On July 6, the federal Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) announced new plans to prevent international students at colleges operating online in fall quarter (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) from taking a full online course load and remain in the United States.
This announcement is both senseless and cruel, causing undue anxiety, stress, and fear for our Shoreline international students and families in the midst of a global pandemic. Students must be granted the flexibility to live and study in the location that best supports their health and safety.
While this rule change is not yet final, Shoreline Community College, along with our Board of Trustees, unequivocally condemns this change. Campus leadership is working closely with the International Education department and is actively reaching out to elected officials, professional organizations, and other colleges and universities to obtain more information and devise solutions to ensure all of our students are able to continue their studies in the fall, safely and without interruption.
Please know the College is committed to finding ways to support our international students. Our community cares deeply and stands with our international students, many of whom have made great sacrifices to study in this country and chose Shoreline because of the tremendous support we provide throughout their educational experience. Any student who may be in need of emotional support during this uncertain time are encouraged to reach out to the Counseling Center (206-546-4594) for assistance.
The Executive Team, along with staff in the International Education department, will continue to update the campus community as more information becomes available. Do keep our international students and their families in your thoughts. I know as a College, we will do what we always do: come alongside our students with support and care.
Wishing you continued health and well-being,
Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D. President Office of the President
The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) announced Monday that students at colleges that are going to be fully online in fall quarter (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) will not be able to stay in the U.S., but would need to take online coursework from overseas.
For those Shoreline international students who are already taking courses from overseas, our understanding is that this change will not affect you. For students who are still in the U.S., we understand that this news might be causing you and your families stress. It is important to know that these modifications have not been published to the Federal Register, and are not yet final. It is also not clear how these modifications will be implemented.
I am working closely with our International Education Department, campus leadership, professional organizations, colleges and universities in the state and across the country to get further information and to come up with solutions to make sure that our students are able to continue to pursue their academic goals while remaining safe and healthy. We will also be exploring options to work with our congressional representatives and other state officials to advocate on behalf of our students.
An update to this message will be sent on Friday, July 10th from Samira Pardanani, Executive Director of International Programs. Please watch your Shoreline email and Shoreline social media accounts for that message.
Please know that Shoreline Community College supports and cares about all of you.
Update June 25, 2020: Masks or face coverings are required in public spaces beginning June 26, 2020
“Effective June 26, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can’t stay 6 feet apart from others.” (From Washington State Coronavirus Response website.)
Does my international student insurance cover treatment for coronavirus?
Treatment of the coronavirus is covered under the international student insurance plan similar to other illnesses.
The plan also offers a variety of free resources, including meeting with a doctor online or by phone, a 24/7 nurse line, and a student support line if you want to talk about any anxiety or stress (available in many languages).
In order to help the campus stay safe, if you feel that you are experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has, please fill out this form.
Do I need a travel signature before leaving the U.S.?
When you leave the U.S., you do not need a travel signature. The signature is required when you enter the U.S. If you will enter the U.S. within one year of your last travel signature, you do not need a new one. We recommend you carry a copy of your class registration with you when you arrive at a port of entry in the U.S. If you do not have a travel signature or it is too old, contact Harumi Kendall at email@example.com.
Are classes in Summer and Fall quarters going to be all online?
The College has decided that most classes for Summer and Fall quarters will be taught remotely: meaning that most classes will be taught online.
Please know that the College is being very proactive and responsive, and is committed to continuing to maintain our excellent quality of instruction. Students should rest assured that they will receive a lot of extra support from the College and the International Education department to help them be successful in the online environment.
I’m a current student and I want to take classes in the Summer and/or Fall. What should I do?
The Department of Homeland Security has informed us that (current) students who maintain a class load of at least 12 credits will be allowed to remain in “Active” status while taking remote classes during Summer and Fall quarter. This can be any combination of credits labeled as online (N), hybrid (Y), or face-to-face (E, S).
Your I-20/SEVIS record will remain in active status while studying remotely in the U.S. OR outside of the U.S. By enrolling in 12 credits or more you will not need to use a vacation quarter – you will be able to continue maintaining your status while making academic progress.
If this is your graduation quarter, you may take less than 12 credits by submitting a Reduced Course Load form to an academic advisor. An advisor will ensure that you are eligible to graduate before approving the Reduced Course Load. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about OPT, contact F-1 immigration specialist Harumi Kendall at email@example.com.
I am not currently in the U.S. but plan to attend Shoreline Community College in Summer and/or Fall Quarters. What should I do if I am not able to come to the U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions?
I am a new Shoreline student: Contact international admissions about taking online classes from your home country, OR request a deferral (postponement).
I am a continuing Shoreline student currently on an approved annual vacation quarter outside the U.S. and cannot re-enter the U.S. (or have concerns about traveling): Contact our advisors firstname.lastname@example.org to get advice about possible online classes that you can register for. They are happy to help you! In addition, also contact an F-1 Specialist (Harumi Kendall or Kristine Towns-von Stauber) to find out how to defer your I-20 so you can return to the U.S. in a future quarter.
I am a continuing Shoreline student returning from a leave of absence with a new SEVIS I-20 (new SEVIS Number): Contact our advisors email@example.com to get advice about possible online classes that you can register for. They are happy to help you! In addition, also contact an F-1 Specialist (Harumi Kendall or Kristine Towns-von Stauber) to find out how to defer your I-20 so you can return to the U.S. in a future quarter.
I hear that the IE department is operating online like most other campus services. Is that true?
Yes, it is. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced that, to slow the spread of COVID-19, all schools, colleges, and universities in Washington State must close and/or strictly limit their in-person activities. This is being done for the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general population.
Although we will not be meeting in-person with students, the IE department will continue to offer services through Zoom video conference meetings, email, and by phone. We are dedicated to making sure that our students continue to receive all the support they need during this challenging time. Please contact us. We are here for you!
I am planning to travel outside of the U.S. between quarters. Is that OK?
You may wish to consider avoiding travel that is not necessary. We do not know how long current travel restrictions will last, or if restrictions on additional countries will be added. If you must travel, check travel restrictions in that country in addition to checking with your airline. Be prepared for any changes that may delay your return to the U.S. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has the most updated information regarding travel alerts and warnings: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
If you are traveling overseas and do not have a current travel signature on your I-20, please email an F-1 Specialist (Harumi Kendall or Kristine Towns-von Stauber) and they will provide you with any needed information. Even though our physical campus is temporarily closed, both instruction and services are available! Staff is available during regular business hours to assist you.
Can I take classes online from my home country?
Yes. We have many online courses available, and we will be providing additional services within IE to help international students who are taking online courses from their home country due to COVID-19. If you are interested in taking a class online for spring quarter, please contact international admissions or an academic advisor.
Which countries have COVID-19 travel restrictions to the U.S. (updated March 15, 2020)?
Entry to the U.S. has been suspended from several countries and regions including China, Iran, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Because of frequent updates, please check the most current list at U.S. Department of State website on COVID-19.
In addition, we recommend that you check airline travel information and your government’s health department website, as this situation can change daily.
How does it spread?
COVID-19 can be spread through close contact with someone who has the virus. Please go to one of the websites below for details about the virus:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Wear a cloth mask when you leave your home and may be within 6 feet of other people, and always in stores or other buildings.
What steps is the College taking?
The college is actively monitoring the situation and staying up to date with local and state health authorities and proactively responding to support students and the campus community. The college is committed to providing regular updates to all students and staff, as well as different options to students to support them in their success. Actions include:
Campus closure: In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, classes have been moved online and Shoreline’s physical campus will be closed for Summer and Fall Quarters. However, classes and services, including academic and immigration advising, will continue to be available online through the free video conference app Zoom, by phone, and by email.
Updated Webpage: The college has created a central webpage to provide updates, information, and resources about Covid19. The college is sending daily updates and will be updating this webpage as the situation develops.
Adjustments to course delivery: The College has transitioned the majority of courses to online delivery through Fall Quarter. Faculty and administrators have been actively working to minimize the impact on student learning and success. Please know that while course delivery might be different, instruction will continue!
Task Force: A Communicable Disease Task Force has been meeting regularly and has been keeping up to date on local and federal news and government recommendations. This Task Force has also been working on response and preventative measures for the campus. If you have questions or concerns related to COVID-19 please contact Derek Levy, Acting Vice President of Students, Equity & Success (206-546-4544), or Yushin Wung, International Student Engagement Manager (206-546-6924).
Incident Command System (ICS): this is a protocol that the college uses in response to emergency situations. It is an organizational tool for staff that answers questions such as:
Who is in charge?
What is my role? What are my specific tasks?
Whom do I report to?
ICS allows the college to provide a systematic and organized response that is well communicated to all involved parties and decision-makers.
Should I wear a face mask?
Public Health – Seattle & King County recently directed all residents of King County to wear cloth face coverings in public places in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can read their list of DOs and DON’Ts for face masks for more information.
What’s the best way to wash my hands?
When possible, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying well. Tip: sing “Happy Birthday” twice while you wash.
If you do not have facilities nearby to wash your hands, you may use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
What if my parents are telling me to come home right now?
We want to support you and your family the best way that we can. Please contact an advisor or F-1 Specialist in International Education so that we can tell you about your options, including going home and possibly continuing your education by taking online classes.
I have more questions about COVID-19. Where can I learn more?
You can contact the International Education Front Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-546-4697 for questions related to Shoreline Community College.
For general information about COVID-19, these resources include much more information about COVID-19 and local and federal responses:
Winter means we’re in the middle of cold and flu season. While it’s important to take care of your health year-round, the cold weather and this year’s novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) outbreak means it’s even more important than ever to take steps to ensure health and wellness.
Luckily, the risk of contracting the coronavirus is low and you can work to prevent it the same way you can avoid getting influenza, the common cold, and other similar viruses common this time of year.
Help stop the spread of these viruses and keep yourself and others healthy by:
Washing your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Staying home when you are sick.
Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash.
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Combine the common sense strategies listed above with steps to improve overall health by:
Dressing warmly. Protect your body when you’re outdoors by wearing a coat, hat, boots, gloves, and scarf. Keeping your body warmer helps boost your immune system.
Getting a flu shot. Getting vaccinated can greatly increase your body’s ability to fight off or recover from the flu.
Staying active. Promote bone and muscle health, control weight, and improve sleep patterns for an overall healthier body better able to fight off illness.
Sleeping enough. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system so help your body protect itself by giving it a break.
Eating healthy. A healthy diet strengthens the immune system by providing antioxidants and vitamins your body needs to resist viruses or infections.
The College is an international community with students living both on and off-campus. With so many people sharing common spaces, it’s up to us all to help prevent the spread of disease.
If you experience any of the following symptoms and have either traveled to or from mainland China or had contact with someone who is suspected to have coronavirus, stay home and contact a health–care provider.
Coronavirus Symptoms May Include:
A general feeling of being unwell
Student Resources If you have questions about campus exposure risks (including in the residence hall), have recently returned from travel in China, have interacted with someone who has traveled to China, and/or are exhibiting signs of illness, please reach out to Derek Levy, Dean of Student Support & Success (206-546-4544), or Yushin Wung, International Student Engagement Manager (206-546-6924).
Some students may also benefit from the following resources:
Counseling Center – Health care information, community resources, and confidential mental health support
Shoreline Community College has joined the top 20 Associate’s colleges hosting international students in the United States.
In its Open Doors Report, released as part of global International Education Week celebrations, the Institute of International Education ranked Shoreline Community College number 19 in the U.S. on the list of Associate’s Colleges with the most international students.
Shoreline’s rise in the rankings comes amid overall drops in new enrollments by international students throughout the state and the nation. In this context, it has been increasingly difficult to attract new students. However, Shoreline has seen significantly lower declines in international enrollments compared to other similar institutions.
Shoreline’s International Education Department works hard to make sure international students have all the support they need to succeed in the U.S. education system. One recent graduate, Riadiani Marcelita from Indonesia, said, “the international student advisors worked with me from day one to plan my academic journey.” Riadiani is currently working at Adobe Systems in California.
International students also point to the excellence of our teaching faculty as another reason for the success. Kacem Saber Becis from Algeria noted, “the faculty are truly preparing me to be successful at a university.”
It is this support, and the student successes that it leads to, that attracts international students to Shoreline.
With just short of 1,000 international students from over 50 countries, Shoreline is one of five colleges in Washington State in the top 20 leading institutions, making ours one of the most competitive states in the country. In the past ten years, Shoreline has increased its international student population by around 30%, and moved from being ranked in the 30s to its current spot at 19.
The Open Doors Report has been published annually by the Institute of International Education since the 1948-49 academic year. Since 1972, they have partnered with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to produce the report. Open Doors contains data on international students in the U.S. as well as American students who study abroad in other countries.
Support local artists and small business at three different fun events this weekend!
The Shoreline Arts Festival has something for everyone. Not only can you view and purchase art from members of the community, there are dance and music performances, food trucks, hands-on art projects, and cultural rooms.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, June 24 & 25 Time: Saturday 10:00am – 9:00pm, Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm Location: Shoreline Center, 18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155 Cost: Admission is free! Bring money for food and souvenirs.
Urban Craft Uprising is Seattle’s largest independent craft show. There is a winter and a summer show, and no two events are the same. The artists, designers, and crafters (including chefs and bakers!) are selected by a jury to get the best mix of everything Seattle has to offer.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, June 24 & 25 Time: 11:00am – 5:00pm Location: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall Cost: Admission is free! Bring money for crafts and goodies.
If you’re looking for something really unique, Oddmall – Emporium of the Weird, is taking place at Everett Community College. Oddmall prides itself in their eclectic and diverse lineup of crafters, artists, live performers, authors, and food stalls.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25 Time: Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm Location: Everett Community College – Walt Price Student Fitness Center Cost: Admission is free! Bring money for one of a kind treasures.
International Peer Mentors (IPMs) are hiring! If you’re looking for a fun and unique leadership opportunity to engage with your fellow students, becoming an IPM may be right for you. To learn more about the position, visit the International Peer Mentor Facebook page. The deadline is Sunday, April 2nd, so don’t delay!
Here’s what our current IPMs love about their experience working in the International Education Department, and why you should apply!
My favorite part about being an IPM would be helping students and also improving several aspects of myself (my weaknesses). One of the main reason I became an IPM was to improve my communication skills and I am happy that I have been able to do that and even more. Being an IPM has helped me engage and participate efficiently on campus activities and to develop my leadership skills. I would definitely recommend students to apply because it will be an amazing experience, new people to meet and different cultures to discover. Also, an opportunity to discover and truly appreciate shoreline and all the amazing staff members in the international department.
I like being an IPM because I enjoy working, I love the friends I got to meet. Being an IPM helped me develop my personality and become a courageous person. I think students should apply because it’s a new experience with new people and students can learn a lot from that!
I really enjoy being an IPM because I got to do a lot of things that I really love to do such as helping others, problem solving, and meeting lots of new friends. I have improved and grew not only in myself, but also with my teammates. I observed and tried to learn the strengths of my teammates, and I really appreciate the diverse group that we had. I felt more engaged with SCC, and I felt more connected to my school, my advisors, and the staff. For the people who really have passion about helping others, and who are really want to learn something from this job, it will be a good chance for you!
Being an IPM is the coolest thing I have done so far for my life. You get to meet new students and be friends with them, you get to have a group of friends from your work and hang out with them after work! Being an IPM makes me realize what my strengths and weaknesses are, learn how to appreciate other people even though they make mistakes, and so many things you could hardly believe.
Let me tell you, being an IPM can give you a lot of things you would not expect in the past, the present, and of course in the future. 🙂
I love being an IPM because I am able to engage with SCC a lot more, I get to plan and organize events for students, and it also allowed me to work with a lot of people on and off campus. It is amazing to see how me and other IPMs are growing together as well as other students. Being an IPM requires me to not only be a professional staff, but also a friendly approachable student mentor. This is what I really like about this position. I really recommend IPM positions to every student who is willing to learn and contribute to the campus.
I like being an IPM because it helps me to grow up as a person and as a member of the society. I learned how to work in an International Ed office, helped and assisted students who have questions or are troubled. I also get to know more about Shoreline community College since I became an IPM. I think students should apply because IPM is a job where you can polish your leadership style and gain a unique experiences in SCC.
Becoming IPM is practice for speaking English, challenging work for the international team, and experience to work as a paid staff in the U.S. I think, IPM is not brilliant job, you take care of people, put posters on wall, and clean up, and so on. However, if you want to feel how hard working the international team is, and how awesome it is when we achieved something together, you should apply for this.
The first ever Shoreline Short Short Film Festival will take place on Saturday, March 25th! The festival starts at 7:00pm in the Shoreline Community College Theater. Tickets are $20 and they can be bought at the door, or you can reserve them over at the Shoreline Arts Council.
All of the films are three to ten minutes long, and they come from filmmakers all over Washington State. The best films will be honored with prizes and the audience will be able to vote for their favorite. Come and show your support for our local artists, actors, and filmmakers!
Fall quarter’s International Student Orientation Program is always the biggest of the year. This year, it was also among the most diverse groups of students we have ever welcomed to Shoreline, with arrivals from 30 countries across five continents.
To all of our new students: We are excited to see the contributions you will make to campus, and we wish you a wonderful start to your academic careers here at Shoreline. If you ever need any help, support, or even if you are just looking for opportunities to get involved, come in and see us in the International Education offices.
Shoreline Community College welcomed twenty EducationUSA advisors from countries all over the world (including Zimbabwe, Peru, Pakistan, and Germany, to name a few) to partake in a training session titled “Study Options and Pathways at a Two-Year College,” a college fair, and an ice cream social with Shoreline faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, June 28.
EducationUSA is a part of the U.S. Department of State. It has a network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. These advising centers promote U.S. higher education and advise students interested in studying abroad. Shoreline often visits these offices to participate in seminars and fairs organized by EducationUSA.
The training sessions held on campus were part of a larger training institute that takes place annually in different cities across the U.S. to help advisors deepen their knowledge of key topics in relation to advising students. Shoreline was one of only two community colleges that were selected as hosts for such sessions.
The training session, led by Shoreline Faculty Academic Advisors Tiffany Meier and Cynthia Okawara, shared the benefits of studying at a community college and the many opportunities available after completing an associate’s degree. EducationUSA advisors remarked after the session of that visiting Shoreline opened their eyes to how community colleges could be a gateway to a top university that can help students save money.
The ice cream social allowed faculty, students, and staff to engage with the EducationUSA advisors to talk about experiences and hopefully potential opportunities for cross cultural exchange with students. It was a wonderful afternoon of learning for everyone involved and a great opportunity to showcase the amazing work Shoreline is doing in global engagement.