the virtual event.
I’m so grateful for your demonstrated commitment to your learning, our community, and Christ during this time.
April 9, 2020: Academic Decisions Announced by the Provost
Dear Biola students,
We know that you, students, have been burdened and overwhelmed by the disruption COVID-19 has caused. This second half of the semester has not been easy for you. We have heard your concerns related to your grades and we have made adjustments to support you during this time keeping in mind what’s best for your college career. In collaboration with different curricular and co-curricular departments across campus, two decisions have been made that will impact your academic experience.
First, a temporary grading policy option has been approved for students to choose, if they desire. Through our transition to remote delivery formats, we have been committed to providing remote education that maintains the highest quality instruction possible. We trust that you have fully engaged in your courses. However, we know that some students have faced extraordinary circumstances beyond their control during this transition, but more specifically with the circumstances created by the pandemic. In response to our students’ needs, we are providing you with a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) option for Spring 2020. We encourage you to seek counsel from faculty and staff advisors on what is best for your college career in the short- and long-term.
This temporary policy provides an option for students to petition to convert one or more of their course grades for the spring 2020 semester to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) after final grades have been submitted at the end of the spring semester. As in any other term, faculty will submit course grades at the end of the spring 2020 semester. Specific information outlining the temporary grading policy for Credit/No Credit is available on the coronavirus website. Details of the petition process for students will be emailed to students on or before April 24 and posted on the website.
Second, we have decided to move all campus-based courses to online and remote delivery for summer sessions A and B. This decision was made independent of decisions around summer conferences and events in June in order to give faculty who teach summer courses ample time to prepare to move their courses to remote delivery formats, if needed, and offer the best online experience. Currently, 70 percent of summer courses are already taught online. The remaining 30 percent of courses will move to remote delivery formats for Summer 2020. This decision does not affect any post-traditional programs that are already fully online.
If things improve and social distancing restrictions are lifted, the university could consider whether or not to allow a group of students to meet on campus for support activities. However, all courses will be taught online for the entire summer.
Finally, we want to provide clarity on the appropriate use of requesting Incompletes (INs) for Spring 2020. The Incomplete (IN) grade provision gives students 5 weeks beyond the
Friday of finals week to complete assignments. According to Student Handbook, the purpose of the Incomplete (IN) Grade process is to meet the needs of a student facing unforeseeable emergencies beyond his/her control and are serious enough to prevent completion of course assignments before the semester ends (e.g., extended illness, mental health crisis, critical family emergency). Our goal is to help students complete their coursework this semester and move forward to their next semester. However, Incompletes may be used in extreme circumstances and faculty will follow the stated policy if they determine a student’s situation warrants it. A quick reminder, graduate students will need to work with the Dean of the School and submit a Student Incomplete (IN) Grade Policy Form electronically to the dean’s office for processing. Undergraduate students will need to work with the Associate Provost office and submit the IN Grade form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about Incompletes, registration for summer session or the temporary grading policy, please email email@example.com.
We know you are in different places in coping with this crisis and the impact it has had on your lives. We will continue to find ways to support you and make accommodations for the best interest of your educational careers. We will continue to pray for you as you navigate these challenging times.
Provost and Senior Vice President
Grading Policy for Spring 2020
In direct response to the unprecedented situation of COVID-19, the decision has been made to allow this temporary grading policy option for students. We are committed to providing remote education that maintains the highest quality instruction possible and we trust students to continue to fully engage in their courses. Advisors are ready to assist students in determining what is in their best interest in the short- and long-term regarding Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) decisions. The following information outlines the temporary grading policy regarding a Credit/No Credit option for Spring 2020.
- This policy provides an option for students to petition to convert one or more of their course grades for the spring 2020 semester to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) after final grades have been submitted at the end of the spring semester. As in any other term, faculty will submit course grades at the end of the spring 2020 semester.
- Students will have until May 30, 2020, 10 business days after the date on which final grades are due from faculty, to move their courses to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading if they so choose.
- Any course in which an undergraduate student has earned a C- or above (B- or above for graduate students) is eligible to be converted to “CR” based on student petition (with the exception of courses outlined in item 6) . A “CR” grade indicates a passing grade. The credit is earned, but has no effect on the student’s GPA.
- Students who have earned a D or F may petition to convert their grade to No Credit “NC” who indicate extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19. An “NC” indicates that credit is not earned, and has no impact on the student’s GPA.
- Students will not be able to revoke the Credit/No Credit option once selected, so this decision should be made carefully.
- Certain program-specific course requirements may not be eligible due to external accreditation or degree requirements. More specific information will be published as details of the petition process are made available on or before April 24.
- The policy for request for Incomplete grades is still in place, however, grades of Incomplete for Spring 2020 will not be eligible for conversion to Credit/No Credit.
Details of the submission process will be emailed to students on or before April 24 and made available on the coronavirus website.
 CR includes C-/B- grades only for spring 2020 due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19.
Biola’s Campus to Remain Closed Through at Least May 8
In light of President Trump’s announcement on March 29, encouraging social distancing across the country through April 30, Biola will be extending the date for employees to work from home to May 8. Hence, Biola’s campus will remain closed through at least May 8 to visitors and anyone other than approved essential employees and students who were approved to live on campus.
Biola’s Chief Human Resources Officer Dave Grant shared on an employee call on Friday, April 3 that employees will be asked to work remotely through the end of the semester — May 8. All employees will continue to be paid through May 8 including those employees who currently are unable to do their jobs remotely. While organizations cannot guarantee employment during this time of COVID-19, Biola’s leadership is doing all they can to preserve jobs at Biola.
March 20, 2020: How “Safer at Home” Affects Biola University
Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County officials announced a “Safer at Home” ordinance for all residents to stay at home starting today and running through April 19 in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Schools and colleges are exempt from this ordinance as they are considered essential businesses. In order to do our part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our community, however, Biola will comply with the order and suspend all on-campus operations with the exception of those who are needed for essential on-campus tasks that cannot be conducted remotely. This will be effective 11:59 p.m. on March 22, 2020 through at least April 19, 2020.
As local and state governments continue to respond rapidly to the virus, we continue to adjust our response efforts to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Each government announcement brings new challenges for our campus community. We appreciate your flexibility and continued commitment these past couple of weeks to care for the health and well-being of our entire community and our neighbors.
During the next month, Biola will operate remotely with a limited number of staff working on campus. These staff members are those who either 1) need to deliver remotely the quality education our students deserve who cannot do so off-campus or 2) need to be on campus to operate basic functions and support our students staying in university-owned housing.
Although not an exhaustive list and not all personnel delivering these services will necessarily need to be on campus, the following is a list of the services we currently anticipate needing to be performed on campus:
- Health Center services and corresponding support
- Student housing and food services with delivery only
- Facilities management at reduced levels
- Campus Safety personnel
- Custodial services at reduced levels to care for the limited number of students remaining on campus and focused on sanitizing common areas
- IT services associated with onsite support and remote learning
- Human Resources and the Finance Department at reduced levels
- Faculty who are unable, either due to technical issues or because of the nature of the course, must be on campus to deliver their courses remotely.
In an effort to help guide you through the foreseeable future, the following is a summary of decisions from Biola’s administration. We expect faculty, staff and students to comply with these emergency measures. They include:
- Residential students are to vacate campus by Saturday, March 21 at 2 p.m. Only students who were approved to live on campus by the Housing and Residence Life department will be able to live on campus in the designated residence halls. Approved students are also permitted to utilize long-term parking.
- Biola’s campus will be closed through at least April 19. The gatehouse entrances at Biola Ave. and La Mirada Blvd. will be staffed 24/7, and the gate arms will be down. The gates at all other entrances to campus will be closed. Current students and employees will need to scan or show their Biola ID to enter campus. Visitors will need to check-in at a gatehouse prior to entering campus and will be strictly limited to guests of students residing on campus.
- Building access will be locked down. Academic and administrative buildings will be locked at all times and access will be limited to authorized individuals who need to access them for pre-approved work or study.
- All classes will be offered by remote delivery. Starting Monday, March 23, 2020 remote teaching and learning will resume and continue through the end of the spring semester. Professors will be communicating with their students about next week’s class schedule and expectations for the remainder of the semester.
- Do not come to campus if you have been asked to work remotely. Though some personnel assigned to the essential task functions noted earlier will likely need to continue coming to campus to work, we ask that they first seek approval from their supervisor.
We encourage you to visit Biola’s coronavirus website as updates are posted regularly and watch this video to learn more about misconceptions about COVID-19 from Biola’s Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science Danielle Walker. If you have further questions please contact the coronavirus hotline at (562) 906-4501.
Your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time is greatly appreciated as, together, we work to curb the spread of COVID-19.
March 19, 2020: Urgent Notice of New Move Out Date
In light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order for California residents to stay home, the Department of Campus Safety is strongly recommending that students who were not granted permission to remain on campus leave campus for home by 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Since this order will take effect tomorrow, Friday, March 20, we want to ensure students are able to get home safely as soon as possible.
Many of you have already moved out, but there are still nearly 800 students who remain on campus yet to check out. We are emailing all residential students so you can help spread the word that the deadline has moved up by a day.
If due to pre-arranged travel plans you are unable to leave on Saturday, we ask that you try to adjust your plans to leave as soon as possible. Many airlines are offering the opportunity to change flights at no additional cost.
Please complete the Express Check Out process by putting your key and Express Check Out sheet in a sealed envelope and leaving it under your RD’s office or at the Housing Services desk, and completing the final step form. It is critical that you fill out the Express Check Out Final Step form when you leave campus so that we can process your housing and meal plan costs and maintain an accurate headcount. If you have already left campus and didn’t complete the express check out, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We apologize for the inconvenience this change might cause you and your family. Unfortunately, the situation changes daily and we want to make sure students get home safely and quickly.
Vice President for Student Development
March 19, 2020: Remote Learning Resources Available to Students
Dear Biola students,
This is a different time for Biola and for you as you finish the remainder of the spring semester remotely. As you transition to remote delivery formats on Monday, March 23, 2020, departments across campus will be available to support you for the remainder of the semester. We want to share how Biola will support you through the next seven weeks.
Your success during this transition is our priority. We’ve put together a page on the coronavirus website that includes resources for remote learning to assist you during this time:
- Tips for Succeeding in Remote Learning
- A Feedback Process for Remote Learning
- Accessing the Library
- Rhetoric and Writing Center Resources
- Learning Center Support
- IT Support
- Accessing Student Financial Services and Financial Aid
- Academic Advising and Registration
- The Career Center
Our faculty and staff are still available to connect with you virtually. See this information to find out how to set up an online meeting or phone appointment with academic departments and services.
Continuing students are still required to complete academic advising in order to prepare for Fall 2020 registration, and will still need a PIN to register. Your academic advisor or program will be reaching out with more details!
Your overall well-being is most important to us during this time. If you are experiencing challenges financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually, there are resources to support you! Some examples include:
As we transition to remote learning formats, please remember that students are still expected to adhere to the Community Standards and the Title IX/Sexual Misconduct policy. In this unique season, our hope is that whether you are on campus or hundreds of miles away, you will be empowered, transformed and thriving. We ask that you continue to commit to living with integrity, accepting responsibility for your actions and words, living in reconciled relationships, submitting to biblical instruction and walking with the Holy Spirit.
In the midst of all of this, we continue to keep the Biola community in prayer. We invite you to visit the coronavirus website for a list of prayers written by Campus Pastor Todd Pickett. Join us in praying for each other.
Vice President of Student Development
March 15, 2020: Biola University Cancels Spring Competition, Team Activity
Following new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and continued discussion with health officials and campus and department leadership, Biola University Athletics will cancel all remaining spring competition and team activity, effective immediately.
The school and PacWest Conference had announced previously a suspension to all athletic events through at least March 30. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress and expand, a full cancelation has been deemed most prudent.
This includes all team practices and strength training sessions, effective immediately.
“With the new recommendations from the CDC and health experts, we must use an abundance of precaution and cancel all athletics activities for the good of our students and our community,” said Dr. Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “This is heartbreaking, in particular for our spring season senior student-athletes, however, we are confident it is the right call.”
The PacWest Conference will have continued discussion on its official response to COVID-19 on Monday afternoon, but Biola is taking proactive steps to ensure the well-being of its student-athletes, staff and extended community.
For more information on Biola’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, view Biola’s Coronavirus webpage. This provides information and resources available to Biola’s campus community.
March 14, 2020: Update on Housing Refund
Last evening you were notified that at this time, Biola is intending to keep residence halls and university-owned housing open for the remainder of the spring semester and that students have the option to remain on campus or return home. The communication last night also stated that there would be no refunds for housing although there would be prorated refunds for meal plans.
We have been receiving questions from students and parents about a housing refund. After considering the input from these groups, we have decided to provide a refund in compliance with our housing handbook. We will provide refunds in the form of a credit to the student’s account. The amount of the refund will be the prorated room rate minus applicable cancellation fees (e.g. equal to one month’s housing charges). The terms of cancellation are found online. At this point in the semester, the approximate range of the housing refund per student would be $340 - $550 after cancellation fees.
If you choose to return home, complete the “Plans For the Rest of Spring 2020” form by Thursday, March 19, 2020 and complete the Express Check Out process no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020.
If you have any questions regarding the Check Out process, contact Housing & Residence Life at email@example.com.
For questions related to the Contract Cancellation policy, please contact Beth Braley in Auxiliary Services firstname.lastname@example.org, 562-944-0351, x5813.
Vice President for Student Development
March 13, 2020: Message from President Corey
March 12, 2020: Follow Up Email from Housing & Residence Life
As you learned in Provost Taylor’s email earlier this evening, classes will be suspended next week and moving to remote delivery formats as of March 23, 2020. While classes will not be meeting in person, Residence Halls and Apartments will remain open and services will be available through the remainder of the semester. We will continue to evaluate as events unfold; students can remain updated by visiting biola.edu/coronavirus.
At this time, we invite students who would like to head home to complete our Express Check Out process, detailed below. So that we can plan and provide sufficient support, we also ask that all students complete the “Plans for the Rest of Spring 2020” form communicating your plans via My Housing Self Service by Thursday, March 19, 2020. Residence Halls are not closing and your assignment will remain in effect through the rest of the year whether you choose to remain on campus or return home. In addition, all policies will remain in effect during this time.
If you plan to remain on campus, please be sure to complete the “Plans for the Rest of Spring 2020” form so we can know how to best support you through the remainder of the semester.
If you would like to check out early, please complete the Express Check Out process:
- Collect your Express Check Out packet from the front desk of your Residence Hall during RA duty hours, or from your Graduate Assistant if you live in the Apartments.
- Express Check Out packets will be available beginning at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, March 13.
- If you need to check out earlier than this, please contact your Resident Director or Graduate Assistant.
- Fill out all included forms and complete necessary cleaning to your residence.
- Drop your Express Check Out packet with forms, including your room key, in the designated location in your Residence Hall lobby.
- If you live in an apartment, you can drop your Express Check Out packet at the lock box located outside Student Services, or you can deliver your packet to the Housing Services desk during office hours.
- Students planning to check out need to complete their Express Check Out no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020.
As a reminder, Housing Selection for Fall 2020 is underway. The Housing Selection process will proceed as scheduled; please watch your Biola email for updates regarding Apartment and Residence Hall Selection times.
We understand the significant impact the coronavirus situation has on you and the remainder of your Spring semester. We appreciate your patience and grace with us as we navigate these swiftly changing dynamics. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Resident Director, or email email@example.com.
Natalie Berger, M.A.
Director of Housing & Residence Life
Division of Student Development
March 12, 2020: Biola University Suspends Play of Spring Competitions
As announced at 1:15 p.m. today, the NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors announced that all winter and spring NCAA Championships have been canceled in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 via NCAA sporting events.
“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,’ as stated in the official communication from the NCAA.
As a result of this decision, the PacWest Conference announced the suspension of all spring competitions through March 30. At that time the situation will be re-assessed.
Effective immediately, all sports at Biola University, regardless of conference affiliation, will suspend play of spring competitions. This includes non-conference and conference contests for all 16 programs. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
“The health and safety of our community of student-athletes and staff is our top priority,” said Dr. Bethany Miller, senior director of athletics. “Currently, we are working with officials at the PacWest Conference and NCAA to ensure that we can make the best of this unprecedented situation.”
For more information on Biola’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, view Biola’s Coronavirus webpage. This provides information and resources available to Biola’s campus community.
March 12, 2020: Biola Bound Cancellation Notice
Dear Biola Bound Registrants,
We are writing to inform you that in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and increased risk of contracting the virus through air travel, we have made the decision to cancel the Biola Bound events taking place March 14-17, 2020 and April 18-21, 2020.
We are sorry that you will not be able to visit our campus as you had planned. Campus visits are such an important step in your college selection process. However, yesterday the university announced new air travel restrictions for its employees that go into effect this coming Monday and will be in place through April. We do not feel it is appropriate to restrict our employee’s travel yet ask you to fly to Southern California for Biola Bound. We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause, but believe it is in your best interest and the university.
We encourage you to contact your airline immediately and ask for a travel credit. Most airlines are waiving change fees and offering travel vouchers that can be used for a set period of time. We will also be working to refund your registration fee in the days to come.
Thank you again for your understanding. We are hopeful you will be able to come and visit our beautiful campus in the future when it is safer to travel. In the interim, be sure to visit our virtual tour online.
Please join us in praying for those directly impacted by the virus, and that God would protect and bring healing to our land.
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications
March 10, 2020: Grandparents Day 2020 Canceled
March 10, 2020
Dear Biola grandparents,
It is with deep regret that we write to inform you that we are canceling Biola University’s Grandparents Day this Friday, March 13, 2020.
This was not an easy decision to make because we know how much you love and care for your student at Biola. However, as the university has monitored the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and the CDC’s strong recommendation that “older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips...” we determined it would be best to cancel the event altogether.
We have been wrestling with this decision the last few days as some grandparents have asked we not cancel it, and others have been surprised it was still scheduled. In the end, we do not want to put anyone at risk. And while there are no known cases of COVID-19 on Biola’s campus, we felt it was best to exercise an abundance of caution especially to our beloved Biola grandparents.
Some have asked if they can still come and visit their grandchild on campus. We are not restricting visitors to campus as it remains open to the public, but there will be no official programming for Grandparents Day.
In the coming days we will be in touch with you to refund your registration fee. All guests who were registered for the "meal option" will receive a full refund unless our families notify us otherwise. All registrations not refunded will be considered donations. Please allow 7-10 business days for refunds to be processed.
Again, we are deeply sorry for this news and trust you will understand our reasoning.
Thank you for supporting your grandchild at Biola! If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lily Tsau, Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
Stephanie Ramirez, Assistant Director of Parent Relations
March 6, 2020: COVID-19 Update to Students
(the following email was sent out to students on March 6, 2020)
As the news of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, increases and cases in L.A. County and neighboring counties multiply, the Office of Student Health Services and University Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation would like to provide the Biola community with information regarding Coronavirus in order to equip the community with tips and proactive measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated publicly that community spread of COVID-19 in the United States is likely to occur. On March 4, 2020, the County of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency and confirmed six new cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County, which has increased to 11 as of March 6. The state of emergency was not to cause alarm but was declared in an abundance of caution in order to enhance the county’s preparedness and increase support from the state and federal partners. There are currently no cases in the city of La Mirada and no cases at Biola University.
Preventive Health Measures
Whether you have been on campus this past week, or you have been away, here are some important tips for you to follow.
- Avoid handshakes. Use verbal greetings.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. An additional 22 hand sanitizers have been installed in residence halls, the gymnasium, Sutherland Auditorium and other high traffic buildings.
- Cover your cough with your sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your living areas and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant spray or wipe.
- Don’t share food or drinks.
- If you feel sick, stay home and rest.
Travel from Impacted Regions
If you are returning from international regions designated by the CDC as a Level 2 or 3 risk (i.e. Italy, Korea, China, Japan) you will need to complete a clearance process coordinated by the Student Health Center and the University Office of Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation. Please contact the university emergency line 24/7 at (562)777-4000 to initiate this process before returning to campus.
If you are returning from an impacted region from Washington state, have flu-like symptoms or questions, please contact the emergency line at (562)777-4000 before returning to campus.
If you are returning from international travel from other countries not heavily impacted by the COVID-19, pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the U.S. If you get sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and seek medical advice by the emergency line at (562)777-4000 or your personal physician.
Campus Preparedness Plan
Over the past two months, the university’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has developed a proactive university-wide plan to address issues related to COVID-19. The plan includes area-specific preparedness and response procedures and the purchase of essential supplies. If the spread of COVID-19 increases in LA County, the ERT will assess if large events on campus will need to be rescheduled or cancelled. Summer international mission trips are being assessed in partnership with SMU leadership and decisions about whether to cancel or redirect trips to other locations will be made by early April.
Our commitment is to support the Biola community through this rapidly evolving global health situation, and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available and if things change. We have a dedicated website that will be updated as soon as we have new information. If you have any questions, please call (562) 906-4501.
Join us in continuing to pray for the areas and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Director, Student Health Services
Chief John Ojeisekhoba
University Emergency Preparedness
Office of University Travel Safety & Risk Mitigation
Helpful External Resources
- For more information California’s response to COVID-19, visit the CDPH website.
- Track the coronavirus COVID-19 global cases by region.
- Steps to Prevent Illness
- NCAA Cancels Remaining Winter and Spring Championships
- "Coping and caring for oneself during the COVID-19 outbreak for Pastors and Christian Leaders" — Contributor, David C. Wang, Th.M., Ph.D., associate professor at Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology.