Back to Top

As part of our commitment to the health and safety of AACC employees, students, the greater community and patients and employees at our clinical site affiliates, all employees and students participating in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting within the School of Health Sciences or certain programs in the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (see FAQs below) will be required to be fully vaccinated. This is in accordance with the Interim Policy regarding COVID-19 and Interim Procedure on COVID-19 Vaccination for Clinical Participants. Testing will not be permitted in lieu of vaccination for individuals participating in clinicals, unless the individual has requested and been granted an accommodation.

AACC recognizes that some individuals may not be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Students and employees who have a medical condition, disability or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination may be eligible for an accommodation, depending on the circumstances. In order to be considered for an accommodation, you must submit a request form.

For deadlines to request an accommodation, see the Procedure or the FAQs below. 


Frequently Asked Questions

We will update this webpage regularly with additional information as it becomes available.

Vaccine Mandate

What are the vaccination protocols if I am in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting?

Beginning with the spring 2022 term, all employees and students participating in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting within the School of Health Sciences or certain programs in the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) are required to be fully vaccinated. Testing will be not permitted in lieu of vaccination for individuals participating in clinicals, unless the individual has requested and been granted an accommodation. CEWD programs that require vaccination include: Central Sterile Processing, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Certified Medicine Aide, Nurse Refresher or Vet Assisting. Fieldwork in the Human Services program is not considered a health care or clinic program and is not subject to the vaccine mandate. Students and employees must provide proof of vaccination to their program by the deadline provided by their program.

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, employees and students must agree to COVID-19 testing as determined by the clinical. Refusal of COVID-19 testing may also result in a student’s inability to progress or successfully complete the program of study and may impact an employee’s employment status.

What do I do if my clinical also has policies and procedures regarding COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing?

Students enrolled in a course taking place at a clinical site or employees assigned to work at a clinical site must comply with the site’s policies, procedures, rules and regulations regarding vaccination and testing for COVID-19.

If you do not comply with the site’s rules, you may be unable to participate in the course or work at the clinical site and will possibly have to withdraw or fail the course or not be able to meet the essential functions of the employee’s job. Individuals may request an exemption or accommodation directly from the site. If granted by the site, AACC will abide by the site’s determination with respect to the site’s rules; however, the site’s determination does not guarantee that AACC will grant an accommodation with respect to its vaccine mandate for clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting.

If denied by the site, the individual may not be permitted able to go to the site. AACC will not consider requests for exemption or accommodation to the site’s rules. AACC will also not consider student requests to change site locations based on vaccination or testing requirements of the site. If an employee cannot perform the essential functions of their job without going to the site, the employee may not be eligible for an accommodation, depending on the circumstances, which may impact employment status.

Do I need to request an accommodation or waiver from both AACC and the clinical site?

Yes. AACC and your assigned clinical site may have different rules. In order to participate in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting, an individual must comply with both AACC's COVID-19 Policy and Procedure and the site’s protocols. AACC cannot make decisions to grant an accommodation or exception to the clinical site’s rules, unless that authority is granted by the clinical site to the college in writing. The clinical site cannot make decisions to grant an accommodation or exception to AACC's protocols. Accordingly, individuals who are seeking an accommodation must make a request to both AACC and to the clinical site and must be granted an accommodation by both in order to participate.

Do I need to get a booster or additional dose of the vaccine?

At this time, those individuals who are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to be vaccinated with a booster or additional dose to comply with the college’s COVID-19 Policy and Procedure. The clinical site, however, may require a booster or additional dose, and if required, the student or employee will be required to comply in order to participate. 

Who do I talk to if I have questions or concerns?

If you have questions or concerns, direct them to your assistant dean or director.

School of Health Sciences

Nursing and Practical Nursing
Scott Olden, assistant dean
smolden@aacc.edu 

Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician
Tina Clark, director
Email: clclark@aacc.edu 

Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Lab Assistant, Physical Therapist, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology and Phlebotomy
Dave Thomas, assistant dean
dcthomas@aacc.edu 

Human Services, Medical Assisting and Massage Therapy
Tiffin Bumpass, assistant dean
tlbumpass@aacc.edu

Physician Assistant
Cheri Hendrix, director
cmhendrix@aacc.edu      

School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development

All noncredit programs
MaryLou McQuaide, director
mmcquaide@aacc.edu 

Employees

All programs
Suzanne Boyer, executive director of Human Resources
slboyer1@aacc.edu 

Testing

What are the testing protocols if I'm in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting?

The college does not require testing for COVID-19, unless a student or employee who is required to be vaccinated is granted an accommodation.

Employees and students are responsible for knowing the policies, procedures, rules and regulations of their assigned clinical site. Some clinical sites, may require regular or sporadic testing. Employees and students must agree to COVID-19 testing as determined by the assigned clinical site. Refusal of COVID-19 testing when required by the clinical site may result in a student’s the inability to progress or successfully complete the program of study and may impact an employee’s employment status.

Accommodations

Can I request an accommodation if I'm in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care clinic setting?

Students and employees who have a medical condition, disability or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination may be eligible for an accommodation, depending on the circumstances. In order to be considered for an accommodation, you must submit a request form.

I have been granted an accommodation. Do I need to submit weekly COVID-19 testing results?

Yes. If an accommodation is granted, employees and students in clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting will still be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 test results to the college by Wednesday each week. Refusal of COVID-19 testing may result in a student’s inability to progress or successfully complete the program of study or may impact an employee’s employment status.

My accommodation request has been denied. What do I do?

If a student’s request for accommodation is denied, the student will either need to be fully vaccinated (two weeks after the final dose of the vaccine) prior to the first day of the clinical, externship or internship in a health care or clinic setting, or must drop the course prior to its start date to receive a refund. If the student submitted the request form by the deadline and was not notified of the college’s decision prior to the start date, the college may consider a refund request. Students may need to take a leave of absence from their program if they cannot complete the clinical, externship or internship.

If an employee’s request for accommodation is denied, the employee must be fully vaccinated (two weeks after the final dose of the vaccine) prior to the start date of the clinical, externship or internship in a health care or clinic setting. Failure to do so may result in progressive discipline, up to and including termination.

What is the evaluation process for a request for accommodation?

The purpose of submitting a request for accommodation is to give us information in order to evaluate the medical condition(s), disability or religious reasons that may prevent you from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and to determine whether any reasonable accommodations may be necessary. Note that accommodations are not guaranteed, and the decision to provide an accommodation will be made at the college’s sole discretion following an interactive process. Our ability to provide an accommodation depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to your specific needs, the nature of your work or studies and the safety of you, our students, our employees and the public, and whether the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on the college or a direct threat to the safety of you or others.

After the accommodation request form has been reviewed and processed, you will be notified, in writing, if an accommodation has been approved or denied. Please allow for sufficient time for the college to process the request (typically two weeks). All decisions will be sent to your college-issued email address. 

You may reapply if new documentation and information should become available. Unless and until an accommodation is approved, you will be required to comply with the college’s COVID-19 Policy and Procedure.

Can I appeal the denial of my request for an accommodation?

You may appeal a decision denying a request for an accommodation by forwarding the decision email to the first level appeal decision-maker listed below within three calendar days of the decision being sent to you. You must include the reasons you are appealing the decision. If your appeal is not granted, you may appeal that decision by forwarding the appeal decision to the second level appeal-decision maker listed below within three calendar days of the appeal decision being sent to you and include the reasons that you are appealing the decision. The appeal decision-makers are listed below by the type of request.

Student Medical/Disability Appeals

Student Religious Appeal

Employees Medical/Disability/Religious Appeal

  • First Level Appeal – Tanya Millner, provost/vice president, Learning, tcmillner@aacc.edu 
  • Second Level Appeal – Melissa Beardmore, vice president, Learning Resources Management, mabeardmore@aacc.edu 

To ensure that your information is protected, the decision regarding your request for accommodation will be sent to your college-issued email mailbox using encryption. If you choose to appeal, to ensure your information remains secure, forward this encrypted email to the appeal decision-maker listed above and include the reasons you are appealing. A lock icon will appear, which confirms that an email is encrypted.

If you have any questions, contact the Technical Service desk at helpdesk@aacc.edu or 410-777-4357.

If I am granted an accommodation for a prior term, do I have to reapply for an accommodation next term?

Yes, if you are granted an accommodation, the notice will include an expiration date. You will need to file a request to recertify any accommodation granted prior to the expiration date for the accommodation to be continued. Requests to recertify should be filed at least two weeks prior to the expiration date.

If I was denied an accommodation for a prior term, can I reapply for an accommodation next term?

Yes, if you were denied an accommodation, you may reapply if new documentation and information should become available. Unless and until an accommodation is approved, you will be required to comply with the college’s Policy and Procedure.

Will the college consider naturally occurring antibodies as a reason to grant an accommodation?

AACC will not consider naturally occurring COVID-19 antibodies as a reason to grant a medical accommodation or medical deferral at this time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that even if you have already had COVID-19, you should get vaccinated because research has not yet shown how long you may be protected after you recover and vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19. A number of studies have shown that individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be better protected against future infections than those individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19.

While the science around COVID-19 infection-induced immunity and naturally occurring antibodies is evolving, there is not enough evidence for the college to consider infection-induced immunity or naturally occurring antibodies as sufficient to reduce exposure to, or reinfection from, COVID-19. Studies have found that many individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 have not acquired effective immunity to COVID-19 and when individuals do acquire some level of protection, evidence suggests that the level of protection may depend on the severity of the individuals’ infection.

While some studies have indicated that infection-induced immunity may provide a significant level of protection against reinfection, these studies suffer from methodological limitations that make those studies inconclusive regarding the level of immunity from having previously had COVID-19. The scientific evidence has not yet provided a reasonable degree of certainty as to the degree of protection, if any, afforded to a particular individual from their prior infection. Accordingly, the college will not consider prior infection as a basis for exemption from the college’s COVID-19 Policy and Procedure. AACC also consulted with the Anne Arundel County Health Department in making this determination.

Accommodations

Students and employees who have a medical condition, disability or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination may be eligible for an accommodation. Request an accommodation for clinicals, externships or internships in a health care or clinic setting.


COVID-19 Information

Learn more about what we're doing to keep our community safe.