Starting fall quarter 2021, Highline College became a vaccine-required campus. Below are frequently asked questions related to vaccinations and why the campus decided to require vaccinations for students and staff.
Students: all students enrolled in classes at Highline College with in-person sessions are required to have the COVID-19 vaccination or receive an approved exemption following Proclamation 20-12.3 Higher Education and recommendations from the Governor’s Office and the Washington State Department of Health.
Starting with summer quarter 2022, students who enroll in courses that only meet online or virtually will no longer be required to fill out a vaccination attestation form nor receive an approved exemption.
Employees: as a condition of employment, per Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement of Proclamation 21-14.1 all employees at Highline College are required to be vaccinated.
Volunteers/contractors: required to have the COVID-19 vaccination.
Visitors: not required to have COVID-19 vaccination
A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson, J&J, Janssen).
Highline will accept any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Students: All students enrolled in on-campus or online courses are required to be fully vaccinated (two weeks past the last vaccination dose) prior to registering for courses using the COVID-19 Immunization Attestation form in ctcLink. Exceptions will be made if a student has entered into the form:
- The first of a two dose COVID-19 vaccination (updating of form is required upon completion of second dose)
- Completion of COVID-19 vaccination but are not yet fully vaccinated (two weeks passed last dose)
Students enrolled in programs that start after the start of the quarter, including programs with rolling admissions, are expected to submit their vaccination attestations as part of the enrollment process, and prior to the start of their classes.
Employees: All staff and faculty were required to get the COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 18, 2021 as a condition of employment. This includes employees who do not come to campus. New employees will be required to complete immunization attestation during the hiring process.
Volunteers/contractors: prior to coming to campus.
On the King County COVID 19 Vaccine Information page, there is a translation button that you can click to access information in 17 different languages.
Students: Through ctcLink, a form is provided that requires information on the COVID-19 vaccination received and the date(s) for dose(s).
Employees: Through ctcLink, a form is provided that requires information on the COVID-19 vaccination received and the date(s) for dose(s).
Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation. Although the forms are the same, anyone with both an employee and student role will need to complete both forms as the data is not shared between employee and student records.
Volunteers: through Human Resources.
Contractors: through company self-verification.
Yes. Under new guidance, Highline was required to verify all employee self attestations by October 18.
Highline is also required to verify student vaccination status to enforce public health guidance. Highline’s process for monitoring and enforcing student compliance within the institution’s disciplinary authority and procedures is through a randomized auditing process. Students taking in-person classes will be randomly selected to verify their vaccination status. If you are selected in the audit you will be notified via email.
Students: The immunization attestation form requires acknowledgment that the COVID-19 vaccination information provided is true and acknowledges documentation (proof) is required to be provided upon request. Upon receiving an email requesting documentation of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, students have fourteen days to respond. Providing false information or failure to provide documentation upon request will result in disciplinary action. This will be enforced through the institution’s disciplinary authority.
Employees: Highline College is required to verify all employee immunization attestations. All employees are required to provide proof of vaccination to Human Resources.
Boosters are not yet required but strongly recommended. Boosters are available when the vaccine clinic is on campus. Visit the Highline website for updates on when the next vaccination clinic is scheduled.
By law, exemptions can be requested for medical and sincerely held religious beliefs only. Students, staff and faculty must request the exemption and are required to complete a two-step process. Those with approved exemptions will be provided an accommodation plan that details the additional safety requirements they are required to follow when coming on campus.
Those who intend to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement must begin the process using the COVID-19 immunization attestation form in ctcLink. (The same form is used for both vaccination attestation and exemption requests.)
Requesting an exemption requires a two-step process:
1. Select the “medical” or “religious” exemption option in the ctcLink immunization attestation form.
2.An email will arrive normally within seven days providing a form to complete the second step.
a. Medical: A form will be provided for your physician to complete
b.Religious: There are several questions that provide the opportunity to document a sincerely held religious belief against vaccinations. Send back the form (must be filled out completely), and the request for an exemption will be reviewed to meet compliance for approval of an exemption.
3. If approved, the individual will receive an accommodation plan by email that provides specific requirements to come on campus if not vaccinated. (An example is students are required to submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test to attend courses on the campus.)
4. If not approved, the individual will receive an email explaining the request was not approved and next steps required to meet requirements for a vaccinated campus.
Instructions are available for completing the student immunization attestation and the employee immunization attestation (same form used for exemption requests). Anyone that is in both an employee and student role will need to complete both forms as the data is not shared between employee and student records.
If you need assistance accessing the forms in ctcLink, review how to input your immunization attestation in ctcLink or contact the ITS Help Desk.
Why is Highline College requiring vaccinations?
The decision is informed by several key factors, including:
- The governor’s vaccination mandate applies to all staff and faculty at Highline College, regardless of whether an employee is working remotely or working on campus.
- College students are largely in the age demographic with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases and the lowest rate of vaccination for those over the age of 18. In Washington state, especially in the areas we serve, rates are at approximately 50% vaccinated for 18-34 year olds.
- New variants (such as the Delta variant) are more dangerous, with higher transmission rates, including among young people. This means the virus can rapidly spread through campuses with high numbers of unvaccinated individuals.
- Highline has an obligation — moral, ethical and legal — to create and support a reasonably safe and hazard-free campus and work environment for our students, faculty and staff.
- Local, state and national public health agencies support vaccinations as the primary tool for preventing COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.
Vaccinations are widely available and free. Highline will collaborate with community partners to host vaccination clinics to facilitate access to vaccinations for all members of our community.
- Highline is committed to providing high-quality educational experiences for students, which includes providing access to on-campus resources and learning opportunities.
- We recognize that many individuals in our community experience uncertainty and distrust of a historically inequitable health care system. We also recognize that BIPOC individuals who contract COVID-19 have a higher incidence of severe disease and death, and we believe that vaccinations are the best way to counter that risk.
We will continue to work on ways to provide you information and resources, as well as find answers to the questions and concerns you may have. In the coming weeks we will be offering drop-in hours for conversations centered around fall quarter vaccine requirements and everything related. Opportunities for confidential 1:1 conversation are available during these group sessions as well. Watch your email for invites to these sessions.