PCC Won’t Require Vaccinations

College doesn’t want new barrier to enrollment

 Portland Community College announced Monday that it will not require students or employees to be vaccinated for the coronavirus as a condition of employment or enrollment this fall term, a reversal of what’s happening at Oregon’s four-year public colleges.

 This decision was recommended unanimously by PCC’s COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team and approved by the College President Mark Mitsui.

 
Officials said because vaccination access and hesitancy looks different across racial lines, vaccination requirements create a barrier to educational access that will disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). This would not reflect PCC’s institutional values of equity, inclusion and belonging.


In addition, based on surveys, vaccination rates for PCC employee and student communities far exceed 70%, the vaccination target rate set by Gov. Kate Brown.


Acknowledging the vaccination rate will never be 100%, PCC pointed to Oregon law that allows individuals to request exemption from vaccination requirements for personal, religious, or medical reasons. As such, some members of the college’s community would not be vaccinated, even if it were required, officials said.

 
“While many public universities are requiring vaccination, no community colleges in Oregon are requiring vaccination of all students, and few community colleges across the country are making vaccination a requirement for enrollment. This trend is aligned with the open access mission of community colleges, a value that is core to PCC,” a statement from the college said.


Officials said as the state moves closer to meeting the Governor’s vaccination goal of 70% of eligible Oregonians receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s likely many of PCC’s pandemic administrative rules and health and safety guidelines could change.


For the latest on PCC’s health and safety protocols, as well as reopening plans, visit pcc.edu/coronavirus/.