On Friday, August 7, Governor Gavin Newsom released the much-anticipated guidelines for IHL’s (Institutions of Higher Learning) for the State of California. The document released covers in detail the protocols for keeping students as well as faculty and staff safe amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our "Safely Return Task Force" here at West Coast produced our own set of guidelines back on July 1, and with a few minor adjustments, our policies for re-opening and continuing with on-campus instruction line up with the Governor’s document.
While these newly released guidelines will prohibit some colleges and universities here in California from in-classroom instruction, our programs here at West Coast Baptist College are under the category of the training of an essential worker. From day one in 1995, the design of every course is to train young people for religious ministry. The outcomes in each class syllabus line up with our institutional objective – “to train laborers for the harvest.”
We are extremely grateful to be able to welcome our new and current student body back to campus on Monday, August 31. With your prayers and the commitment of our administration to ensure the wellness of our students and staff, we are moving forward to train pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Christian educators, and ministry staff personnel that can fulfill the commission we have been given by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
West Coast Baptist College remains committed to our calling to train laborers for the harvest. As we plan for on-campus education this fall, we will be implementing robust mitigation efforts to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff, and guests.
Below are some of the measures WCBC is taking to promote the health and safety of our campus community. The Safely Reopen Task Force has completed a thorough set of recommendations over a variety of activities and procedures. These will be released in more detail as the fluidity of the situation decreases and students return to campus.
We have been praying for you over the last several months. As the US and the world grapples to respond to and manage the coronavirus pandemic, West Coast Baptist College remains committed to safely providing quality, safe, on-campus training to our students. We highly value every member of our international student community, and we are reaching out today to provide guidance for this fall. We will focus on these three areas:
Does WCBC anticipate an on-campus program this fall?
The Safely Reopen Task Force has done extensive work to evaluate WCBC’s ability to provide quality in-person training while adhering to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and recommendations. The task force recently completed a comprehensive set of mitigation efforts and policies to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. This plan is currently being reviewed by appropriate health officials, and we look forward to publishing the details soon. For more information on this question, see our July 15th COVID update.
Will international students be able to enter the US to attend classes?
F-1 Visa Status
The number of announcements, policy updates, and proclamations from various government offices and agencies have generated a variety of questions related to F-1 visa status maintenance.
At this time, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced no significant changes to F-1 visa renewal or status maintenance policies that affect WCBC students as we return to in-person instruction this fall. Of course, all of this could change, but as of today, the U.S. government has issued no policy changes that would impact a WCBC student’s ability to receive or to maintain their F-1 visa.
What quarantine protocols will be in place for international students and those who may travel outside of the United States this summer?
The CDC currently recommends a 14-day quarantine period for any persons travelling to the US from a foreign country. This includes US citizens and permanent residents who have been travelling abroad.
WCBC has established an international arrival and isolation policy to support this recommendation. All WCBC students who are entering the country to attend classes should arrive on Monday, August 24, and should expect to isolate for fourteen days. WCBC will provide meals and lodging during this period as well as online access to relevant WAE week orientations, registrations, and services. Students will be charged one week of rent ($125.00) to cover the basic costs associated with on-campus residence such as utilities and food.
This policy will allow students to adhere to appropriate guidelines while minimizing the impact on each student’s social and academic experience. WCBC will require any student who arrives in the US after August 24 to isolate for the length of time recommended by the CDC.
WCBC’s Office of Admissions and Office of Student Advocacy are working closely with the Safely Reopen Task Force and our SEVIS Designated School Official (DSO), Mr. Larry Cox, to ensure our new and returning international students have a great experience. As you pursue in faith the calling that God has placed on your life, we stand ready to support you.
We are anticipating a wonderful fall semester.
Director of Admissions
WCBC is aware of the ongoing concerns around the nation about COVID-19. We receive daily updates from medical experts and elected officials.
West Coast Baptist College understands and shares the concerns of many across the nation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are convinced that God is fully in control, and we are committed to safely reopening and moving forward in training laborers for His harvest. Because God is sovereign we will continue to trust Him. Because he commands us to seek wisdom we will continue to prayerfully and studiously monitor the situation.
In that spirit, several weeks ago WCBC established the “Safely Reopen Task Force.” The task force recently completed a comprehensive plan for an on-campus program this fall that mitigates risk to our faculty, staff, and students. After considering the campus God has given us -- the classroom space, the dormitory capacity, etc. -- we believe that we will be able to provide a safe and excellent campus training experience this fall. This plan has been submitted to the appropriate health officials for their review and approval.
In addition, WCBC has temporarily expanded our online class options for the fall semester to ensure that those students who are unable to or feel that it would be unwise to be on campus this fall will be able to continue with their education on schedule.
Our planning and procedures are under constant evaluation. We are ready with a plan today, and we remain ready to adjust in the future.
God has not given us the spirit of fear. He calls us to move forward in a spirit of faith. We encourage every God-called student to continue trusting the Lord and to walk by faith. We are people of faith that believe the Great Commission is ours to claim, obey, and implement.
If you have questions, feel free to call our administrative offices. We, along with the majority of all other colleges, believe a safe return is possible, and we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in the days ahead.
Monday, August 31 Dorms Open
Monday, August 31 Registration in the Hangar
Thursday, September 3 First Day of Class
Friday, September 4 Activity: Tour and Explore Los Angeles
Thursday, November 3 First Home Basketball Game vs La Sierra University
WCBC campus reopens for day visits
At the recommendation of the Safely Reopen Task Force, the WCBC Leadership Team has approved a plan to reopen WCBC’s campus for day visits for prospective students and their families beginning Monday, July 1.
Those visiting the campus should be aware of the following requirements and precautions:
Task force established to lead reopening of the campus in preparation for the fall semester
Following a recent Leadership Team meeting, Dr. Chappell has directed for the establishment of a task force to oversee the college’s preparation for reopening the campus.
Dr. John Goetsch, executive vice president, will chair the task force which also includes Dr. Jim Schettler, vice president of student affairs; Tobi England, director of institutional effectiveness; Jesse Jones, director of admissions; and E.J. Johnson, facilities and custodial manager.
The task force has been charged with the following goals:
Admission requirements adjusted to ease pressure on incoming students
In coordination with the Admissions Committee and the Leadership Team, the Office of Admissions is announcing the following changes to admissions policies due in response to the complexities caused by the various institutional closures:
The Enrollment Deposit has been temporarily reduced to $100. Officially accepting an offer of admission by submitting an enrollment deposit is an exciting step in a student’s college journey. WCBC’s enrollment deposit is applied toward the new student’s first payment and is not an extra fee. However, this must be paid before an incoming student can proceed in orientation and class registration. To support our incoming students and their families, the deposit has been reduced to $100 through July 15.
Unofficial transcripts may be used for admission evaluation. Applicants can now be conditionally accepted by providing an official high school transcript. WCBC does still require official high school transcripts for enrollment, but the deadline for official documentation will be delayed.
WCBC has waived the ACT/SAT requirement. While WCBC still strongly encourages every applicant to take the ACT or SAT, WCBC recently adopted a test optional policy. This means that those students who have had their testing opportunities cancelled or postponed will not be hindered from enrolling on schedule this fall.
Summer Jewish Mission has been cancelled
It has become increasingly apparent that the Summer Jewish Mission cannot begin on May 11 as planned. West Coast Baptist College and Israel Restoration Ministries have collaborated closely in an attempt to maintain an abbreviated campaign with a later start date, but we are sorry to say that we concluded that this will not be possible. There will not be a Summer Jewish Mission this year.
Through the years, God has allowed students involved in this unique outreach to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to various communities all around the world. More than 5.4 million times, a Bible college student has approached a home to deliver the good news that is the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Over 5,000 times these same students were able to open their Bibles and explain the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in detail. This is an indescribable honor for all involved, and we look forward to continuing this in-person evangelism as soon as God allows.
WCBC suspends on-campus instruction for the remainder or the spring semester
After much prayer and counsel, Dr. Chappell and the leadership of WCBC suspended all on-campus instruction for the remainder or the spring semester effective March 13, 2020. All classes will resume online beginning Friday, March 20. The current faculty will remain available to all students for instruction, coaching, and mentorship as normal. The college’s academic calendar will remain unchanged.
While some of our staff will be working remotely for the next several weeks and the campus will be closed to guests, all housing, dining, security, and student support operations will remain functional. Although many students have returned home to finish this semester, dozens have chosen to remain, and we are confident that all supplies and staffing necessary to ensure their wellbeing are in place.
West Coast Baptist College remains committed to serving our students and their families through this time. We can be reached by phone at 888.694.9222 during normal business hours. If you need to contact us outside of business hours, you are welcome to contact any of the below members of our team directly:
WCBC is actively monitoring the coronavirus situation
WCBC is actively monitoring the growth and impact of the COVID-19 virus around the country and in Southern California in particular. Both the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have indicated that the immediate health risk is low in the United States, but much remains unknown about how the virus will spread and how it will impact the health of those infected. We are continually evaluating our current situation and are ensuring appropriate response plans are in place and ready for activation if necessary.
While many colleges and universities are particularly concerned about the potential for the virus to spread due to spring break travel, WCBC does not have a spring break which significantly reduces the risk to our students.
Guidance provided by the WHO, CDC, and the California Department of Public Health is informing these discussions and plans. For more information on the virus and up-to-date guidance, visit Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) published by the CDC.
WCBC has taken several steps to lessen the possibility of transmission on our campus.
Through increased cleaning and disinfecting with a special focus on common areas; preparation of quarantine areas; increased flexibility in student, faculty, and staff attendance policies due to sickness; deployment of additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the campus; and heightened monitoring of student health, WCBC has already acted to mitigate the risk to our students. In addition, we are actively reviewing all major events both on our campus and in various communities around the country as part of our planning efforts.
Preventing the spread of any communicable illness includes practicing simple but important personal health routines:
We continue to pray for those infected across our land. Through every season, we remain committed to training laborers for His harvest.