March 12 Reopening Memo

Information about the plans for Fall 2021.

March 12, 2021

To MICA Students, Parents, Staff, and Faculty,

As we begin to enjoy the first warm days of spring, it is with optimism and hope that we write to announce MICA’s plans for the Fall 2021 semester.

A Successful Spring

MICA reopened this spring semester with students safely returning to on-campus housing, access to studios and fabrication spaces for thesis work, enhanced remote classes, a comprehensive on-campus asymptomatic testing program, and campus COVID-19 positivity rates continuing to hover near zero. We give our deepest thanks to the extraordinary MICA community for this success—the remarkable and dedicated work of faculty, staff, and students has allowed the College to continue to operate true to its core values and educational mission despite the challenges of this unprecedented year.

With the College’s spring semester underway, we now turn to fall.

The Promise of Fall

MICA continues to work closely with our epidemiologist consultants as we develop our planning around all educational and operational aspects of the on-campus experience for the Fall 2021 semester. We are encouraged by their positive assessment of MICA’s Spring 2021 reopening efforts and their high confidence that vaccination rates will increase and rates of community spread will decrease in the coming months. With the epidemiologist consultants’ guidance, we are pleased to announce our plan to open MICA’s Fall 2021 semester in a revised and expanded Operational Mode 4, with close to normal operations across our educational, residential, and supporting College functions.

This means that we are planning for a full return to campus, with in-person classes and on-campus work and residential life as the norm for the fall semester at MICA.

Expanded Operational Mode 4

Below are some of the key elements of our expanded operational mode for the fall. The full Operational Mode 4 details can be viewed here.

Residence halls will be open and operating, with precautionary measures in place. Students can apply for housing here.

The educational experience will prioritize the return to MICA’s physical campus. Instruction will be primarily in-person or hybrid, with the expectation that students, faculty, and staff will be teaching, learning, and working on the MICA campus, using the physical resources of the College.

Physical distancing will be relaxed, while other public health and safety measures—such as masking, health protocols in dining areas, and some modifications in shop/studio access—will likely remain in place.

We will continue to work closely with our international families to assess the viability of students’ ability to return to the U.S. and the possibility for international programming in the fall.

In the coming days, we will be launching a new website where the latest information around the Fall 2021 semester will be posted. That new site will be linked from MICA's homepage, and we encourage everyone to visit it often as plans and policies will be developing as the public health situation becomes clear.

In closing, we would like to again offer our sincere gratitude to all of our MICA community members—from our faculty and students who have together reimagined the ways in which we teach and learn, to our staff and health professionals who have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of all our members. Our continued collaboration and support for each other will help MICA emerge from the pandemic a stronger and better institution.

Samuel Hoi, President

David Bogen, Provost

Office of the President
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217