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Last updated: August 18, 2020

Although the specific circumstances surrounding COVID-19 continue to change, our promise to our new and returning students is to deliver a rigorous education safely. We released our phased approach to reopening in mid-May and update it as necessary.

We are offering all new, incoming students and returning students alike the option to take courses online or in a phased format (online and on-campus). Nearly every course will be offered online, but only some will be offered in a phased format. New, incoming students will be able to take all of their courses online if they choose. We will provide as much on-campus instruction for phased courses as is safely possible, and the amount of on-campus instruction will depend on safety and guidance from local, state, and national health authorities. The same experienced DigiPen instructors will teach you whether your courses are being offered entirely online or as a combination of online and on-campus experiences.

During course registration, you will see online or phased courses offered as different sections. You can make your choices on a per-course basis at that time. You may also switch from an online section to a phased section (or vice versa) during the add/drop period. Any student choosing a phased course must live locally and be able to attend the on-campus portion of their phased course. Keep in mind, the cost of tuition will remain the same no matter which option you choose.

An example of a phased course might be a project-based design course. The professor may deliver a typical lecture online one day a week. On another day that week, you may be on campus for hands-on lab components such as meetings and presentations with your student team and professor. Any on-campus portion of a phased course will conform to state requirements or guidance as well as higher education industry best practices. As the COVID-19 situation improves, and local regulations allow, we will increase the amount of on-campus instruction and interaction of our phased courses.

DigiPen’s Phased Approach

The phases of the re-opening of our campus go from Phase 0 to Phase 4 with intermediate levels of phased learning experiences in between. We are not setting definitive dates to move from one phase to the next. Rather, we will be monitoring the situation in our surrounding community and region, transitioning through the phases as the circumstances dictate. This could include moving back to a previous phase if necessary.

Our plan is to limit the first two weeks of the semester to Phase 0 in order to allow our community to monitor and adjust to our students arriving from various domestic and international locations. If we meet our health and safety expectations in the first two weeks, we will operate at a maximum of Phase 1 during Week 3.

Regardless of the phase, campus housing will be open for students attending online or on-campus courses. Please note, our phases do not necessarily align with King County and Washington state. Our phases are specific to the needs and requirements of running a college and its campus. As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, our phased approach may change as well.

Phase 0

  • Courses Offered Online Only
  • Phased Courses Are Completely Online During Phase 0
  • Campus Open for Remote Learning (Computer, Equipment, High-Speed Internet)
  • Overall Campus Density Not to Exceed 10%
  • Thermal Screening
  • Masks Required
  • On-Site Enhanced Sanitizing
  • Shuttles Thoroughly Sanitized
  • Dragon Drop, Grocery, and Cooked Food Delivery
  • Student Housing Open
  • Social Distancing Continues

Phase 1

  • Phased Courses Are Completely Online During Phase 1; Some May Have Smaller, Optional On-Campus Educational Components
  • Online-Only Courses Continue
  • Overall Campus Density Not to Exceed 15%
  • On-Campus Operations at Reduced Capacity
  • Thermal Screening
  • Masks Required
  • On-Site Enhanced Sanitizing
  • Shuttles Thoroughly Sanitized
  • Student Housing Open
  • Social Distancing Continues

Phase 2

  • A Maximum of 35% of Phased Courses Allowed On-Campus Lectures and/or Educational Components
  • Online-Only Courses Continue
  • Overall Campus Density Not to Exceed 25%
  • Thermal Screening
  • Masks Required
  • On-Site Enhanced Sanitizing
  • Shuttles Thoroughly Sanitized
  • Student Housing Open
  • Social Distancing Continues

Phase 3

  • A Maximum of 70% of Phased Courses Allowed On-Campus Lectures and/or Educational Components
  • Resume Safe and Practical On-Campus Activities
  • Online-Only Courses Continue
  • Overall Campus Density Not to Exceed 40%
  • Thermal Screening
  • Masks May Be Required
  • On-Site Enhanced Sanitizing Continues
  • Shuttles Thoroughly Sanitized
  • Student Housing Open
  • Social Distancing May Be Required

Phase 4

  • A Maximum of 100% of Phased Courses Allowed On-Campus Lectures and/or Educational Components
  • Online-Only Courses Continue
  • Most Student Services Resume On-Campus Activities
  • Overall Campus Density Not to Exceed 50%
  • Thermal Screening
  • Masks May Be Required
  • On-Site Enhanced Sanitizing Continues
  • Shuttles Thoroughly Sanitized
  • Student Housing Open
  • Social Distancing May Be Required
  • Continued Monitoring of Community Health and Safety

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