AACC students and employees can submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations by filling out an online form and uploading a picture of their vaccination card.
The college is requiring anyone coming to campus to turn in the form by Oct. 1 or to submit proof of weekly negative COVID-19 tests. Administrators have not announced how they will collect those test results, however.
“What we’re trying to do is balance the need to support our students [and] keep them moving in their educational process as safely as possible, with responsible safety measures in place,” Melissa Beardmore, vice president for learning resources management, said. “It’s the balance of, given the times that we’re in, keeping students on track with safety.”
Beardmore said the college is hoping to make free COVID testing available on campus by early November.
To submit the vaccine certification form, visit AACC’s vaccinations page and look for the link for students or employees. The form asks visitors to answer 10 questions and upload of their vaccination card as a digital image or PDF.
Anyone can order a duplicate copy of that card at MyIRmobile, an online medical database.
“Everyone should complete [the vaccine certification form] if you’re an active student or you’re currently an employee,” Beardmore said. “If you are vaccinated and you’ve uploaded your proof of vaccination, you’re done.”
The college also requires everyone to wear a mask inside of all campus buildings.
“For folks who are unvaccinated, if you’re fully online, [meaning] either you work or you take classes online and you have no reason to come on campus, then you don’t have to do anything else,” Beardmore said.
Still, even those who do not work or take classes on campus must submit a negative COVID test before coming to the college for another reason, Beardmore said.
For Joey Ort, a first-year engineering student who takes a face-to-face chemistry class this semester, said he feels comfortable being at school because of the vaccine requirement.
“I like being able to … use the in-person things like tutoring centers or even just coming here to work in a space around other people,” Ort said. “It’s nice to be able to do that without as big of a worry about the risk of infection.”
First-year elementary education student Isabella Grant said she is fully vaccinated but has not submitted her proof yet.
Still, she said, “It’s good to be able to show proof,” Grant said.
Ort said he used his iPhone to submit his vaccine certification form after visiting the MyIRmobile website and downloading a PDF to upload.
“I saved [my immunization record PDF] as an actual file, but you could [also] just snap a screenshot of it,” Ort said. “That would totally work the same way.”
“If you have your [AACC or MyAACC] login [information] and a picture of your card, it honestly … can take under two minutes if you’re a quick reader,” Beardmore said.
“The process itself was quick, simple and easy,” Ort said. “It took me less than a minute.”
He said the requirement to submit proof of vaccination helps keep the on-campus community safe.
“We need to be doing everything we can, as a campus community, to keep each other safe,” Ort said.
Felicia Patterson, vice president for learner support services, agreed.
“We’re trying to be thoughtful and make sure that we do our part to keep our communities as safe as possible,” she said.