Guidance for Students

Student smiles with mask on with campus in background

Fall Quarter

Classes begin Sept. 21 through online, virtual, and hybrid formats (explained in Common Questions below). Most services are available virtually. Contact and Hours page >

Coming to campus?

Campus is open with limited operations and hours. See Hours page >

1. Do a self-screen of your current health at home.

2. Put on your face covering when you get to SPSCC and keep it on the whole time you're on campus. Stay at least six feet from others and wash your hands often.

3. Fill out the online "Check Out" Activity Tracking Form when you leave.

Taking face-to-face classes?

Your instructor will give you specific instructions on health and safety and provide class activity tracking forms each day.

If you visit any spaces other than your classroom, fill out the online "Check Out" Activity Tracking Form when you leave.

Common Questions

How do I self-screen my current health at home?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a fever (100.4 or higher), or a sense of having a fever?
  • Do I have a new cough that I cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • Do I have a new shortness of breath that I cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • Do I have a new sore throat that I cannot attribute to another health condition?
  • Do I have new muscle aches (myalgias) that I cannot attribute to another health condition?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, do not come to campus.

What should I do if I start to feel sick on campus?

If you begin to feel ill while you are on campus, please leave campus immediately and let your instructor or a staff member know.

What can I do on campus that I can't do virtually?

Most student services are available to you virtually. Some students may need to visit campus to pay tuition in-person, pick up a book from the Library, or visit the Food Pantry.

SPSCC is open for limited services during Phase 3 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Thursday. Visit the SPSCC hours page for a full list with hours and links to Zoom virtual waiting rooms.

If we have suspended operations, subscribers will be notified via our emergency notification system, Omnilert.

Do I need to wear a face covering at SPSCC?

Yes. Washington's statewide mask mandate requires nearly everyone on our campuses to wear a face covering, inside and outside.

If you do not have a face covering and need a disposable mask while on campus, you can pick one up on the Olympia Campus at the Start Here desk (building 22, 2nd floor) or Student Life front desk (building 27, 2nd floor) or on the Lacey Campus at the One Stop (building 1).

For more information and resources, the Department of Health has put together this thorough Cloth Face Coverings and Masks webpage that includes instructions on how to make a cloth face covering, links to the “Do’s and Don’ts” of wearing face coverings, and Frequently Asked Questions.

What's the difference between Online, Virtual, and Hybird classes?

SPSCC classes are being offered as online, virtual, and hybrid classes, with very few face-to-face classes.

We want you to clearly understand the types of classes and instruction we’re offering so you can make the best class choices for yourself. When reviewing the Class Schedule, use the “Location” tag and refer to these definitions:

Online – Online classes do not have a set meeting time (sometimes called asynchronous).

Virtual – Virtual classes meet via an online meeting space on the days and times listed in the class schedule (sometimes called synchronous).

Hybrid – Hybrid is a mix of Online and Face-to-Face on the days and times listed in the class schedule.

Face-to-Face – Few classes are scheduled as Face-to-Face on campus.

New to online learning? Free training and resources are available through the Center for Teaching & Online Learning (CTOL)

Do I have to pay an Online class fee?

If you're enrolled in Virtual or Hybrid classes (defined in question above), you will NOT be charged an Online class fee.

If you're enrolled in an Online class (defined in question above), you do need to pay an Online class fee. This was also true before COVID. Online class fees are used to maintain and improve our Online platforms.

Can SPSCC help me pay for tuition, books, or personal bills?

If you are experiencing financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, contact your Educational & Career Planner or Financial Aid Advisor via Compass to request CARES Act funds.

CARES Act Funds for Coronavirus Relief – In March 2020, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This Act allows SPSCC to provide direct emergency grants to students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to supporting unexpected coronavirus-related expenses like food and housing, these funds can support direct education expenses such as tuition, books, and essential technology (such as laptops). 

Visit our COVID-19 Student Needs Dashboard for a complete look of how our students have used these funds so far.

What should I do if I don't have Internet at home?

Comcast is offering two months of free internet service to low-income households.

Also, some phone companies are offering increased data plans at no cost to create wifi hotspots at home. Check with your cell provider to see if they’re offering this service.

SPSCC WiFi: WiFi has been expanded to reach parking lots close to buildings at the SPSCC Olympia Campus. We recommend parking lot J if you want to access WiFi on campus from your car.

Other public WiFi: If you can't get reliable internet access at home, try using a public WiFi hotspot from a safe place, such as your car, at places like a Timberland Regional Library (check in with your local branch first) or an Xfinity WiFi hotspot (Comcast has currently made them open access).

Security note: Before you use public WiFi, make sure your antivirus or malware protection is turned on and current. Don’t save passwords in the browser and use private/incognito windows whenever possible. Be extra aware of phishing attempts, especially messages about COVID-19.

Can I get food while I'm on campus?

Currently, food is not available on campus.

The Food Pantry is offering pre-boxed visits on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. A list of all pickup events can be found on the Thurston County Food Bank website.

How can I buy or return books from the bookstore?

The bookstore is open online. Go to bookstore website >

Books, supplies, laptops, and Chromebooks are stocked and available to students with free shipping.

If you have an outstanding rental, you can return it using a free shipping label through your account on the bookstore website. If you have problems, contact bookstore manager Scott Cahill at

I'm using Veterans benefits. Can I attend classes virtually?

The VA is working with U.S. Congress to preserve your VA education benefits during this crisis. Both Senate and House lawmakers have passed a bill to protect student veterans from losing benefits due to colleges transitioning classes to virtual learning.

Are CCE (noncredit) classes running?

Most CCE (noncredit) classes have transitioned to a live online format through December 2020. If there is a change to a class you have already registered for, you will be contacted via email and phone. See the Remote Learning page for more information.