Majority of CLC students have now received the COVID vaccine

Alex Kisiel

CLC reported early November that most students have received a COVID-19 vaccine following CLC’s $100 Incentive and the Illinois COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

According to data provided by CLC Public Relations, 59% of all CLC students have submitted proof of vaccination as of November 2nd. Furthermore, the in-person students’ vaccination rate was 79.6%.

After a mass COVID-19 vaccine rollout and a decrease in infection rates preceding the fall 2021 semester, CLC started to open up campus and offer more in-person course options. In late August, Governor Pritzker announced a new mandate requiring higher education personnel and students to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or receive weekly testing. 

Accordingly, CLC President Lori Suddick sent an email on August 27 to all students informing them of the actions they must take to comply with the new mandate.

“You will need to provide proof of vaccination or be required to take a COVID-19 test weekly,” the email said. “CLC is planning on-campus delivery of both vaccinations and testing.”

CLC communicated these instructions both through email and a notification on each student’s Canvas home page. Additionally, students were informed that they would be automatically withdrawn from their face-to-face and hybrid classes if they were non-compliant with the vaccination policy by October 21.

Earlier this semester, the CLC Academic VP Sonya Williams sent a document to CLC faculty describing the procedure of communicating vaccination status with professors.

“Starting Friday, October 1st, only faculty teaching face-to-face (in-person) classes will be informed of the status of students who are NCT [“noncompliance with mandate”] and enrolled in their face-to-face (in-person) classes–via email, every Friday by 5 pm.”

Accordingly, CLC saw a significant rise in vaccination rates throughout the fall semester.

Data provided by CLC Public Relations and Marketing, Graph by Alex Kisiel

18% of all CLC students had submitted proof of vaccination by August 18th. This number has increased to 59% as of November 2nd—a change of 41%.

It is fair to assume that part of the increase in vaccination rates was the mandate and the $100 incentive, which offered CLC students $100 if they provided proof of vaccination.

The implementation process of the governor’s mandate, however, has not been seamless. CLC is reportedly experiencing technical difficulties tracking the vaccination status of students taking noncredit courses.

CLC relies on the PeopleSoft system to track vaccination, and while for-credit students are registered with PeopleSoft, noncredit students use a different program, creating tracking complications. 

“Because [noncredit] students are not in the PeopleSoft system, the college had to acquire a system to support the non-credit group,” said a statement from the CLC Public Relation and Marketing department. “The college has been planning for implementation and is in compliance with [the Illinois COVID-19 vaccine mandate].”

CLC must find a solution for noncredit students to report their vaccination status to remain compliant with the mandate.

Section 4b (a iii) of Governor Pritzker’s vaccine mandate states that “all [. . .] Higher Education Students must have, at a minimum, the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days after issuance of this Executive Order. [. . .] [Any] Higher Education Students who have not established that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must be tested.”

More importantly, Section 4 (a iii) defines Higher Education Students as “an individual enrolled in credit-bearing or non-credit bearing coursework at an Institution of Higher Education, either on campus or at an affiliated off-campus location.”

It is uncertain how much time CLC was given to develop a tracking system for noncredit students, but the college says it is working on a solution.

A document sent to CLC faculty near the beginning of the fall 2021 semester confirmed the following: “Dr. Suddick has verified with the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) that an iterative process, slowly rolling out the mandate across the various groups is acceptable. Colleges are expected to make progress toward compliance, but given the complexity of doing so, the need for flexibility is also supported—the goal for the first weeks is to educate and help students connect with services and resources.”

As vaccination rates increase, more students will likely come back to campus.

On the morning of November 2, CLC PR sent an email with the following data on face-to-face (F2F) and online course enrollment:

Data as of November 2nd, Chart provided by CLC Public Relations and Marketing