Fall 2021 Visitor Guidelines

Fall 2021 Visitor Guidelines

The current Teachers College “no visitor” policy has been in effect since the beginning of the pandemic, with limited exceptions for necessary contractor work.  The following outlines the College’s policy for visitors for the Fall semester that will go into effect on August 16, 2021.  The College will maintain a no visitor policy until that date.

For Fall 2021, we intend to observe some restrictions regarding visitors in order to limit risk as Teachers College faculty, staff and students return to classrooms, workplaces and residences. At the same time, the College values the contributions that visiting scholars, exchange programs and other visitors bring to our academic community. As a result, some restrictions remain in place, as indicated below. 

The College will only allow visitors on campus who are 12 years of age or older except for children who are enrolled at the child care centers outlined below and/or serve as research participants. Additional guidance pertaining to minors on campus can be found in TC’s Policy for the Supervision of Minors on Campus

Vaccinations will be required for all visitors whose duration on campus is intended to be four or more days in one semester.  For visitors who will be on campus less than four days, either proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test dated within seven days of the visit is required and will be verified when the visitor enters through the Zankel Hall main entrance.  A CDC card, WHO booklet, country-specific COVID-19 vaccination card, Epic Connect record, Excelsior pass or other verifiable document will be accepted as proof of vaccination.  All visitors will also need to complete the College’s Daily Health Screening.

Public Safety must be notified of all visitors at least 48 hours before their intended arrival. The visitor registration form should be completed for each day an individual is expecting visitors and may contain multiple visitors for that day. This schedule should be sent to officeofpublicsafety@tc.columbia.edu

Additional guidance for specific categories of visitors is noted below. All visitors are expected to comply with the College’s health and safety policies, including our face coverings requirements. All individuals on campus are required to wear a face covering in most indoor settings on campus regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings will be optional for vaccinated individuals in outdoor settings.

Exceptions to these visitor guidelines will rarely be made and must be approved by either the Provost, the Vice President for Finance and Operations or the Vice President for Administration.

Categories of Visitors

Visiting and Exchange Students

Non-degree visiting students (domestic and international) will only be permitted to attend classes that meet in-person with approval of the Office of the Provost.


Visiting Faculty, Scholars, Fellows and Adjuncts

Visiting faculty, visiting research fellows, visiting collaborators, visiting postdoctoral scholars and adjunct faculty who are teaching and/or approved for essential on-site research of any duration are excluded from the current visitor restrictions. These visitors must comply with the College’s health and safety policies including mandatory vaccination and/or testing in accordance with the most updated campus guidelines.


Guest Speakers, lectures and panelists

Granting access to occasional guest lecturers or speakers must be done prudently and follows the same guidance as outlined previously concerning notice to Public Safety and proof of vaccination or negative PCR COVID test dated within the 7 days prior to their visit. 


Visitors to faculty and residential buildings

Visitors to faculty and student residential buildings are allowed. These guests will be asked to provide a proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test dated within the last 7 days to the resident or Public Safety Officer if there is one present.  Residential Services guest passes are available for 2 or more days with a maximum of 7 consecutive days and may be obtained from the Office of Residential Services.  Guest passes are limited to individuals who provide proof of vaccination.  Guests must comply with all College and residential policies. Family members who accompany admitted students for the purpose of move-in during the beginning of the Fall semester will be able to access residential halls for limited periods of time during these activities and do not need to register with Public Safety. All individuals assisting with the move-in and out of students during the year will need to comply with all visitor health and safety protocols, including the College’s facial coverings requirements.


Admission visitors

Prospective students are permitted on campus for specialty events coordinated through the Office of Admission. These events will require pre-registration and will be held at limited capacity.  Visitors must comply with all health and safety protocols, including the College’s facial coverings requirements. Individual appointments will be conducted over the phone or virtually; those interested should reach out to the Office of Admission for information on scheduling.


Faculty and staff search candidates

Faculty and employee search candidates are allowed on campus and subject to the same protocols as other visitors.


Faculty, staff and students of affiliated institutions

Columbia University and Barnard faculty, staff and students will be granted access to campus and are not covered by the visitor policy. However, daily health screenings and vaccine compliance will be required. Teachers College will accept the determinations from these affiliated institutions regarding vaccine exemptions.


Minors for Child Care Centers and Research Participants

Minors and the individuals accompanying them to the Hollingsworth and Rita Gold Centers will follow strict protocols related to campus access and movement within campus.  These protocols will be communicated directly to these individuals by the Centers.


Research Participants

The TC Institutional Review Board (TC IRB) office, in consultation with the Research Compliance & Safety Committee (RCSC), has developed requirements and phases to describe the gradual approach to re-starting in-person research. All research participants are expected to follow College policies related to proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test along with the College’s health and safety protocols currently enforced. Visits by minors under the age of 12 or an exception to any health and safety protocol for the purposes of research participation on campus must first be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and communicated to Public Safety at least 48 hours before arrival.

For COVID-19 research-related questions, please review Ethics Amid Uncertainty FAQs, TC IRB’s Updates page, or “Adapting Research in an Emergency” before contacting the IRB office (IRB@tc.edu).

Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, any research participation that can be conducted online or remotely should move forward with online procedures, and forgo in-person engagement.


Alumni and Metropolitan Library Association Users

Alumni and Metropolitan Library Association Users will not be allowed open access to campus and are considered visitors and subject to the requirements contained within this policy.

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