7.10.2020 | Dear students: We stand by our international students

Dear Students,

On Monday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced a rule that prohibits international students from returning to or staying in the United States if their college or university adopts a fully online mode of instruction or if they choose to enroll in a fully online course load for the fall semester. This restriction is especially troubling given the fact that many higher education institutions, including CCAD, are expanding online options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to say to our international students, and to our entire community, that CCAD vehemently opposes this rule. We value and stand by our international students, and we will use our voice to speak out against this unnecessary and burdensome policy. The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, on behalf of CCAD and our peer institutions, has signed an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit over this new rule. We know that there is power in our collective voice and echo the call heard across the country demanding these discriminatory restrictions be reversed.  

International students are a vital part of our CCAD family. Your perspective, your creativity, and your voice make CCAD who we are.

Let me be clear: Because our hybrid model for the fall semester includes in-person instruction, we expect our international students who wish to come to the U.S. will not be impacted by this new rule from ICE, as long as they take at least one class with an in-person component.

However, we object to obstacles being put forth to students who wish to study in the U.S. from abroad, and to the implicit message sent by this type of impediment.

Currently, all international students who are able to be on campus can enroll in at least one or more hybrid courses that include in-person instruction. At the same time, we are developing a fully online version of our first-year undergraduate and graduate programs that would allow new international students who choose to or are required to remain in their home country to complete their first year from abroad.

We are planning for a fall semester unlike any other. We realize that there is a possibility that we may have to move to remote instruction if the pandemic worsens and our region is given another “Stay at Home” order. In such an instance international students may be unfairly impacted by this new rule from ICE. Please know that we are doing everything we can to anticipate and plan for such a scenario and are working on solutions to continue to support and serve all of our students. If you are an international student and have a question about your status or schedule for fall, please contact Kasey Daniel, Director of Advising & Learning Support, at kdaniel@ccad.edu.

As I said to CCAD students in 2017 when speaking out against attempts by the White House to ban immigrants from Muslim-majority countries or end protections for DACA students, I stand by CCAD’s commitment to providing a welcoming environment for all. Our diverse and global community makes us a stronger institution and better artists, designers, scholars, and human beings.

Finally, I want to recognize that supporting our international students is part of the larger effort to ensure that CCAD is an institution focused on equity and intentional inclusion. As we work toward diversifying our faculty and staff, adopting anti-oppression pedagogies and anti-racism curriculum, and many other actions, we must not leave any students behind.