Welcome Message from President Melvin L. Oliver - 08.24.20

August 24, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students:

Greetings and welcome to Pitzer College Fall 2020. 

Over the summer, our faculty worked with great passion and creativity to develop an enriching set of online courses that will challenge and engage you. I am excited and optimistic about how much we can collectively accomplish through our faculty’s dedication to presenting a curriculum that takes advantage of technology in the most effective and meaningful ways.

This year promises new discoveries, intellectual enrichment and personal growth for you. Let’s embrace this extraordinary moment. With a spirit of generosity and shared commitment, I know we will come together and expand our knowledge and wisdom, while growing and strengthening our community in new ways.

I urge you to take advantage of the robust opportunities and programs that are taking place in the next few weeks and throughout the fall semester. For our new students, please plan to attend Convocation on Thursday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m. Convocation serves to welcome you to Pitzer College’s academic and intellectual community. 

The following week, on September 2, please attend the Student Resource Fair where you will have the chance to learn about the many different offices and programs at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges.

Provida Futuri – mindful of the future – is the motto for Pitzer College. It is now more urgent than ever. Please be mindful of each other, and the broader community, wherever you may be living and studying this semester. Please adhere to the safety and well-being guidelines developed by the Office of Student Affairs at Pitzer.

As well, please familiarize and avail yourself of the Student Success Support and Resources that are here to assist you both personally and academically during your time at Pitzer College.

Your opportunities for intellectual, social and ethical growth are boundless. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you as we embark on a transformative and fulfilling year at the College.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Mindful of Each Other: Safety and Well-Being Guidelines - 08.20.20

August 20, 2020

Dear Students,

As we prepare for the start of our online Fall 2020 semester, we appreciate your continued practice of “Mindful of Each Other” by following the important safety and well-being guidelines noted below:

Restricted Student Access to The Claremont Colleges & Pitzer Colleges

Due to COVID-19 related health and safety concerns, and until further notice from the College, the Pitzer College campus and all of the Claremont Colleges will be physically closed during this time to the community, including to all students. The sign above is posted at main entrances to campus. For the safety and well-being of everyone in our community, students who are living in the local Claremont area will not have access to campus and should not plan to utilize any campus resources or outdoor areas at Pitzer during this time.

The following are the only student exceptions where access will be granted:

Students can only visit the Claremont Colleges to:

Students can only visit Pitzer’s campus to:

  • Pick up items left in residential storage in March 2020 by emailing housing@pitzer.edu to receive specific instructions and written approval to come to campus to retrieve these items.

This fall semester, the Pitzer community will continue to fulfill our mission to “produce engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world” while protecting the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. While the COVID-19 public health crisis has impacted our ability to be physically together on-campus this fall, it will not impact our ability to still build a strong Pitzer family.  We ask all students to consider how you can remotely contribute to the greater good in the multiple communities we are a part of, and continue to invest in our community values, traditions, and connections in new ways.

Students living in the local Claremont community will be critical partners in upholding our commitment to social responsibility, our Student Code of Conduct, and the greater wellbeing of our Pitzer and local communities. This includes, but is not limited to, being “Mindful of Each Other” in preventing surges of COVID-19 by doing our part to not host large gatherings (which are strictly prohibited) and limit guests and contacts within households, while complying with any directives from health officials for any student who becomes impacted by COVID-19.

Together, at home across the world, we are mindful of our communities, therefore we commit to:  

Follow CDC guidance in response to COVID-19

Face Coverings

  • Wear face coverings in accordance with CDC recommendations
  • Los Angeles County’s face-covering order requires “All persons* wear a cloth face covering over both the nose and mouth whenever they leave their place of residence and are, or can be, in contact with or walking near or past others who are non-household members in both public and private places, whether indoors or outdoors.” Guidance about exceptions can be found on the website.
  • Claremont City Council’s emergency face-covering ordinance was implemented to help slow the spread of the virus granting the ability to enforce fines ($100 first fine, $200 second in one year, and $500 for a third) for those not in compliance.
  • Students experiencing insecurity needs related to face coverings may submit a request through the student emergency fund.

Physical Distancing

  • Practice physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) 
  • Do not share objects with others, when possible, to limit transmission.

Education, Updates and Proactive Guidance

  • Review important health announcements and engage in ongoing education on the issue of prevention and response to COVID-19.
  • Follow health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and health and safety guidance as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19 

Safety Upgrades

  • In compliance with LA County, California and CDC reopening protocols, Pitzer’s Facilities staff, the COVID-19 Task Force, several intercollegiate committees, and other groups have been working diligently to develop, implement and provide necessary and required safety protocols, including: cleaning and disinfecting protocols, training of staff, purchasing of supplies and personal protective equipment, and modifications to our physical facilities.

Be “Mindful of Each Other”

  • Take care of each other, build and maintain connections, and reach out to support resources.
  • Practice “calling each other in” around these important health and safety measures, empathy, compassion and an ethos of “I am because we are”, whereby we honor the “principle of ubuntu: a concept in which being itself is a relational category of recognition, rights, and responsibilities” (Ogude, Paulson, & Srainchan, 2019)
  • Support Pitzer, and local, community members who are impacted by COVID-19 and connect them with appropriate resources.
  • Combat bias, discrimination, xenophobia and stigma related to COVID-19 by resisting any attempts to discriminate against others based on COVID-19 status or association and commit to learning from others’ experiences as part of our ever-changing global community. 

Be Mindful of Your Own Self Care

Illustrations by Natalie Ayala ’21

This can be a challenging time for many given the added stressors of the current situation. We remind you to be vigilant in your own self -awareness. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or other similar symptoms please know that you are not alone and we encourage you to reach out to any of the resources below designed to support you at any time you are struggling.

24/7 On-Call and Student Support Resources:

  • To reach our 24/7 On-Call team, please contact Campus Safety at 909-607-8000
  •  Crisis Mental Health Support can be reached by contacting Campus Safety at 909-607-8000 who will connect you with the on-call therapist.
  • To access 24/7 telehealth for students seeking mental health counseling or medical care. Pitzer students should visit the 24/7 7C TeleHealth for Students website or visit the Apple or Android stores to download the free TimelyMD app. You will need to create a profile and, at checkout, enter the customized coupon code (Pitzer 2020).
  • Your online Fall 2020 success and transition is important to us. Please visit our Fall 2020 Student Success Support Services and Resources website for more information.
  • For daily self-care inspiration, support and community subscribe to PZStrive2Thrive
  • Reach out and connect with Assistant Dean and Case Manager Stephanie Hannant at stephanie_hannant@pitzer.edu
  • Check in with a student affairs dean via virtual office hours on Google hangouts where you can connect by a call, video, or text/chat (weekly schedule and how to connect is available here)

Student Emergency & Missing Persons Contact Information

As you log onto your Pitzer student portal, you will be receiving a reminder notification to submit and/or update your current emergency and missing persons contact information. You, your safety, and well-being, matter, especially in the event of an unforeseen natural disaster or emergency. While federal compliance mandates that all students living on campus (including those at CCA) complete this information, all students living off-campus are also required to complete the information in light of health and safety measures related to COVID-19.  Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to submit and/or update your information by logging into the Pitzer student portal:

  1. Go to the Student tab
  2. At the far left, click on Pitzer Student Info
  3. You will find Missing Persons/Emergency Contacts Information at the bottom
  4. You can click on the plus sign button to add a new contact
  5. There are two types of records: Missing Persons and Emergency; selecting Both will use one record for both types
  6. To delete a record, click on the trash can to delete it.
  7. To edit a record, click on the pencil to edit it.

Pitzer College 2020-2021 Student Handbook

The 2020-2021 Student Handbook includes easy access links to campus resources, departments, and student academic and non-academic responsibilities found within the Code of Student Conduct and campus policies.

We at Pitzer take pride in the residential liberal arts experience created by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College. It is an experience always centered on our Core Values and the health and safety of all members of our community. Even during this unprecedented time of physical separation, we are still a community of learners and together we will find innovative, effective and thoughtful ways of equipping you, our students, to live healthy and thriving lives; and be the citizens and leaders our global society needs more than ever. Mindful of Each Other, we remain committed to supporting student success and engaging students remotely, for now, and in-person in the not-too-distant future. 

This past week in preparation for engaging with you, our Community Assistants participated in training that included creating a virtual and living solidarity tree. At Pitzer the roots within our community are deep, ground us to our Core Values, our community action rises above hate, and together, we are Pitzer strong! 

Mindful of Each Other,

Mike Segawa 
Vice President for Student Affairs 

Sandra Vasquez
Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students         

Where can I find information on the fall semester class schedule and the different meeting times for classes? - 08.13.20

This information is available on the Registrar’s website under the menu for Academic Calendar Fall 2020 and Fall 2020 Timeslots and Meeting Dates.  It is important to note that there are two different Saturdays that serve as regular class days (for classes that meet on Tuesday or Friday).  And, even though November 23 and 24 are Monday and Tuesday, those days serve as meeting days for Wednesday and Thursday classes.

Will there be opportunities for Pitzer students to work for the College remotely? - 08.11.20

Yes.  Student employment provides critical support to achieve the mission and goals of Pitzer College while also providing opportunities for students to feel connected to the College, gain valuable experience, and secure financial support. Student employment positions will be available for fall 2020. Because the College will be operating on a fully remote basis, however, the number of student employment positions will be limited. Please note that a portion of work-study allotments for fall 2020 have been converted to other forms of aid for all students who are eligible for work-study.

What students are eligible to work for fall 2020? - 08.11.20

Positions will be open to enrolled students (full-time or part-time).  Students on a leave of absence for the semester are not eligible to work. Due to tax regulations and other legal barriers, students residing in international locations for the fall 2020 semester are not eligible to work. We deeply regret that this is not a possibility. Students should be limited typically to one position or up to approximately 10 hours of work per week to distribute jobs as widely as possible.

I applied for a leave of absence (LOA) for the fall semester/academic year, but I’ve changed my mind and want to enroll. How do I cancel my LOA? - 08.03.20

We welcome back students who have changed their mind about taking a LOA. To return from LOA or cancel a LOA, students should complete and submit the Notice of Return from Leave of Absence form. The usual deadline for filing this form for fall semester is March 15, but we are permitting students to return from LOA or change their minds about LOA until the start of fall semester. However, there are no guarantees about class availability for students who are returning from LOA or have changed their minds about taking a LOA this semester. In addition, financial aid information and final billing may be delayed.

For information on returning from leave or changing your mind about a LOA, please contact registrar@pitzer.edu.

Where can I find the updated course schedule for fall semester? - 08.03.20

The updated fall course schedule for all of the undergraduate consortium colleges is available on the portal. In addition, the Pitzer Registrar’s website contains information on important dates for the fall semester and also about class meeting times. Finally, many Pitzer faculty have provided updated course logistics and descriptions for their fall classes. These descriptions can be found in a view-only Google document

For information about the fall schedule or registering for all classes, please contact registrar@pitzer.edu.

I am an international student and would like to take courses in my home country this year. Will I be able to transfer credits from these classes to Pitzer? - 07.29.20

Pitzer’s transfer credit policy permits international students to take courses in their home country and transfer them to Pitzer. However, students are allowed to transfer a total of 2.0 credits for classes they take anywhere during this academic year. Students should consult with their academic advisers in developing a plan that makes the most sense for them in terms of taking a leave of absence or pursuing coursework elsewhere. Students should seek pre-approval from the relevant field group for any courses they plan to take and transfer to Pitzer. Field groups decide which courses can be transferred to Pitzer as well as counted toward major/minor requirements.

For more information, read the current transfer policy.

An important message from Mike Segawa, Vice President for Student Affairs - 07.24.20

July 24, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

We tried, we really did. For the past four months, literally dozens upon dozens of staff, faculty, and students worked relentlessly to prepare for a physical return to our beautiful Pitzer campus this fall. For many of us, almost every waking hour since March was devoted to finding a safe and educationally meaningful way to re-open our classrooms, laboratories, studios, residence halls, offices, dining hall, recreational facilities, and grounds. Recently though, it became abundantly clear that in spite of the challenges and financial pain, the wisest and most responsible action was to shift our focus and devote all of our energy into creating the most robust and engaging on-line learning communities possible.

Like you, we are disappointed to not be returning to campus this fall. However, while we may be separated by miles, we all remain devoted to and part of the Pitzer community, one that is known for being innovative, flexible, and resilient. This is a remarkable opportunity for us to tap into our collective creativity and develop new and interesting ways to teach, to learn and to stay connected. This fall, Pitzer classes and co-curricular activities will cut to the heart of the issues and challenges we are facing nationally and globally – from the pandemic to the racial and social injustices that are occurring. We are witnessing an important societal awakening and experiencing cultural changes as a result of political and social action.

In the midst of all of this, Pitzer will be providing opportunities for learning and engagement like you’ve never experienced before. We are establishing new approaches to teaching, learning and student engagement that will be a model for other liberal arts colleges while honoring the core values upon which Pitzer was founded and will continue to operate. There is no doubt that we will emerge from the twin viruses of COVID-19 and systemic racism a stronger, healthier, smarter and more active learning community.

Our team in Student Affairs has developed co-curricular programs that are designed to interest all students. These programs will focus on wellness, social connections, academic support, civic engagement, mentorship, career pathways, traditions, leadership and fun! You can still participate in the student resource fair, virtual fitness classes, time management workshops and many other programs that will help us stay connected to each other. Our academic and co-curricular life will be engaging in a new way, complete with original and re-envisioned programs and a multitude of ways to get involved.

It is our hope and invitation that many of you will choose to embark on this most challenging, and in so many ways creative, journey with us, trusting that together we will find a truly Pitzer way of prevailing and thriving in spite of the current circumstances.

Our collective ability to achieve this rich Pitzer experience depends on your willingness to be a part of our virtual community this fall. We hope you join us, as we are Pitzer Now more than ever.

Please remember to review the fall 2020 student success support services and resources website for regular important updates, including academic support resources, financial aid, access to limited loaner WiFi hot spots and laptops for students who need them, well-being, housing, basic needs, and more, to assist with your planning and transition. 

Provida Futuri,
Mike Segawa

Vice President for Student Affairs

Modification to the Transfer Credit Policy for Academic Year 2020-2021 - 07.23.20

Policy Modification. On July 17, 2020, the Pitzer College Faculty Executive Committee approved a modification to the current transfer credit policy that applies to all current students regardless of the College Catalog language in place at the time of their original matriculation. Specifically, a student will be allowed to transfer up to a total of 2.0 Pitzer credits (i.e., 8 semester units or 12 quarter units) from an institution of higher education for coursework completed during the fall and spring semesters (or fall, winter, and spring quarters) of academic year 2020-21. This modification was adopted to facilitate academic continuity for students while also serving to maintain the academic quality and integrity of the Pitzer College educational program and degree.

Implementation. Students who intend to transfer course credits to Pitzer should seek pre-approval from the relevant field group(s) before enrolling in courses at another institution. The Pitzer field group will determine the criteria for approval of transfer credit but all requests for transfer credit (pre-approvals and requests for transfer credits) received in the Registrar’s Office after July 17, 2020 will be considered under this policy modification. However, any student who had fall 2020 or winter/spring 2021 courses pre-approved for transfer credit by the relevant field group and had this approval on file in the Pitzer Registrar’s Office prior to July 17, 2020 will be allowed to transfer the approved credits (i.e., the approved credits, even if greater than two, will be “grandfathered” for acceptance as long as the classes are successfully completed with grades of C or above).

Background & Rationale. The modification does not change overall flexibility in the current policy that permits up to 16 Pitzer equivalent courses be accepted for transfer credit, except for New Resources students who may transfer up to 24 Pitzer equivalent course credits (see http://pitzer.catalog.acalog.com/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=730#Transfer%20Credits). The modification also does not change procedures in the current policy that specify that a faculty member representing the appropriate discipline (field group) must approve each transferred course, and that field groups may apply additional and more stringent criteria to determine whether a course can be accepted for transfer credit or count toward major/minor requirements or other graduation requirements. Transfer credit does not calculate into a student’s Pitzer GPA. Furthermore, the Leave of Absence request and approval process is separate from the Transfer Credit approval process. Students take leaves of absence for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with attempting to transfer course credits (see http://pitzer.catalog.acalog.com/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=730#loa).

To support the transfer credit policy and signal to students the stringent requirements for transfer credit pre-approval for courses taken outside of Pitzer, field groups are encouraged to insert the following or similar language into field group descriptions: “Pitzer College field groups have a responsibility to preserve the academic integrity of the Pitzer educational program and degree. All courses proposed for transfer credit to Pitzer College require pre-approval by the appropriate disciplinary field group before the course is taken and transfer credit requested.”

Why should I enroll at Pitzer this fall? - 07.18.20

Pitzer Now. More than ever. Look around. A pandemic is raging. We are in the midst of societal awakening, political action and cultural change. This fall, Pitzer classes and co-curricular activities will cut to the heart of these issues and offer you opportunities for engagement like you’ve never had before. We might not all be together on campus, but our academic life will be vibrant, complete with restyled education and new ways to be involved.

You won’t want to miss the transformed and transformative educational opportunities we’ve designed for the fall. For example, we are embarking on a multi-year initiative that will infuse racial justice throughout the Pitzer curriculum, and that also will involve looking inward at our own institutional policies and practices as well as outward and to how Pitzer can be a broader agent of change. As part of this initiative, you can expect several new classes, class modifications and co-curricular events this fall semester.

Small classes and intimate relationships with professors are at the heart of a Pitzer education. At Pitzer, we don’t just teach courses, we nurture personal and long-term investment in our students. Whether we are in person or in virtual classrooms, we are committed to building relationships with students that last beyond our courses and that serve our students for years to come.

Preview some of Pitzer’s innovative fall semester classes.

I am a first-year, new transfer, or new New Resources student who decided to defer, but I have now changed my mind and would like to enroll. What do I do? - 07.18.20

We welcome any first-year students who wish to enroll this fall semester. All currently deferred students who now wish to enroll should contact the Office of Admission to reverse your deferral decision by Thursday, July 30. Please email santiago_ybarra@pitzer.edu or applicant@pitzer.edu to start the enrollment process. We may be able to accommodate new enrollments after this date, but we cannot guarantee the same access to courses, including first-year seminar choices. Students who enroll after the start of Orientation (July 27) will have the opportunity to view orientation activities, as these are all being recorded. You will also have the opportunity to make up any missed placement exams. If you are still having trouble deciding what is the best decision for you, contact the Dean of Faculty’s Office at DOFcore@pitzer.edu. We are excited about next semester and welcome the conversation with you.

Fall 2020 Plans - 07.14.20

July 14, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community:

This is a critical time as COVID-19 continues to spread nationally and in Southern California. New infections and hospitalizations have reached alarming levels across the country and in this region over the past few weeks.

Since spring break, when students left campus and we transitioned to a remote learning environment at Pitzer, we have worked diligently across the consortium and within the College to develop comprehensive plans for a safe return to campus this fall. Our COVID-19 Task Force comprising students, faculty and staff has dedicated countless hours to information-gathering, problem-solving and action-planning as we prepared for the fall semester. The health and safety of our students and our community has always been our highest priority.

Despite our best efforts, the current public health conditions are such that the Pitzer Board of Trustees and I have determined that the responsible decision is to not bring students back to campus for the fall semester. Instead we will deliver a remote educational experience in fall 2020 and continue planning for an in-person residential experience for spring 2021.

I understand how disappointing this will be for many of you and acknowledge the difficulties we have all faced over the past four months. Please know that the College made every effort to find a way to return to campus this fall and resume normal operations with appropriate safety measures in place.

However, under the current conditions, we believe that we can provide a better learning opportunity and better experience for our students remotely than we would be able to deliver on campus. The on-campus experience would be radically altered, without many of the activities we consider a normal part of college life, and would include significant safety restrictions, strictly enforced, not only on our students but on our faculty and staff. We would need to be prepared for the possibility of quarantining and isolating many students, as well as an outbreak, which could interfere dramatically with our goal of bringing the best possible Pitzer experience to our students.  

Rather than constantly worrying about, and reacting to, the pandemic, we chose to bring the best possible Pitzer experience directly to our students. In this way we can focus on the educational experience rather than the virus and the environment. Accordingly, this fall, Pitzer is committed to providing 1) a robust, enriching and meaningful learning environment; 2) academic, personal and financial support to help our students succeed; and 3) continued planning and preparations for a safe return to campus – hopefully in the spring.

I know this announcement will engender many questions about the fall semester, and we will be sharing more information about our plans as they continue to solidify. In the meantime, I want to address as many subjects as I can below.

Teaching and Learning

In contrast to last semester, when we go online this fall, it will be after several months of intense pedagogical preparation. We are fortunate to have experienced, highly motivated faculty who taught online this spring and many again during our summer session. They want our students’ experience to be as rich and engaging as possible, and have spent the past several months re-envisioning and redesigning their courses, with an appropriate mix of synchronous and asynchronous material that will facilitate student learning and involvement.

I have no doubt that, this fall, Pitzer faculty will continue to be innovative, accessible and committed to the success of our students. And, I am confident they will be more creative and flexible than ever, and with a clear commitment to:

  • provide students with the highest quality educational experiences
  • offer personalized approaches to teaching and advising students
  • support students by being available through office hours, consultations, tutorials and meetings
  • ensure that all students can make academic progress toward graduation
  • work collaboratively to coordinate academic plans and curricular offerings for our students

Many faculty members have received glowing feedback from students on their thoughtful delivery and dynamic approach to remote teaching recently and are actively sharing ideas and collaborating with their faculty colleagues. We plan to hold information sessions over the next several weeks in which students can learn first-hand about some of the innovations and plans that our faculty have for their courses.    

Beyond individual courses, some initiatives and themes will be highlighted this fall and facilitated by our online format. For example, I have announced a special initiative on racial violence and injustice that will be rooted primarily in the curriculum and include co-curricular programming. Our community engagement work, and also activities connected to the fall election, will have broader and deeper reach using online tools and pedagogies. 

In short, although we will not have our traditional in-person classes, Pitzer faculty and the College as a whole are redoubling our efforts to ensure what you have come to expect and deserve: a rigorous academic experience that is distinctive and that addresses the most pressing issues of the day.

Juice will be featuring many interesting academic programs and is one example of the new ways the College will be engaging with you.

Supporting Students

We will support our students academically, personally, emotionally, and in some cases financially, while helping them navigate the remote environment and their course work with confidence and a sense of accomplishment. We will address the needs of low-income students to the best of our ability by providing the appropriate technology and access to other resources as needed.

Even during this unprecedented time of physical separation, we are still a community of learners and together we will find innovative, effective and thoughtful ways of equipping our students to live healthy and thriving lives; and be the citizens and leaders our global society needs more than ever. We remain committed to supporting student success and engaging students remotely, for now, and in-person when it becomes possible. Additional information related to student success support services and resources is available here.

In addition, we will provide co-curricular programs that generate a sense of connection to Pitzer and our core values. A faculty-led working group has been focusing on eliminating barriers to planning activities in a physically distant or remote environment, and developing avenues for student groups, clubs and organizations to thrive. Fostering community and creating opportunities for student engagement are fundamental to student success, wherever students gather – in Claremont or in the virtual world. More information about co-curricular plans and programming is forthcoming.

International Students/ICE Guidance

Last week, I wrote to the community about the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s regrettable directive for international students who are pursuing their degrees at institutions like Pitzer. This short-sighted and divisive action was at odds with Pitzer’s core values, and threatened the future of our international students.

Thankfully there is positive news. Yesterday, Pitzer and 19 other colleges and universities in the western region filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block ICE from implementing this policy. Our alumna and former trustee, Debra Wong Yang ’81, is a lead counsel for the case. And today, at a hearing in a suit filed by Harvard and MIT, the government agreed to rescind the new rule, forgo any related enforcement action and continue to follow the guidance issued in March that accommodated international students whose institutions transitioned to online learning. We are delighted by this development and relieved for our international students who are so important to our community.

Tuition and Financial Aid

On June 25, Pitzer announced a modest 2.2% tuition increase for the 2020-2021 academic year. Based on the decision to pivot to a fully online fall semester, the Pitzer Board of Trustees has decided to roll back that tuition increase and hold it constant at the 2019-2020 level. There will be no increase to tuition and fees for the coming year. Nor will there be any room and board charges in the fall.

I know that you have many questions about how Pitzer will respond to the financial needs of our students and I can assure you that Pitzer staff members in financial aid and student affairs are meeting daily to determine how best to package financial aid in these unusual circumstances. Your patience is appreciated as we finalize the details of our financial aid awards for the coming year.

Financial Impact

An online semester could result in significant loss of revenue for the College if enrollment numbers decline. Pitzer is tuition dependent, with almost 90% of our operating costs covered by tuition and fee revenue, 70% of which is compensation for our employees. If we are faced with a significant budget shortfall, we are prepared to utilize some savings to cover a portion of the deficit, savings that we had planned to use for capital reinvestment. While we are prepared to sacrifice these funds, it will be important that we consider measures to address the deficit without risking the long-term financial viability of the College.

Every student who remains enrolled with us online will have a direct impact on the cost reductions we need to make, our ability to provide financial support to students in need and our ability to retain our employees. Pitzer will make every effort to protect the most vulnerable in our community while addressing the significant financial challenges we face.

We are providing our initial FAQs to begin to answer many of the questions not covered here. We will continue developing and refining these FAQs in the days and weeks to come.

Final Thoughts

When I accepted the offer to become Pitzer College’s sixth president in 2016, it was the proudest moment of my career. I could not have imagined that four short years later, I would be writing this letter to you. Together with the Board of Trustees, the COVID-19 Task Force and my leadership team, I have agonized over this decision and its impact on our students, staff and faculty. While I am concerned about how an online semester will disrupt the Pitzer experience for so many of us, I am also inspired by the tireless efforts of our community and our collective resolve to make this transition smoothly and effectively.

In making this decision, I thought carefully about our core values, especially social responsibility, which includes the responsibility to elevate the interests of those among us who are most vulnerable to the virus and its effects. I am convinced that an in-person fall semester at Pitzer compromises those interests to an extent that we cannot abide. But I am also convinced that in these times of crisis, liberal arts colleges like Pitzer must look forward and engage the immense challenges before us.

In the words of one of Pitzer’s longest-tenured faculty members, “In the midst of this pandemic, a liberal arts education will be essential to addressing our most daunting future challenges: racial injustice, mass incarceration, health inequality, environmental degradation. A Pitzer education is much more than 32 courses of 45 contact hours. It is a community, nested in a consortium of such communities, in which students have the space and support to figure out what social problems they want to address, what tools they need to address them, and how to convert passion and skills into action.”

Despite the challenges we face, I view the future with optimism and hope because I know that Pitzer will embrace the problems before us in a way that is thoughtful, inclusive, compassionate and mindful of the future. I encourage all of you to join us as we move forward at a distance, but always together.

We will be sharing additional information and regular updates with you via email and on our website at: Pitzer Fall 2020. A town hall meeting for Pitzer faculty and staff will be held on Tuesday, July 21, at 1 p.m. followed by other forums for students and families later in the week. More details are forthcoming.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Traducción – Translation



14 de julio, 2020

Estimada Comunidad de Pitzer,

Este es un momento crítico ya que el coronavirus continúa extendiéndose a nivel nacional y en el sur de California. Nuevas infecciones y hospitalizaciones han alcanzado niveles alarmantes en todo el país y en esta región en las últimas semanas.

Desde las vacaciones de primavera, cuando los estudiantes salieron del campus y pasamos a un entorno de aprendizaje remoto en Pitzer, hemos trabajado diligentemente en todo el consorcio y dentro del Colegio para desarrollar planes integrales para un regreso seguro al campus este otoño. Nuestra Fuerza Especial de Coronavirus compuesto por estudiantes, profesores y personal ha dedicado innumerables horas a la recopilación de información, la resolución de problemas, y la planificación de la acción mientras nos preparamos para el semestre de otoño. La salud y la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y de nuestra comunidad siempre ha sido nuestra máxima prioridad.

A pesar de nuestros mejores esfuerzos, las condiciones de salud pública actuales son tales que el Consejo Directivo de Pitzer y yo hemos determinado que la decisión responsable es no traer a los estudiantes de vuelta al campus para el semestre de otoño. En su lugar, ofreceremos una experiencia educativa remota en el otoño de 2020 y continuaremos planeando una experiencia residencial en persona para la primavera de 2021.

Entiendo lo decepcionante que será esto para muchos de ustedes y reconozco las dificultades que todos hemos enfrentado en los últimos cuatro meses. Por favor, sepa que el Colegio hizo todo lo posible para encontrar una manera de regresar al campus este otoño y reanudar las operaciones normales con las medidas de seguridad apropiadas en su lugar.

Sin embargo, bajo las condiciones actuales, creemos que podemos proporcionar una mejor oportunidad de aprendizaje y una mejor experiencia para nuestros estudiantes de forma remota de lo que podríamos ofrecer en el campus. La experiencia en el campus se alteraría radicalmente, sin muchas de las actividades que consideramos una parte normal de la vida universitaria, e incluiría restricciones de seguridad significativas, estrictamente aplicadas, no sólo en nuestros estudiantes, sino en nuestra facultad y personal. Tendríamos que estar preparados para la posibilidad de poner en cuarentena y aislar a muchos estudiantes, así como un brote, que podría interferir dramáticamente con nuestro objetivo de llevar la mejor experiencia de Pitzer posible a nuestros estudiantes.

En lugar de preocuparnos constantemente y reaccionar a la pandemia, elegimos llevar la mejor experiencia de Pitzer posible directamente a nuestros estudiantes. De esta manera podemos centrarnos en la experiencia educativa en lugar del virus y el medio ambiente. En consecuencia, este otoño, Pitzer se compromete a proporcionar 1) un entorno de aprendizaje sólido, enriquecedor y significativo; 2) apoyo académico, personal y financiero para ayudar a nuestros estudiantes a tener éxito; y 3) la planificación y los preparativos continuos para un regreso seguro al campus, con suerte en la primavera.

Sé que este anuncio engendrará muchas preguntas sobre el semestre de otoño, y compartiremos más información sobre nuestros planes a medida que continúen solidificándose. Mientras tanto, quiero abordar tantos temas como pueda a continuación.

Enseñanza y Aprendizaje

A diferencia del semestre pasado, cuando nos pongamos en línea este otoño, será después de varios meses de intensa preparación pedagógica. Tenemos la suerte de tener profesores experimentados y altamente motivados que enseñaron en línea esta primavera y muchos lo hicieron de nuevo durante nuestra sesión de verano. Quieren que la experiencia de nuestros estudiantes sea lo más rica y atractiva posible, y han pasado los últimos meses re-concibiendo y rediseñando sus cursos, con una mezcla adecuada de material síncrono y asincrónico que facilitará el aprendizaje y la participación de los estudiantes.

No tengo ninguna duda de que, este otoño, la facultad de Pitzer seguirá siendo innovadora, accesible y comprometida con el éxito de nuestros estudiantes. Y, estoy seguro de que serán más creativos y flexibles que nunca, y con un compromiso claro de:

  • proporcionar a los estudiantes experiencias educativas de la más alta calidad
  • ofrecer enfoques personalizados para enseñar y asesorar a los estudiantes
  • apoyar a los estudiantes estando disponibles a través de horas de oficina, consultas, tutoriales y reuniones
  • asegurar que todos los estudiantes pueden hacer progreso académico hacia la graduación
  • trabajar colaborativamente para coordinar planes académicos y ofertas para nuestros estudiantes

Muchos miembros de la facultad han recibido comentarios brillantes de los estudiantes sobre su entrega reflexiva y método dinámico a la enseñanza remota recientemente y están compartiendo activamente ideas y colaborando con sus colegas de la facultad. Planeamos realizar sesiones de información durante las próximas semanas en las que los estudiantes puedan conocer de primera mano algunas de las innovaciones y los planes que nuestros profesores tienen para sus cursos.

Más allá de los cursos individuales, algunas iniciativas y temas serán destacados este otoño y facilitados por nuestro formato en línea. Por ejemplo, he anunciado una iniciativa especial sobre la violencia racial y la injusticia que se enraizará principalmente en el plan de estudios e incluirá la programación cocurricular. Nuestro trabajo de involucramiento de la comunidad, y también las actividades relacionadas con la elección de otoño, tendrán un alcance más amplio y profundo utilizando herramientas y pedagogías en línea.

En resumen, aunque no tendremos nuestras clases tradicionales en persona, los profesores de Pitzer y el Colegio en su conjunto están redoblendo nuestros esfuerzos para asegurar lo que usted ha llegado a esperar y merecer: una experiencia académica rigurosa que es distintiva y que aborde los temas más apremiantes del día.

Juice presentará muchos programas académicos interesantes y es un ejemplo de las nuevas maneras en que el Colegio participará con usted.

Apoyando a los Estudiantes
Apoyaremos a nuestros estudiantes académicamente, personalmente, emocionalmente y, en algunos casos, financieramente, mientras les ayudamos a navegar el entorno remoto y su trabajo académico con confianza y un sentido de logro. Abordaremos las necesidades de los estudiantes de bajos ingresos lo mejor que podamos proporcionando la tecnología adecuada y el acceso a otros recursos según sea necesario.

Incluso durante este tiempo sin precedentes de separación física, seguimos siendo una comunidad de estudiantes y juntos encontraremos formas innovadoras, eficaces y reflexivas de equipar a nuestros estudiantes para vivir vidas saludables y prósperas; y ser los ciudadanos y líderes que nuestra sociedad global necesita más que nunca. Seguimos comprometidos a apoyar el éxito de los estudiantes e involucrar a los estudiantes de forma remota, por ahora y en persona cuando sea posible. Aquí encontrará información adicional relacionada con los servicios y recursos de apoyo al éxito de los estudiantes.

Además, proporcionaremos programas co-curriculares que generan una sensación de conexión con Pitzer y nuestros valores fundamentales. Un grupo de trabajo dirigido por profesores se ha centrado en eliminar las barreras a la planificación de actividades en un entorno físicamente distante o remoto, y en desarrollar vías para que los grupos de estudiantes, los clubes y las organizaciones prosperen. Fomentar la comunidad y crear oportunidades para la participación de los estudiantes son fundamentales para el éxito de los estudiantes, dondequiera que los estudiantes se reúnan, en Claremont o en el mundo virtual. Se ofrecerá más información sobre los planes y la programación cocurriculares próximamente.

Estudiantes Internacionales/Dirección de ICE

La semana pasada, escribí a la comunidad sobre la lamentable directiva de la agencia de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en ingles) para estudiantes internacionales que cursan sus títulos en instituciones como PItzer. Esta acción miope y divisiva estaba en desacuerdo con los valores fundamentales de Pitzer, y amenazó el futuro de nuestros estudiantes internacionales.

Afortunadamente hay noticias positivas. Ayer, Pitzer y otros 19 colegios y universidades de la región occidental presentaron una demanda contra el gobierno federal para impedir que ICE implementara esta política. Nuestra alumna y ex miembro de nuestro Consejo Directivo, Debra Wong Yang ’81, es un abogado principal del caso. Y hoy, en una audiencia en una demanda presentada por Harvard y el MIT, el gobierno acordó rescindir la nueva regla, renunciar a cualquier acción de aplicación relacionada, y seguir las directrices emitidas en marzo que acomodaron a estudiantes internacionales cuyas instituciones pasaron al aprendizaje en línea. Estamos encantados con este desarrollo y aliviados por nuestros estudiantes internacionales que son tan importantes para nuestra comunidad.

Matrícula y Ayuda Financiera

El 25 de junio, Pitzer anunció un modesto aumento de matrícula del 2,2% para el año académico 2020-2021. Sobre la base de la decisión de girar hacia un semestre de otoño totalmente en línea, el Consejo Directivo de Pitzer ha decidido revertir ese aumento de matrícula y mantenerlo constante en el nivel de 2019-2020. No habrá aumento en la matrícula y las tarifas para el próximo año. Tampoco habrá cargos de alojamiento y comida en el otoño.

Sé que tiene muchas preguntas sobre cómo Pitzer responderá a las necesidades financieras de nuestros estudiantes y puedo asegurarles que los miembros del personal de Pitzer en los departamentos de ayuda financiera y asuntos estudiantiles se reúnen diariamente para determinar la mejor manera de empaquetar la ayuda financiera en estas circunstancias inusuales. Su paciencia es apreciada al finalizar los detalles de nuestros premios de ayuda financiera para el próximo año.

Impacto Financiero

Un semestre en línea podría resultar en una pérdida significativa de ingresos para el Colegio si el número de inscritos disminuye. Pitzer depende de la matrícula, con casi el 90% de nuestros costos de operación cubiertos por los ingresos por matrícula y tarifas, el 70% de los cuales es una compensación para nuestros empleados. Si nos enfrentamos a un déficit presupuestario significativo, estamos preparados para utilizar algunos ahorros para cubrir una parte del déficit, ahorros que habíamos planeado utilizar para la reinversión de capital. Si bien estamos dispuestos a sacrificar estos fondos, será importante que consideremos medidas para hacer frente al déficit sin arriesgar la viabilidad financiera a largo plazo del Colegio.

Cada estudiante que permanezca inscrito con nosotros en línea tendrá un impacto directo en las reducciones de costos que necesitamos hacer, nuestra capacidad de proporcionar apoyo financiero a los estudiantes necesitados, y nuestra capacidad para retener a nuestros empleados. Pitzer hará todo lo posible para proteger a los más vulnerables de nuestra comunidad mientras aborda los importantes desafíos financieros que enfrentamos.

Estamos proporcionando nuestras preguntas frecuentes iniciales para comenzar a responder a muchas de las preguntas no cubiertas aquí. Continuaremos desarrollando y perfeccionando estas preguntas frecuentes en los días y semanas venideros.

Últimos Comentarios

Cuando acepté la oferta de convertirme en el sexto presidente de Pitzer College en 2016, fue el momento más orgulloso de mi carrera. No podría haber imaginado que cuatro años después, les escribiría esta carta. Junto con el Consejo Directivo, la Fuerza Especial de Coronavirus, y mi equipo de liderazgo, he agonizado por esta decisión y su impacto en nuestros estudiantes, personal y facultad. Si bien me preocupa cómo un semestre en línea interrumpirá la experiencia de Pitzer para muchos de nosotros, también me inspiran los esfuerzos incansables de nuestra comunidad y nuestra determinación colectiva de hacer esta transición fluidamente y de manera efectiva.

Al tomar esta decisión, pensé cuidadosamente en nuestros valores fundamentales, especialmente en la responsabilidad social, que incluye la responsabilidad de elevar los intereses de aquellos entre nosotros que son más vulnerables al virus y sus efectos. Estoy convencido de que un semestre de otoño en persona en Pitzer compromete esos intereses hasta un punto al que no podemos atenernos. Pero también estoy convencido de que en estos tiempos de crisis, los colegios de artes liberales como Pitzer deben mirar hacia adelante y enfrentar los inmensos desafíos que tenemos ante nosotros.

En palabras de uno de los profesores con la más larga titularidad de Pitzer, “En medio de esta pandemia, una educación en artes liberales será esencial para abordar nuestros desafíos futuros más desalentadores: injusticia racial, encarcelamiento masivo, desigualdad de salud, degradación ambiental. Una educación de Pitzer es mucho más que 32 cursos de 45 horas de contacto. Es una comunidad, anidada en un consorcio de tales comunidades, en la que los estudiantes tienen el espacio y el apoyo para averiguar qué problemas sociales quieren abordar, qué herramientas necesitan para abordarlos, y cómo convertir la pasión y las habilidades en acción”.

A pesar de los desafíos a los que nos enfrentamos, veo el futuro con optimismo y esperanza porque sé que Pitzer abrazará los problemas que tenemos ante nosotros de una manera reflexiva, inclusiva, compasiva, y consciente del futuro. Los animo a todos a que se unan a nosotros a medida que avanzamos a distancia, pero siempre juntos.

Compartiremos información adicional y actualizaciones periódicas con usted por correo electrónico y en nuestro sitio web en: Pitzer Fall 2020. El martes 21 de julio, a la 1 p.m. se llevará a cabo una reunión para los profesores y el personal de Pitzer, seguida de otros foros para estudiantes y familias más adelante en la semana. Más detalles están por llegar.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

How will the Pitzer educational experience be translated online? - 07.14.20

All educational objectives of the College remain unchanged. Pitzer will continue to provide small classes that cover all graduation requirements, one-on-one faculty mentoring and advising, and individual support from student affairs staff. Many curricular innovations and co-curricular programs will inform this semester. Zoom enables greater global connection with networks of scholars, authors, activists and artists, as well as allowing students to connect with community groups in different locations.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

Will First-Year Seminar offerings be available in the spring? - 07.14.20

There is a possibility that a limited number of First-Year Seminars (FYS) will be offered in the spring semester. First-year students are expected to enroll in an FYS in their first semester, and the bulk of these seminars are offered at the same time during the fall semester. Having a common meeting time allows seminar instructors to coordinate guest speakers and special events, and thereby build bridges across classes. Furthermore, these First-Year Seminars are writing-intensive courses. In addition to covering interesting and timely topics, participation in FYS introduces incoming students to the Pitzer academic community and a faculty mentor, while also helping to set up students for future academic success.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

Will classes vary in the way they are taught? - 07.14.20

Yes, they will vary in some ways. Many will take advantage of global networks of scholars, activists, etc. to bring in virtual speakers. Others have chosen topics relevant to understanding today’s challenges and are finding ways to explore them creatively through virtual means. Some classes dealing with shared topics such as civic engagement may offer multiple course sections at the same time so they can share guest speakers, workshops and common projects. Faculty have been working on this all through the summer. Low student-to-teacher ratios, personalized feedback and depth of relationships between professors and students will remain the same.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

How will students engage with the Community Engagement Center (CEC) and interact with our community partners? - 07.14.20

The CEC is revamping its website to streamline connections between students, faculty and partners around a variety of modalities and issues, and will post these changes here when they are complete. For now, see CEC’s Continuing Community Engagement Online presentation.

For any more questions or for more information, contact cec@pitzer.edu

Will students be permitted to take courses at their local universities or community colleges? How will those credits be counted at Pitzer? - 07.14.20

Incoming students who defer are not permitted to take classes at another school and transfer them to Pitzer.  If they do, they will need to reapply for admission as a transfer student. 

Meanwhile, continuing students are permitted to take classes at another regionally accredited college or university, but they are limited in the number of credits allowed to transfer to Pitzer this year.  Specifically, students are allowed to transfer up to a total of 2.0 Pitzer credits (i.e., 8 semester units or 12 quarter units) for coursework completed during the fall and spring semesters (or fall, winter, and spring quarters) of academic year 2020-2021.  Students should not assume that classes taken elsewhere will be accepted for transfer credit at Pitzer.  Transfer credit requires approval by a faculty member in a relevant discipline, and field groups may have stringent requirements on transfer credits and the classes that can be used to meet major/minor requirements.  Furthermore, classes that are accepted for transfer do not always count as full Pitzer credits.

Pitzer’s transfer credit policy can be found at http://catalog.pitzer.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=730#Transfer%20Credits and information on transfer credits for the 2020-2021 academic year can be found at www.pitzer.edu/emergency/category/covid-19/returning-students/.   

For questions about transfer credits or for more information, contact registrar@pitzer.edu.

Will all courses be recorded to accommodate different time zones? - 07.14.20

Online classes will make use of asynchronous tools such as recorded lectures and discussion boards. Faculty are redesigning their classes now and have been encouraged to balance accessibility and accommodation with having class components that are engaging and personalized and that build connections between students in a class and between students and faculty.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

Will the graduation praxis component have any other way to be completed if the CEC is at limited capacity? - 07.14.20

The Community Engagement Center has ramped up its work with partners who are in need of even more significant help during this time. CEC has a host of virtual community engagement opportunities that are components of SRX courses this semester and that can be done remotely. Please check the CEC website for those opportunities. We will work with students who find themselves unable to complete the requirement due to COVID-19.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

What will IGLAS programs look like in the fall? - 07.14.20

While there are no Institute for Global/Local Action & Study (IGLAS) trips scheduled for the fall, IGLAS will work with Study Abroad on future trips. IGLAS will continue to oversee the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships, the IGLAS fellows program, and work with first-year students and prison education initiatives, including at least 14 Inside-Out classes being taught this year via Zoom.

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

Will students still have access to the Writing Center? - 07.14.20

The Pitzer Writing Center will offer comprehensive virtual writing support after the semester begins. This includes one-on-one video conferences with peer Fellows trained to work with writers on assignments across the disciplines and at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming ideas to polishing a final draft. The Writing Center will also continue to host a wide range of virtual workshops and events, including regular “write-ins” that build community and foster resilience around the writing process. Specialized consultations will be available for senior thesis and multilingual writers. In addition, a research librarian will offer weekly video consultations on all aspects of the research process. Writing Center Fellows will continue to participate in a rich learning community dedicated to social justice-oriented writing pedagogies.

For any more questions or for more information, contact writing@pitzer.edu

Why did the College decide to provide remote-only instruction for the fall semester? - 07.14.20

Our top priority is the health and safety of our community members. While we had hoped to bring students back for the fall semester, the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and Southern California over the last several weeks made it clear to us that providing remote instruction was the most responsible decision to ensure the safety our students, faculty and staff.

What are the starting and ending dates of fall semester? - 07.14.20

Classes will begin on Monday, August 24, and instruction will conclude on Tuesday, November 24. Fall Break was eliminated, and Saturdays, September 12, and November 14, were added to ensure additional instructional days. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4. This schedule was adopted by the 5Cs under the presumption that students would return to campus. It was developed to limit the possible spread of the virus from holiday travel and to avoid having students on campus during the projected height of the flu season. Please visit the Academic Calendar Fall 2020 for key dates: www.pitzer.edu/academic-calendar/

For any more questions or for more information, contact dofcore@pitzer.edu

Will staff continue to work remotely? - 07.14.20

The College aims to be flexible with work schedules and assignments. Some staff members will be needed on campus, while others will be directed to work remotely based on their individual circumstances. Staff members should discuss work arrangements with their supervisors, in consultation with area vice presidents.

For any more questions or for more information, contact hr_email@pitzer.edu

What if I do not have the appropriate equipment to attend classes online? - 07.14.20

The Dean of Students Loan Program provides currently enrolled Pitzer College students with helpful academic resources such as textbooks, laptops and WiFi hotspots. For more information, please visit: www.pitzer.edu/student-life/student-affairs/dean-of-students-loan-program/

For any more questions or for more information, contact osastudent@pitzer.edu

Will Pitzer offer social activities and clubs online? - 07.14.20

Pitzer’s Office of Student Affairs and Student Senate are working to ensure that students can safely participate in as many social activities as possible virtually. Members of the Pitzer community may host events and activities online for everyone to attend.

For any more questions or for more information, contact senate@pitzer.edu

Will Pitzer provide students with campus housing for the fall semester? - 07.14.20

No. For public health reasons, the College does not intend to offer any campus housing or dining services for the fall semester. Students may choose to stay at home with family, live off-campus locally, lease elsewhere, or contact the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA) to sign a direct lease with them for the fall semester (details here).  

We recognize that the decision not to offer campus housing, and the move to a remote mode of instruction, may create additional hardships for students. Students who do not have housing options for the fall, or will be in a situation that makes remote learning extremely difficult, should reach out to TreasurersOffice@pitzer.edu to initiate a process to have their circumstances reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Treasurer’s Office, and other partners.

8/24/2020 Update: As the academic year has now begun, review of applications for students experiencing housing insecurity for the fall has now ceased.  Any extenuating/emerging circumstances can reach out to Financial Aid directly to discuss. 

For any more questions or for more information, contact housing@pitzer.edu

Which clubs/activities will be available to students, and how can they participate? - 07.14.20

Any groups that are able to meet virtually will be encouraged to do so. Pitzer’s Student Senate will work to put together a list of clubs and activities, as well as meeting times and links, for students to access.

For any more questions or for more information, contact senate@pitzer.edu

What will New Student Orientation be like online? - 07.14.20

We look forward to welcoming new students to the Pitzer community and introducing them to the many resources at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges. NSO 2020 will include an academic orientation program, campus life educational sessions and online social events. There will be many opportunities to make meaningful connections with other Pitzer students. All new students will be emailed more information about the online New Student Orientation schedule on Thursday, July 16, to help them start planning for the upcoming semester. After July 16, we will keep the New Student Orientation webpage updated with the most accurate schedule and links to resources. www.pitzer.edu/newstudentorientation/

For any more questions or for more information, contact orientation@pitzer.edu

Are fall study abroad programs canceled? - 07.14.20

Fall study abroad programs have been suspended. As this includes all exchange programs, there will be no visiting international exchange students at Pitzer this fall. The College continues to monitor the situation worldwide and will evaluate the viability of spring (and winter) study abroad programs.

For any more questions or for more information, contact studyabroad@pitzer.edu

Will there be study abroad programs in the spring? - 07.14.20

At this time, we plan on running study abroad programs in spring 2021. If conditions allow, we also hope to run both our direct-run semester and summer programs over a possible winter intersession. Depending on the Claremont campus environment in spring, the College may continue to suspend visiting/exchange international students. In such a scenario, students will work with the Office of Study Abroad to enroll, where feasible, directly with the host institution on a fee basis (to be paid by the College).

For any more questions or for more information, contact studyabroad@pitzer.edu

Will there be a New Student Orientation in the spring for those who defer in the fall? - 07.14.20

Yes. New Student Orientation will be adapted in the spring for both students who defer to spring and for students who choose to take Pitzer classes in the fall. Much of the orientation program will be modified for the spring but will cover all topics presented during the fall.

For any more questions or for more information, contact orientation@pitzer.edu

Can faculty and staff come to campus if Pitzer is closed to the public? - 07.14.20

For the safety of our campus community, staff and faculty visits to campus should be limited to essential work that cannot be performed remotely. On campus, all individuals must wear a face covering, practice social distancing and follow other safety measures as posted and announced.

For any more questions or for more information, contact hr_email@pitzer.edu

Can new students, New Resources Students (NRS) and transfer students defer enrollment until spring? - 07.14.20

Yes. For the 2020-21 academic year, all new students (first-years, NRS and transfers) will have the option to defer their enrollment for the fall semester. First-years can defer for one semester or the entire academic year. Transfers and NRS may defer for one semester. In order to defer, please email santiago_ybarra@pitzer.edu or applicant@pitzer.edu.

Can current students take a leave of absence? - 07.14.20

Pitzer’s leave of absence (LOA) policy can be found in the college course catalog. In brief, Pitzer students can take a LOA for 1-2 semesters, and even more in extenuating circumstances. LOAs processed before the start of the semester do not impact financial aid. Students apply for a leave by completing and submitting the Application for Leave of Absence form and also alerting their adviser of their plan. This form is available by logging into MyCampus2 and clicking on the “Student Forms” tab.

This form is available by logging into MyCampus2 and clicking on the “Student Forms” tab.

Students who want to take courses elsewhere during a LOA and transfer them back to Pitzer should carefully review the transfer credit policy before applying for a LOA. Students may transfer a total of 2.0 credits for courses taken during the 2020-2021 academic year and all transfer credits require approval by a Pitzer field group. That is, there is a limit on transfer credits and also no guarantee that courses taken elsewhere will be accepted for transfer to Pitzer.

For any more questions or for more information, contact registrar@pitzer.edu

Does the College plan to discount tuition? - 07.14.20

In late June, Pitzer announced a modest 2.2% tuition increase for the 2020-21 academic year. Based on the decision to pivot to a fully online fall semester, Pitzer’s Board of Trustees has decided to roll back that tuition increase and hold it constant at the 2019-20 level. There will be no increase to tuition and fees for the coming year. There will be no Pitzer room-and-board charges in the fall.

For any more questions or for more information, contact treasurers_office@pitzer.edu

How does this impact my financial aid package? - 07.14.20

Students who have already received a financial aid notification will receive an updated financial aid package reflecting changes to the cost of attendance due to virtual learning. Students who have not received their initial notification will receive a financial aid package based on the new cost of attendance for virtual learning.

For any more questions or for more information, contact financial_aid@pitzer.edu

How will moving to remote-only instruction this fall impact the College financially? - 07.14.20

The cost of moving online is a significant loss in revenue to the College. As a not-for-profit institution, we are tuition dependent, with almost 90% of our tuition and fee revenue covering our operating costs, 70% of which is compensation for our employees. For the coming academic year, we are projecting a significant budget shortfall as a result of reduced revenue. We have some savings that we planned to use for capital reinvestment that we can instead use to cover some of the deficit. It will be important that we consider measures to address the deficit without risking the long-term financial viability of the College.

For any more questions or for more information, contact financial_aid@pitzer.edu

Does my financial aid package cover off-campus housing? - 07.14.20

Financial aid packages will have a room-and-board budget based on a scenario where students are living at home with their families. The Office of Financial Aid is working closely with Student Affairs and Residence Life to address the needs of students who are unable to live at home with family. More information will be released to students on financial aid once details have been finalized.

For any more questions or for more information, contact financial_aid@pitzer.edu

Will students have access to Career Services? - 07.14.20

Pitzer’s Career Services office will be fully operational and available to students. Programming will include virtual events featuring employers, graduate schools, and Pitzer alumni and family members. Regular workshops and a special career preparation series are being planned. As always, individual career advising is highly encouraged to help students make a customized career action plan. Students can register for events and schedule individual career advising appointments through Handshake. Incoming students will be provided with Handshake accounts in early- to mid-August and will have full access to Career Services resources and opportunities.

For any more questions or for more information, contact careerservices@pitzer.edu

Will students still have access to Pitzer’s Academic Support Services? - 07.14.20

Yes. If you are a student who has been approved for academic accommodations due to a disability, learning difference or chronic health challenge, please log into AIM to set up your accommodations for the coming semester as you have done in the past. If you are a new student or new to needing accommodations, please email PASS at academicsupport@pitzer.edu. Virtual academic coaching will be available once the semester begins, along with academic workshops to support your online learning experience.

For any more questions or for more information, contact academicsupport@pitzer.edu

Will there be athletic competitions this fall? - 07.14.20

Because students will not be on campus, we will not be competing this fall. The decision to cancel athletic competition was not taken lightly, nor was the decision made swiftly. Intercollegiate athletic participation is a highly valued aspect of the educational experience at Pomona and Pitzer. We will remain committed to the continued growth and development of our student-athletes and will support them by providing educational, team-building and wellness programming.

For more information, visit www.sagehens.com

How will we support athletics-related activity for students in the fall? - 07.14.20

Though students will not be on campus, it is possible for coaches and strength and conditioning staff to engage with enrolled student-athletes. Student-athletes will have the opportunity to further their athletic development during this extended time away from the team training environment. Staff must adhere to all NCAA policies. Additionally, coaches will be able to stay connected with student-athletes through virtual meetings and will continue to offer support for their teams academically and socially.

Will students be permitted to return to campus during the spring semester? - 07.14.20

The College will continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19 over the next several months and will follow state and local heath guidance to make a responsible and informed decision about in-person instructions for the spring semester.

For any more questions or for more information, contact osa@pitzer.edu

Why will diversity, equity and inclusion be a priority for our department during COVID-19? - 07.14.20

Pomona-Pitzer Athletics is firmly committed to supporting and furthering critical work surrounding equity and inclusion, actively working towards solutions on our campuses and beyond. Our department will use this time to build awareness, engagement, meaningful dialogue, education, action and accountability, as our faculty, staff and student-athletes work together for a future of social justice and positive change.

For more information, visit www.sagehens.com

What does spring 2021 housing look like and what does it mean that “the College will not be able to guarantee housing in the spring for students who take a leave in the fall?” - 07.14.20

The spring 2021 housing assignment process will be based on the College’s overall health and safety plan for spring semester. The wide variety of occupancy models being considered includes, all students, 50% occupancy, only first-year and senior students, single room occupancy, etc. The College will prioritize those who enrolled for fall semester above those who took a leave of absence for fall semester. No housing for spring 2021 can be guaranteed at this time and a process will be announced at a later date.

For more information contact: housing@pitzer.edu.

How will the department support the mental health of its student-athletes? - 07.14.20

It is important for us to address the mental health needs of our student-athletes. The 2020 NCAA Student-Athlete COVID-19 Well-being Survey revealed that a majority of student-athletes surveyed reported experiencing high rates of mental distress since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, students also reported experiencing sleep difficulties, sadness, a sense of loss, and depression. The well-being of our student-athletes will always be of the utmost importance, and we are currently devising a plan to provide support.

For more information, visit www.sagehens.com

Will the fall sport teams be able to practice and/or compete in the spring? - 07.14.20

We will continue to monitor the health and safety guidelines presented by the NCAA, SCIAC, state and the county. Our hope is that there will be an opportunity for all teams to participate in intercollegiate athletic competition within the Spring semester, but health and safety will always come first.

For more information, visit www.sagehens.com

How do I access Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS)? - 07.14.20

Students need not be on campus to access services offered by the Monsour Counseling and Psychological Center (MCAPS). However, due to California mental health licensing laws, MCAPS can only offer ongoing teletherapy/telephone appointments (individual or group) to students living in California. MCAPS will serve out-of-state students via teletherapy/telephone for a one-time consultation, Rapid Access Initial Assessment, or a crisis session. Additionally, the center will work individually with out-of-state students to provide locally based referrals for ongoing care. To access services at MCAPS, please call 909-621-8202. For after-hours crisis services, the voicemail message will prompt you to press “1” to be connected to an on-call therapist. The Claremont Colleges are offering (at no cost to the student) an additional telehealth option for students seeking mental health counseling or medical care. To access, Pitzer students should visit the Campus.Health website or visit the Apple or Android stores to download the free TimelyMD app. You will need to create a profile and, at checkout, enter the customized coupon code (Pitzer 2020).

Do I still have access to Student Health Services? - 07.14.20

Student Health Services (SHS) will continue to operate during the academic year but with a modified schedule. If you live in the Claremont area, medical services through SHS can be received on an appointment-only basis. Walk-in appointments will not be allowed due to COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions. SHS can be contacted at 909.621.8222. While SHS is unable to serve our out-of-state students directly, The Claremont Colleges have contracted with Campus.Health, a telemedicine service. This no-cost option is available to all students at The Claremont Colleges, regardless of whether they are living off-campus, locally or in a different part of the country. International students will need to arrange for their own medical care where they reside. If you are an international student and would like to be waived out of SHIP, please email Katie Tewell at katie_tewell@pitzer.edu. For more information, please visit Fall 2020 Student Success Support Services & Resources.

Will The Claremont Colleges Library be open? - 07.14.20

Please refer to The Claremont Colleges Library’s COVID-19 web page for the most up-to-date information about the library’s services, as they are subject to change in response to public health recommendations.

Some highlights of the library’s remote resources and services include the following: The library’s online resources—databases, journals, articles, and e-books—are available off campus. Anyone with valid Pitzer credentials (what you use to login into Sakai or your college email account) has access to them by going through the library’s website. Once you have your login credentials, materials that are available in print can be requested online through the Resource Sharing service. You can request that they be mailed to your home address (mailing limit 5 per person, per semester). If you find a book or article you would like but it’s either checked out from the library or not in the collection, you can request it through the free Resource Sharing service. The library will make every effort to find an electronic version of your request. The library hopes to begin providing this service for print resources later this summer.

Research consultations with a librarian are available via Zoom. They also have chat and email research support. Special Collections staff are available to answer questions you might have about accessing their materials or conducting primary source research. For those who are not familiar, Special Collections houses distinctive and unique resources including rare books, maps, photographs, posters, college archives and more. You are encouraged to explore and browse the digital collections.

The library automatically acquires all course readings that faculty submit to the Huntley Bookstore, and the library will provide access to e-versions of them whenever possible. Search the Library’s website to see if the course readings for your classes are available. If you don’t see them, reach out to your professor and let them know to contact the library. For more information, visit: https://library.claremont.edu/coronavirus/

New International Student Guidelines - 07.08.20

July 8, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new guidance that affects the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Implementing such a directive during a global health crisis is a travesty that creates tremendous barriers for international students pursuing their education in the US. This guidance is at direct odds with our core values, and Pitzer College is committed to supporting our international students through this unfortunate and challenging situation.

International students enrich the college experience on campuses and classrooms across the country. This new ICE guidance concerning international student visas is onerous and blatantly unfair to millions of students striving to achieve their educational goals. It also serves to divide our country and the world even further.

Over the last several days, Pitzer’s International Programs staff have been in contact with our new and returning international students to provide support and counsel. The College’s chief legal counsel, dean of faculty, international programs staff and an outside immigration attorney are actively evaluating options for our students.

I am also working with the other presidents of The Claremont Colleges on a collaborative solution for our international students. Additionally, we hope that the entire higher education community and the public can provide needed pressure on ICE to revise the rules to provide greater flexibility to allow our international students the rich educational experience they deserve to advance towards their degrees.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

A Message From President Oliver: Fall Planning Update - 07.01.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

July 1, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

Originally, we intended to share a decision today about our plans for the fall semester. However, with the recent surge in COVID-19 infections nationally, and here in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, we are delaying our decision.

We will continue to closely monitor the public health situation and gather as much information as possible as we continue to develop in-person, online and other contingency plans for the fall semester. We intend to make this decision in the next few weeks and will share an update with you by July 17. This additional time will help the College make a decision that is as informed and as responsible as possible.

In the meantime, our faculty are planning fall course offerings with the goal of ensuring that all of our students can succeed regardless of whether they will be on campus or taking classes remotely. To this end, flexibility and attention to the potential use of online tools in course design are critical. Pitzer’s technological infrastructure has already been expanded and faculty training has been ongoing since early this summer. Our goal is to ensure high quality educational experiences for all students.

We understand that this complicates planning for our students and their families, as well as faculty and staff, and we apologize for this disruption and uncertainty. Students and families are encouraged to be as flexible in your travel arrangements and other commitments as the circumstances allow.

COVID-19 has presented challenges and uncertainties for us all, and the faculty, staff and students working on Pitzer’s various plans for the fall semester continue to keep the health and safety of our community at the forefront as we follow and respond to ongoing developments. 

Please know that our decision for the fall semester will be informed by the progression of the virus in the region, and the guidance and directives issued by state and county health officials.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Be well and stay safe.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Traducción – Translation



1o de julio, 2020

Estimada Comunidad de Pitzer,

Originalmente, teníamos la intención de compartir una decisión hoy sobre nuestros planes para el semestre de otoño. Sin embargo, con el reciente aumento de las infecciones de COVID-19 a nivel nacional, y aquí en el condado de Los Ángeles y el Inland Empire, estamos retrasando nuestra decisión.

Seguiremos vigilando de cerca la situación de salud pública y recopilando tanta información como sea posible a medida que continuamos desarrollando planes de contingencia en persona, en línea y otros planes de contingencia para el semestre de otoño. Tenemos la intención de tomar esta decisión en las próximas semanas y compartiremos una actualización con usted antes del 17 de julio. Este tiempo adicional ayudará al Colegio a tomar una decisión lo más informada y responsable posible.

Mientras tanto, nuestros profesores están planeando ofertas de cursos de otoño con el objetivo de asegurar que todos nuestros estudiantes puedan tener éxito independientemente de si estarán en el campus o tomando clases de forma remota. Con este fin, la flexibilidad y la atención al uso potencial de las herramientas en línea en el diseño de cursos son fundamentales. La infraestructura tecnológica de Pitzer ya se ha ampliado y en entrenamiento de nuestros profesores ha estado en curso desde principios de este verano. Nuestro objetivo es garantizar experiencias educativas de alta calidad para todos nuestros estudiantes.

Entendemos que esto complica la planificación para nuestros estudiantes y sus familias, así como los profesores y el personal, y nos disculpamos por esta interrupción e incertidumbre. Se alienta a los estudiantes y a las familias a ser tan flexibles en sus arreglos de viaje y otros compromisos como las circunstancias lo permitan.

COVID-19 ha presentado desafíos e incertidumbres para todos nosotros, y la facultad, el personal y los estudiantes que trabajan en los diversos planes de Pitzer para el semestre de otoño continúan manteniendo la salud y la seguridad de nuestra comunidad a la vanguardia a medida que seguimos y respondemos a los desarrollos en curso.

Por favor, sepa que nuestra decisión para el semestre de otoño será informada por la progresión del virus en la región, y la dirección y directivas emitidas por funcionarios de salud estatales y del condado.

Gracias por su paciencia y comprensión.

Estén bien y manténganse seguros.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

CARES Act Information and Reports - 06.26.20

CARES Act Required Reports and Disclosures
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Required Reports and Disclosures
This serves as public disclosure required under Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act for Pitzer College regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions about the CARES Act as it pertains to Pitzer College.

CARES Act Message to the Pitzer Community

CARES Overview Related to 403b and Special Check from the Federal Government

CARES Act Required Reports and Disclosures - 06.26.20

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Required Reports and Disclosures

This website serves as public disclosure required under Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act for Pitzer College regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). This website will be updated every 45 days with any required changes.

  1. Pitzer College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. Pitzer College will receive $312,931 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  3. As of June 12, 2020, Pitzer College had not disbursed any funds to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  4. Pitzer College estimates that 391 students at the college are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  5. Pitzer College will determine student eligibility based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.  Students who met Title IV eligibility requirements for the 2019-20 academic year and received need-based aid will be considered eligible for funds.

REPORT UPDATES – July 10, 2020

Update 4. Pitzer College estimated 971 students were potentially eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Update 5. Effective June 18, 2020 Pitzer College processed check disbursements to 391 students who were determined eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants.  The total amount disbursed was $309,850.

Update 6. Pitzer College included students who meet the following criteria as eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1):

  1. Students enrolled in a degree granting program of study as of March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”
  2. Students who are making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree
  3. Students who had completed a 2019-20 FAFSA to confirm their Title IV eligibility requirements of Higher Education Act.

Pitzer College excluded from the larger population of potentially eligible students:

  1. those individuals it knew to be foreign nationals who were not US permanent residents or other eligible non-citizens under Title IV of HEA;
  2. those students in the US without a lawful immigration status; and
  3. those students whose Title IV eligibility requirements could not be confirmed due to a missing or incomplete FASFA application.

Grant amounts of $200 – $1,000 were issued to students based on an evaluation of the student’s demonstrated level of financial need. Larger grants were provided to students with the higher demonstrated levels of financial need.  Funds were distributed as broadly as possible to eligible students.

Update 7. More information can be found at https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/2020/06/01/cares-frequently-asked-questions/

REPORT UPDATES – August 12, 2020

No additional disbursements have been made since June 2020. 

A Message from the Vice President for Administration and Finance: Pitzer College Tuition and Fees 2020-21 - 06.25.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

June 25, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students and Families:

After months of thoughtful consideration about the current situation and the financial impact of COVID-19 on the College, the Pitzer Board of Trustees has approved a 2.2% tuition increase for the 2020-21 academic year. This increase is significantly less than what was planned before the world was struck by the pandemic, but it is necessary for the College to help mitigate additional expenses that will be incurred, as well as expected revenue shortfalls, due to the current circumstances.

We understand that even a small increase may add to the financial challenges that many of our students and their families are facing. Therefore, the College is investing additional institutional funds to help support those with demonstrated need. As an example, Pitzer is contributing $560,000 to replace the normally expected contribution from summer employment income for students receiving financial aid.

The College also decided to institute a universal room rate for students living on Pitzer’s main campus and in the Claremont Collegiate Apartments (CCA). Instead of charging different rates for single and double rooms as in the past, going forward there will be one rate regardless of room type. This new universal rate is lower than the previous single room rate and is more equitable for all students, regardless of financial need or accommodations.

It is also important to note that with a compressed fall semester, room and board charges for students living on Pitzer’s main campus have been proportionally reduced. Board charges will also be reduced for CCA residents this fall.* 

And, Pitzer’s Student Senate has elected to significantly lower the annual student activities fee for 2020-21 from last year due to the anticipated limitations on in-person activities and events during the fall semester. 

Therefore, the total cost of attendance for 2020-21 for students living on Pitzer’s main campus will only be 1.0% higher than in 2019-20.

Pitzer is committed to the health, safety and well-being of all of our community members. Despite the fact that the pandemic has forced the closure of our campus and effectively prevented some employees from working, the College has retained its employees, both in Claremont and abroad, and all employees continue to be paid their full wages with no reduction in health care coverage or retirement contributions.

More details on tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year at Pitzer are located on the Student Accounts webpage.

Additionally, students receiving financial aid will be sent information regarding their financial aid packages reflecting these changes in the coming weeks. The Office of Financial Aid will also communicate about the next steps for student loan processing in early July.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our students and their families for their cooperation and support as we respond to this unprecedented challenge.


Laura Troendle
Vice President for Administration and Finance

Information and questions about Student Accounts: www.pitzer.edu/student-accounts/ or email student_accounts@pitzer.edu

Information and questions about Financial Aid: www.pitzer.edu/financial-aid/ or email financial_aid@pitzer.edu

*Students living at CCA who are continuing their housing assignment from fall to spring may stay in their apartment after the main campus closes at Thanksgiving Break (through December and January), therefore the room rate will not be prorated this year. 

A Message from President Oliver - 06.19.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

June 19, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. Each of us has experienced unprecedented and challenging circumstances brought on by the global pandemic and the uncertainties that it brings to our daily lives. In nearly every corner of the world, everyone has had to learn as we go and reimagine how we co-exist in our communities. Higher education institutions are no exception and I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on Pitzer’s current plans for the fall.

Based on guidance and projections from federal, state and county health officials, and in close consultation with our sister colleges in Claremont, Pitzer is actively planning for our campus to be open for in-person instruction for the fall semester. A final decision on this will be made in the next few weeks.

Our planning for a modified educational and residential life program continues to be an enormous and complex undertaking. I thank everyone for their contributions and support in our planning efforts. You will see new measures and protocols, some that you have become familiar with in the last several months.  These include social or physical distancing, “family unit” style-living in our residence halls, monitoring and tracing, face-covering requirements, hybrid and HyFlex teaching/learning, dining plan and policy changes, disinfection, isolation and quarantine.

Our close-knit residential campus community has always been central to the educational experience at Pitzer. However, during a pandemic, we need to recognize that this fall semester will look different from what we are used to on campus. With that in mind, these are key elements of our plan as Pitzer works toward an in-person fall semester:

  • Academic Calendar:  The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges will start classes on Monday, August 24 and conclude instruction by the start of Thanksgiving break to limit the amount of travel that could contribute to public health risks. The fall break has been eliminated to ensure additional instructional days. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4.
  • Classes:Pitzer plans to offer a range of classes, including those that are in-person, online and various hybrid modalities. Each classroom on campus has been reviewed and modified to accommodate physical distancing and time will be added in between courses to allow for cleaning and disinfecting. We are also in the process of installing tents in various campus locations to serve as outdoor classrooms and spaces for dining and other activities.
  • Residence Halls:  Following current state and county guidance for residential campuses, we are currently planning for no more than two students to be housed in one room, and a maximum of four students sharing one bathroom. Double rooms in Mead Hall will become single occupancy to limit the number of people using a bathroom and common space.
  • Meal Service:  Pitzer will continue to offer healthy, fresh and delicious food with modified and expanded pick up locations to limit potential health risks and allow for physical distancing.  Dietary needs will continue to be accommodated as requested. Several outdoor seating areas are planned across the campus to allow for physical distancing dining.

We realize that you still have many questions and many details are being finalized as we go forward, including move-in, new student orientation, academic and campus life activities. Please know that we will be sharing additional information as our planning efforts continue.

In the meantime, we hope this information helps our students, families, faculty and staff as they engage in their planning in the weeks ahead.

For the latest information related to Pitzer’s plans for the fall semester, please visit the COVID-19 Information Page. I invite you to participate in one or more of the many virtual programs we are providing this summer, including Pitzer@Home and Juice: a Pitzer Summer Series. All of our online programs are free of charge and a great way to connect with and learn about the Pitzer Community.

I sincerely appreciate your understanding and flexibility. The Pitzer community is looking forward to a fall semester where we are together again. 

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. OIiver

Training Materials & Safety Videos - 06.17.20
Pitzer New Student Orientation Update - 06.15.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

June 15, 2020

Following the Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges recent message about the fall academic calendar changes (https://www.pitzer.edu/emergency/covid-19), we want to provide updated information regarding New Student Orientation. While Pitzer is currently planning for and working towards welcoming as many students to campus for the fall semester as safely as possible, in the next few weeks the Presidents’ Council, with guidance from state and county public health officials, is scheduled to make a determination about whether students will be living and learning on campus or remotely this fall. If students are able to live on campus in the fall, we do not yet have confirmed move-in dates for new and returning students. We commit to communicating this information to you as soon as these decisions are made.

Regardless of whether or not students are able to return for in-person instruction in the fall, we can confirm that this year’s New Student Orientation will be different from previous years. First, we will not be operating the Orientation Adventure (OA) trips in August as we had planned and are a long-standing tradition at Pitzer. While we know that the OA trips are an important formative experience for new students in our community, our top priority remains the health and safety of our students. Therefore, conducting OA trips during the current COVID-19 pandemic is not feasible at this time. However, we hope that we will be able to plan an alternative to OA trips at a future date when it is safe to do so.

Second, New Student Orientation sessions and processes will include several new online components (e.g. advising, registration, and educational sessions). These sessions and processes normally take place during Orientation in August – we are simply having to pivot to how the content will be delivered in light of COVID-19. The schedule for these sessions and processes will be communicated later in the summer.

Looking ahead, we encourage you to complete the items on your SageDen Checklist. As a reminder, all items on the Checklist have different start and due dates. Additionally, don’t forget to follow @pz_orientation on Instagram for on-going summer engagement opportunities for new students. 

Despite the uncertainty that we are all facing, we look forward to welcoming you to the Pitzer community!

Fall Academic Calendar Announcement - 06.11.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

Today, I share the decision by the Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges for the 2020 fall semester academic calendar. The Academic Deans Committee and the Registrars are now working on a 5-C course schedule based on this calendar. As we continue to monitor the developing situation relating to COVID-19, Pitzer is working towards bringing back as many students to campus as safely as possible based on guidance and best practices established by our state, county and local health officials.

Approval of Fall Academic Calendar

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Claremont Colleges would like to update our community on the planning efforts for the fall. Although many important decisions have not been finalized, the overall structure for the fall is taking shape, and we would like to share one important element of our plans with you in an effort to provide as much notice as possible.

The Presidents’ Council of The Claremont Colleges has approved a fall academic calendar for the five undergraduate institutions. This schedule attempts to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and the flu season on our community during the winter months.

Under the new schedule, the first day of instruction will begin August 24, one week before the traditional start date. Undergraduates will complete all coursework by Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Final exams and assessments will be conducted remotely and completed by Friday, December 4, 2020. This early start and early end by Thanksgiving will allow students to travel home for Thanksgiving and remain there, rather than traveling back and forth for Thanksgiving and increasing the potential for virus spread.

G. Gabrielle Starr
Pomona College
Len Jessup
Claremont Graduate University
Lara Tiedens
Scripps College
Hiram E. Chodosh
Claremont McKenna College
Maria Klawe
Harvey Mudd College
Melvin L. Oliver
Pitzer College
Sheldon Schuster
Keck Graduate Institute
Stig Lanesskog
Chief Executive Officer
The Claremont Colleges, Inc.

In the coming days, I will be sharing additional information about the work of Pitzer’s COVID-19 Task Force and the protocols that have been created to ensure the safe return of our students, faculty and staff to campus. In the meantime, please stay up to date on the news by visiting our webpage: www.pitzer.edu/covid-19

Provida Futuri,
Melvin L. OIiver

Local, State and Federal Resources - 06.05.20
Learning, Teaching and Working Remotely - 06.05.20

Student’s Guide to Online Learning Guide – This information is intended as a guide for students who are attending online courses or other academic activities. Online courses will largely be handled using two main resources: Sakai and Zoom

Working Remotely (Telecomuting) – For any staff and faculty working remotely from home or another off-campus location, there are several resources available to you.

Technology Enhanced Teaching – How to use Sakai, Zoom and Box to help enhance your online instruction.

Zoom Virtual Backgrounds – Bring a bit of Pitzer home! Download an image, then set it as your virtual background in Zoom’s settings if your device supports.

CARES Act Message to the Pitzer Community - 06.05.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

June 5, 2020

Dear Pitzer Community,

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act includes funds for emergency grants to institutions and students due to the disruption of the spring 2020 semester by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Consistent with the intent of the new law and in consultation with student and faculty representatives on the COVID Task Force, Pitzer determined that CARES Act funds should be distributed to students according to financial need. In partnership with the Task Force, the College developed a tiered system where the higher-need students will receive higher value grants. To be considered eligible, students had to have been enrolled as of March 13, 2020, and receiving need-based financial aid.

Students receiving CARES Act funds will soon receive an email notifying them of their award and checks will be mailed to students by mid- to late June. All CARES Act student awards are grants. There is no repayment obligation.

For questions regarding the CARES Act, please visit our FAQs found on our COVID 19 webpage.

CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions - 06.01.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

Q1: What is the CARES Act?

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)-IHE/Student Aid Act provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives were disrupted during the spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act/HEERF is temporary, short-term, emergency financial assistance for eligible students who were enrolled in the spring 2020 semester on or after March 13, 2020 and experienced unforeseen hardship that adversely affected their educational success.

Guidelines for the CARES Act/HEERF and the distribution of funds comes from the US Department of Education. More information is available on the Department of Education’s website.

Q2: How is Pitzer College handling CARES Act funds?

Pitzer College has received emergency funds of $312,930 from the Department of Education to distribute directly to students as emergency grants.

The College will distribute funds to eligible students (see questions 4 – 6 below for eligible student criteria) based on their financial aid eligibility. Grant assistance will range from $200 – $1000 and will be tiered based on the student’s financial need; the highest need students will receive the most grant assistance.

Q3: When will I know my eligibility and receive funding?

This is a top priority for the College, and we are currently working to finalize all information. Anyone who was enrolled in the spring 2020 semester on or after March 13, 2020 are eligible for funding. We are working to notify and disburse funds to all eligible students before June 15.

Q4: How is Pitzer determining who should receive CARES Act grants?

Pitzer is distributing these funds according to financial need. Students with the highest need will receive the largest grants.

Q5: Do undocumented and international students qualify for the CARES Act Grant?

Although undocumented and international students do not qualify for federal funding, Pitzer College has committed institutional student emergency COVID-19 relief funding for undocumented and low-income international students who applied for and received need-based aid during the spring 2020 semester (on or after March 13, 2020). This grant assistance will match the grant levels and payment timeline as domestic students.

Q6: I am a graduating senior this semester, will I still receive assistance?

Yes. We will be offering CARES Act Grants to graduating seniors whose studies were also interrupted this spring.

Q7: Do I have to apply for the CARES Act Grant?

No. Students who are eligible will automatically receive assistance and will not need to apply for funding.

Q8: If eligible, how will I receive this money? 

Funds will be distributed by check made payable to the student.  Checks will be mailed to the address the college has on file.  

Q9: How can this relief fund help students? 

This relief grant is available for students to use at their discretion for any expenses they incurred due to the interruption in their studies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. This can include, but is not limited to food, housing, technology, health care and course related materials.

Q10: Does the CARES Act Grant have to be repaid?

No. The CARES Act Grant does not have to be repaid.

Q11: I have a balance on my Student Account, will my CARES Act Grant be applied to my account?

No. CARES Act Grants will be paid directly to eligible students regardless of financial holds or campus bills, fees or fines. Funds will not pass through your Pitzer student account.

Q12: Does the CARES Act Grant affect my financial aid?

No. The CARES Act Grant does not affect other aid students are receiving this year or the aid they may receive next year.

Q13: Do I have to report the CARES Act Grant to the IRS as income? 

No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code and do not have to be included as part of your gross income or reported on your taxes.

Q14: Who do I contact if I have questions about the CARES Act?

At this time, all information available has been published in this FAQ. If you have questions that were not addressed, you may email the Office of the Treasurer at treasurersoffice@pitzer.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions for New and Returning Students - 05.28.20

This post has been archived. The information below may be outdated.

We have a team of Pitzer College faculty and staff called the Coronavirus Task Force helping manage the planning and implementation of Pitzer’s path to reopening.

This is so Pitzer. Faculty, students and staff from every corner of the Pitzer Campus community come together every week to consider new information and evaluate actions in response to COVID-19, assign tasks and advise College leadership on how to proceed down unfamiliar paths.

The Task Force is vital to our preparations and planning for the eventual re-opening of campus. Each member brings their expertise to each challenge and helps us make better decisions. 

Q1: Does Pitzer make its own decisions or in collaboration with others?

That’s an important question. As a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium, we work through issues in collaboration with the 7Cs and our community peers. Representatives of all seven institutions confer daily to share information and strengthen our foundation for decision making. Together, we make more informed decisions. In the end, we take all of that input and make the right decision for Pitzer.

Q2: Will Pitzer bring students back to campus this fall? 

We will resume in-person classes on campus when the state, local and campus leadership determine that Pitzer can do so in a sufficiently safe manner. 

The reopening will also depend on whether the health care resources available in Los Angeles County can provide adequate patient care should the number of COVID-19 cases rise to a dangerous level. Will conditions be safe in the fall? We don’t have enough information to say yet.

Pitzer is planning for many contingencies due to the unpredictable end of this pandemic. Planning to enthusiastically welcome students back to campus in the fall semester is one such scenario. 

Pitzer faculty continue to do extraordinary work in their online teaching experiences for students. We believe that every Pitzer student deserves the most exceptional educational experience for which Pitzer is known around the world. Right now, it looks like we won’t know for some time, but we will be planning for several different possibilities. 

We remain confident that we will be together in person eventually.

Q3: When will Pitzer make a decision about returning students to campus?

We continue to gather information critical to making this decision in collaboration with our Claremont Colleges partners. This information includes consultations with experts in multiple areas, information that changes as the pandemic evolves. We will make a decision when we have sufficient health, safety and expert information AND time enough to provide notice to students and families to arrange their safe return to campus. 

Q4: What is Pitzer College’s plan if state or county governments order the continuation of Stay at Home restrictions?

Pitzer’s priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

We will, of course, comply with any state and local health orders so that we continue to prioritize the safety of our community and that of our neighbors.

Q5: Is Pitzer considering discounting or otherwise reducing tuition?

We are evaluating ways to help students continue their Pitzer education. We don’t yet have sufficient information about what the next academic semester will look like for students and faculty to propose a specific plan.

Q5: Are students, faculty and staff going to be safe at Pitzer?

Yes, students are our top priority at Pitzer. Our facilities professionals are meticulously cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining the Pitzer campus in the best possible condition in anticipation of students’ return. Planning and preparations are underway for adapting learning, residential and dining spaces to accommodate best physical distancing practices. The reopening will require significant changes to the way we interact, learn and socialize as a community. All of us at Pitzer share this responsibility.

Los Angeles County & Higher Education Guidance Documents - 05.18.20
Safer-at-Home Update for Staff - 05.14.20

May 14, 2020

Dear Staff Community,

In recent days, public officials have outlined conditions for relaxing some of the restrictions on workplaces in the surrounding areas and across the state. However, even if modifications to stay-at-home orders would allow for additional on campus work, the College intends to continue limiting the number of employees on campus in order to help contain the spread of the virus, do our part for the community and keep our staff safe!

Therefore, you should expect to continue in your current work arrangements for the foreseeable future until you receive different instructions from your supervisor. On campus work will not be required unless it is both necessary and capable of being performed safely according to current public health guidance.

As soon as new information arises we will communicate it with everyone. Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate this together!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your HR team. 

Stay safe!!

Deanna Caballero
Assistant Vice President
Human Resources and Payroll Services