Frequently Asked Questions

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will be updated regularly. 

Last update: September 21, 2021, 11:00 AM

Vaccination and Mask Requirements

Will the College require community members to be vaccinated?

Yes, William James College is requiring staff, faculty, and students to be fully vaccinated before our full return to campus for the Fall 2021 semester. For the few who might be unable to comply with this directive for religious or health restrictions there will be some room for reasonable accommodation. This decision was announced on May 5. 

Mask Requirements (As of August 6, 2021)

  • Effective August 6, 2021, masks are required when on the William James College campus grounds (indoors or outdoors). 
  • Per the Governor’s order, businesses other than those directly identified (transportation systems, healthcare settings, congregate care settings) are permitted to set their own rules regarding mask and vaccination policies. Students working in field sites should understand the mask requirements of their field site and abide by them. 
  • See “vaccine requirements” below for additional information.

Do I have to keep my mask on while I'm in class?

Yes, masks must be worn while in class. 

Am I allowed to eat and drink in class?

Eating requires removing your mask for extended periods and, as such, is not permitted in class. If you need a drink during class, we ask that you keep your mask on and either plan to use a straw beneath your mask or step out of the classroom. 

Where am I allowed to eat in the building?

In larger public spaces, where appropriate social distance can be maintained, students and faculty are permitted to remove their masks to eat. Please put your mask back on as soon as you are done eating.


Vaccination Requirements (As of August 6, 2021)

  • All William James College community members must be vaccinated before returning to campus this fall for work or study.
  • Accommodations will be made for those who, for documented religious or health reasons, cannot comply with this mandate.
    • Faculty and staff members seeking accommodation should contact Human Resources to request the required documentation.
    • Students seeking accommodation, please see the "forms" tab in this FAQ page. 
    • Students enrolled in fully remote programs, who will not physically report to campus at any point during the fall semester, and who will not be vaccinated, should complete the waiver process and indicate their online-only status.
  • Submitting Proof of Vaccination or Waiver Documentation
    • Students:
      • Log into the Student Portal and navigate to the Document Center.
      • Under “COVID Vaccination Documentation,” upload proof of vaccination (a photo or scanned copy of a vaccination card showing student’s name and date of birth) or waiver documentation via the Document Center.
    • Faculty/Staff will receive a form from HR that should be returned to HR (by email or hard copy) or submitted via Teams.
  • Community members who are not vaccinated must provide a negative COVID test every week (until changes are formally made to this written policy).
    • Results from PCR or over the counter tests are acceptable. 
    • Students should submit test results to their department coordinator. Faculty/staff should submit test results to HR. 
    • Visit to Find a COVID-19 Test. Download the full list of available testing sites via the link for contact information and to identify free or low cost sites. 
  • Per the Governor’s order, businesses other than those directly identified (transportation systems, healthcare settings, congregate care settings) are permitted to set their own rules regarding mask and vaccination policies. Students working in field sites should understand the vaccine requirements of the field site and abide by them.
Health and Testing

If I have symptoms associated with COVID-19, but no known exposure, should I get tested?
Yes. The CDC recommends that anyone, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection, with any symptoms of COVID-19 get tested. You should also plan to work remotely, stay away from others until you receive test results, and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

Will the College notify me if I come into close contact with someone who was in the building and tests positive for COVID-19?
Yes. We have protocols in place and will notify any close contacts.

What is “close contact”?
Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

If I’ve heard about a positive case but I have not been informed that I was in close contact with that person or another person who has tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to get tested?
If you have not been officially notified and told that you were in close contact with an infected person, and you have no symptoms associated with COVID-19, testing is not required.

If I DO NOT have any symptoms associated with COVID-19, but I have been notified that I was in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should I get tested?
Per CDC recommendations, most people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should get tested.

Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure and should limit interactions with others until they receive a negative test result. If your test is negative, you do not need to submit test results to the College. If your test is positive, notify the College immediately.

Unvaccinated members of the WJC community with an on-campus presence must submit negative test results weekly.

If I am vaccinated, take a test for any reason, and I test negative, do I need to submit my negative test results to the College?
No, if you are vaccinated the College only needs to be notified in the event of a positive test result.

Unvaccinated members of the WJC community with an on-campus presence must submit negative test results weekly.

If I test positive for COVID-19, who should I notify?
All students, regardless of vaccination status, who test positive are required to notify the Dean of Students Office. Faculty and staff members must notify HR. It is imperative that you notify the College immediately so that contact tracing, if necessary, can occur.

If I test positive for COVID-19, what must occur before I can return the building?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you are required to isolate for at least 10 days from symptom onset (or from the date of the positive test date if you are asymptomatic). In addition, you must see improvement to any symptoms you may have, and you must be fever free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) before you can return.

What type of test is acceptable when submitting results?
Any COVID-19 diagnostic test for current infection can be used. For a list of local testing sites, please visit the website.


Where can I find forms or links to the required documentation?

A list is provided below. If you have questions, please contact HR (faculty/staff) or your department coordinator (students). 

Students, completed health or religious exexmption forms should be submitted using the instructions below, or sent to the registrar's office. 

Faculty/staff, please contact HR. 

How do I submit proof of vaccination or waiver documentation?

  • Students:
    • Log into the Student Portal and navigate to the Document Center.
    • Under “COVID Vaccination Documentation,” upload proof of vaccination (a photo or scanned copy of a vaccination card showing student’s name and date of birth) or waiver documentation via the Document Center.
    • At this time, PDF is the only accepted file format for upload. You should be able to print an image to pdf from any device.
    • To check a previous submission, look on the ‘Previously Submitted Documents’ page to confirm that your Vaccination Proof was uploaded.
  • Faculty/Staff will receive a form from HR that should be returned to HR (by email or hard copy) or submitted via Teams.
Online Classes - Information For Students

How will classes take place during the Fall 2021 semester?

  • Classes in our traditional delivery programs will be delivered in person with the expectation that students attend on campus.
  • A hybrid option (see the "High Flex" tab) will be available for students who feel uncomfortable in attending traditional delivery classes in person for the Fall semester.
  • Students attending class on campus must be vaccinated and must provide proof of vaccination to the Registrars’ Office or complete required documentation for accommodation. Please see mask and vaccination policies.

What about Field Education?
Field education/experiential learning remains scheduled to occur in person, unless otherwise noted by individual sites. Students who will be delivering services via telehealth must return to provide onsite services as soon as the site indicates this.

When will my online class take place?
Classes for programs that are on campus will continue to be held in a synchronous fashion (meaning, classes occurred in “real time,” live with an instructor, during their regularly scheduled timeslots).

How do I access my classes if I am attending remotely?
You will receive instructions from faculty on how to access the Zoom Meeting Room where each class will be held. It is important that you do not log in more than 5 minutes before the class begins, or you may be inadvertently interrupting another class or a meeting. Please test your connection ahead of time by going here:

Will attendance be taken?
Yes, attendance will be taken. 

What if I need to miss class?
In the event of an absence, students must notify  their instructor and their advisor. If you are attending in person on campus and you have any symptoms of an illness, you may attend that day (if you can) via Zoom, using the information posted on your course Canvas page. Students should be in contact with professors to make alternate arrangements if they are acutely ill, have been asked to self-quarantine by a medical professional, or suspect that they may have been exposed to the virus. No doctor's note is required. For prolonged illness, please see policies on leave of absence. 

Are there any participation considerations I need to keep in mind?
When participating in classes remotely, you are in a virtual classroom and you are expected to show up dressed properly and ready to participate in the class. If you are using the computer audio, please use airpods, headsets, etc. that have a microphone, and remember to mute yourself if you are not talking.

How can I meet with faculty members if I'm not traveling to campus?
Meetings may be held via Zoom. Please test your connection ahead of time by going here:

What do I do if I have trouble connecting to my class?
If you have trouble connecting to your class, or if you will be absent, you must notify your instructor and your advisor. We are not filing CANs for attendance, but we will be keeping track of difficulties in order to provide support as needed.

Have performance expectations changed?
Since academic credit will be awarded, performance expectations remain the same, the Student Handbook is still binding, and CANs for issues other than attendance will be filed if necessary.

Where can I learn more about privacy and online learning?
The U.S. Department of Education established the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) as a “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems and other uses of student data. Please see: Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Model Terms of Service

Fall 2021 High Flex Model

What is the "High Flex" Model?

High Flex, short for high flexibility, is a model that will allow us to offer accommodations for students who wish to attend remotely on occasion, or for those who need to remain fully remote for specific classes or for the duration of the semester.

Is High Flex available to all students?

Most students, with faculty approval, can use the High Flex option. There is an exception for newly enrolled international students. New international students, due to visa regulations, must attend in-person or hybrid (and document hybrid attendance). 

Will my professors know if I have been approved for a High Flex arrangement?

Yes, faculty will receive a list of students who have an approved plan to attend remotely.

Can I elect to attend some courses in person and some online?

Students are encouraged to attend classes in-person as much as possible. The College and faculty have worked diligently to make in-person instruction safe, and courses designed for in-person attendance optimize the learning experience (this is especially true for students in taking small clinical practice and supervision courses), but, yes, with faculty approval, students can create a blended schedule that includes some classes in person and some online. To create a plan for hybrid or online learning, please complete the "High Flex" form available on the "Forms" tab of this FAQ. 

Is a high flex plan available for a portion of the semester? If I choose a high flex plan to begin the semester, can I switch to in-person later?

We are asking students to decide on their attendance plan for the fall semester before the semester formally starts, in order to allow faculty to plan and to create the least amount of disruption to the learning experience. Students who begin the semester online and wish to return in person should contact their department coordinator.

If I choose to attend in-person, can I later change to high flex?

To minimize disruption to the learning experience, high flex plans must be filed prior to the start of the semester. If extenuating circumstances arise, students should contact their department coordinator. Please see "online classes - information for students" for information about occasional absences. 

How do I submit a request? 

Any plan for full remote attendance by a student enrolled in a program that is traditionally delivered on-campus must be approved by faculty. Arrangements must be made in advance. It is imperative, for record keeping purposes related to accreditation, that students file an attendance plan with their department regarding their specific need for accommodation.

Students interested in a high flex arrangement, please complete the "High Flex" form (available on the "Forms" tab of this FAQ) and return it to your department chair. 


In Person Classes

Is William James College holding classes in-person?

Yes, classes are being held in person during the Fall 2021 semester. A "High Flex" option is available (please see the related FAQ). 

Technology-General Questions

I have never taken/instructed a class with remote access (via Zoom), what do I need to know?
A list of resources is included below. Support is available via the IT team for those who need it, there will also be trainings offered for faculty and students. Please check email for communications from Department Chairs.  Please also take a moment to read this information about Online Etiquette and Video Conferencing Guidelines

How do I access "Teams"? 
If you have a school issued laptop, teams should already be installed on your computer but you can also install teams on your personal computer or your smartphone. Download the app directly from here:

Who do I contact if I have a technology question?
If it is a non-urgent question, please email

For urgent support needs, please call the help desk at 617-327-6777 ext 1600. Due to anticipated call volume, we ask that you please limit calls to only questions that are time sensitive.

Can I take my workstation monitor/docking station/keyboard/mouse home with me? 
Yes. IT recommends you preform a quick cleaning before you take it, please see quick cleaning guide here:

Technology-Zoom Questions

Do I need a Zoom account to join a Zoom meeting? 
No, you don't need a zoom account to join a zoom meeting.  Only the person who is scheduling and setting a Zoom meeting is required to have a Zoom meeting account. The person scheduling the meeting will provide you with meeting login information. 

I want to use the Zoom breakout room feature but it doesn't seem to work - what do I do? 
Zoom Breakout room is a standard feature for all Pro account users (all faculty), but the ability to assign participant to each breakout room is not enabled by default.  Please contact if you need this feature enabled.

Are there Zoom resources available for instructors using Zoom to teach classes?
Yes, Zoom provides this downloadable page with "Tips and Tricks for Teachers Educating on Zoom."

Is Zoom HIPAA Compliant?

The short answer is no.  However, OCR and HHS recently has suspended the HIPAA enforcement due to current needs.  Find out more here:

If you use Zoom to connect with a client, please don't  do the following:

  1. Send or receive any files via Zoom that contains PHI
  2. Post any PHI info via Zoom chat
  3. Recording any Zoom sessions that contained any PHI information

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency

Related, please also see the FAQ on IRB and Face-to-Face Research 

Building and Campus

Is the building open? Can I use campus services?
The building is open to students, facuty, and staff, and for visitors by appointment. Please follow all posted signage. Visitors are asked to use the front entrance and sign in upon arrival. 

The building is not open to the general public at this time.  

What are the building hours?

Regular building hours for the fall semester are Monday through Thursday 7 AM to 9 PM, Fridays 7 AM to 5 PM. Weekend hours are announced each week on Wednesdays by email. Events scheduled outside of regular building hours must be arranged with Facilities.

Can I reserve a room for a meeting or group project?

Yes, rooms are available for reservation. Please follow allow gathering guidelines, social distancing guidelines, and the WJC mask policy. 

What cleaning protocol is in place?
In addition to the regular cleaning schedule, the WJC Facilities Team is cleaning all surfaces in the building with a disinfecting solution per CDC guidelines. Additional information is available here 

What additional health and safety measures are in place?
Please see this page for a list of safety protocols and facility updates in place during the COVID19 Pandemic to ensure a safe work environment at William James College. 

Faculty and Staff Attendance and HR Information

Work-from-home resources and guidelines remain available on the IT website. Please use resources such as Teams and Zoom to conduct  remote meetings, and please be in frequent contact with your supervisor.

Are WJC Staff required to come to campus?

  • Starting June 8, and until otherwise announced, full time staff will be required to work from campus a minimum of three days per week, and with an option of two days per week remote.
  • To ensure an availability of services, staff must include either a Monday or a Friday in their schedule of in-office days.
  • Schedules are to be determined with area supervisors and should ensure that the services of a particular team are generally/regularly covered across all five weekdays by a person working in the building.

Can I use vacation, sick time, personal days or work from home days?
Existing employee policies for vacation, personal days, and sick time remain in effect. Please see the employee handbook.

What is WJC's Telecommuting Policy for Staff?
WJC's "remote work policy" is in effect for remote work days. 

If I need help finding childcare, are there resources available?
Yes, please review this brochure to learn more about WJC's Employee Assistance Program (EAP)


Remote Work

Where can I find WJC information about remote work?
Work-from-home resources and guidelines are available on the IT website. 

How can I check my office voicemail from home? Is there a way to forward calls?
Please see "How to forward your desk phone to an external number" on the IT website. Some of this configuration must be done on-campus, for assistance please email

Student Services

What student services are available remotely?

The Dean of Students office is open and available,  staff members are available for virtual meetings. Email any member of the Dean of Students office staff or

I'm getting ready to interview for jobs, any advice?

Yes! WJC students and alumni are most welcome to schedule a career services meeting with Meridith Apfelbaum, Assistant Dean of Students and Career Coach, through CareerLink. This system serves as the vehicle for scheduling career coaching appointments and also houses job/postdoctoral listings for new and seasoned professionals, employer contacts, and an online career library. Alumni have the ability to create an account in the system and students can login using their main WJC username and password. Once in the system, click on Counseling Appts on the left nav bar and you will be able to choose an appointment date/time. Meridith will then receive a notification and send you a Zoom link for the appointment. If you are having trouble finding a time that works for your schedule in the system, email Meridith with some days/times that work for you, and she will schedule a meeting at a time that works best. Email address:

Additionally, the Dean of Students Office has published a list of 10 Tips for Online Interviews

Grades, Licensing and Academic Policies

How does the school closure impact licensing requirements?
Please reach out to your advisor or department faculty with specific questions. Here are some additional resources and information (this list will be updated as more information becomes available). 

Clinical Psychology Students, here is a website that tracks psychology licensure waivers:

School Psychology Students, on March 17 the NASP Program Accreditation Board and National School Psychology Certification Board announced that they have agreed to waive the 1,200 hour requirement for all programs and graduate students on internship during this period, requiring a minimum of 800 hours in direct, field-based supervised experiences with a minimum of 400 hours in a school setting, instead. While MA DESE ultimately controls school psychology licensure, but this is a supportive step. 

This information will be updated. 

Are there any changes to the grading policy? 
Yes, in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency the decision was made to move to a Credit/No Credit system for all classes. The intent of the change was to ease some academic burden during a period of significant societal disruption. 

Student leadership (LEAD) advocated for a continuation of this policy, and data about student preference supported this continuation. As such,  students will continue to have this choice through the Fall 2021 semester. Students will receive traditional letter grades for each class as outlined in our student handbooks unless they submit a waiver request for a credit or no credit to the registrar. The deadline to submit for a waiver for Fall 2021 is August 31, 2021.  If a student does not make a formal request by the deadline, they will receive traditional letter grades by default.

  • Students can make this determination for each course
  • Once selected, however, the option cannot be reversed regardless of the circumstances
  • If one were to take ill, a grade of incomplete would be given and when the work was completed the grading system already selected would still apply

Classes will remain remote through Summer 2021. 

Grading policies as published in the student handbook apply unless otherwise announced. 


Is the library open?
Yes. The Library is open during building hours. Please also see: Remote and Free Resources

What online resources are available?
The library's electronic resources remain available to all students, faculty and staff. Anyone having trouble accessing electronic resources should reach out to for help. 

If I need help with Library Research and Reference Services, who can I contact?
Library staff are available via email, telephone, and Zoom to provide research and reference support during all normal business hours. Please email or call 617-564-9405 for help.


IRB and Face-to-Face Research Interviews

I am  currently conducting research that makes use of face-to-face interviews and I'm considering using Zoom, FaceTime or a similar platform to conduct the interviews. What do I need  to know?

In the current health climate, face-to-face interviews may not be practical or possible. If you are still actively recruiting and interviewing research participants, you may wish to consider alternative modes for conducting your interviews.

In an email to the community, William James College IRB chair Dr. Edward De Vos said: "From an IRB perspective, in addition to mitigating the risk associated with in-person contact, I’m most concerned about the researcher being able to observe/control the environment where the interview is being conducted. If the topics are sensitive, we need to pay attention about how best to maintain the confidentiality of the interview.  This should include communication that describes the most suitable setting for conducting an online interview." 

He provided the following information: 

  • Choose a private place where you are not likely to be interrupted, observed, or overheard.  When beginning the interview, please make sure to go through an appropriate checklist with the participant to make sure the setting and conditions are appropriate.
  • IRB is creating an expedited amendment procedure to deal specifically with this issue.  If these considerations apply to your current research, please send an email to, and please copy the IRB mailbox,  In your letter requesting an amendment please include the following:
    1. Your name
    2. Your Chair’s name
    3. Your IRB protocol #
    4. The title of your project
    5. The number of face-to-face interviews you have already completed
    6. The total number of interviews you intend to complete
    7. The deadline (if any) for completing your interviews
    8. What teleresearch platform you are considering (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, telephone) to conduct your interviews moving forward
    9. How do you intend to maintain the confidentiality of these interviews?
    10. Please submit an edited version of your informed consent that reflects these proposed changes and protections.
  • Depending on the number of projects involved, the IRB will try to review these expedited amendment requests within 3 business days.


Field Sites

I’m working at a Field Site, what do I need to know?
Students are asked to follow all Field Site policies. We are in communication with site supervisors have informed them that we have amended our malpractice policy to allow our trainees to deliver telehealth services, with supervisor training and supervision, as long as the following provisions are met: HIPAA compliant platform; supervision the same number of hours/week by a qualified supervisor; same documentation of services; qualifying supervisory backup in real time; attention to licensure of supervisor to only provide telehealth clinical services to clients in states where the supervisor is licensed.

Many of our field sites are relying on us to deliver critical behavioral health care during an emergency. As such, we continue to be guided by the leadership at Field Sites regarding students’ presence at the site. If you feel ill; are symptomatic in any way; have been asked to self-quarantine by a medical professional; have reason to suspect that you may have been exposed; or if you are living with someone who is immunocompromised or may be put at risk, please be in touch with your Field Site supervisor to communicate this. Please also see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Please see President Nicholas Covino's Field Education Update, dated March 20, 9 PM. 

If there are changes to my hours at my Field Site, what should I do?
Please communicate any interruptions in training to the field education department of your academic program. We understand that some students might end up with fewer hours of clinical service than planned; we will work with you to problem-solve these situations individually.

Telemental Health

What is Telehealth?
Telemental health, sometimes also referred to as Telemedicine, Telementalhealth, Telebehavioral health, Telehealth or E-Health, is counseling or client services provided over the phone or Internet.

Where can I find more information?
Visit the William James College Resource Hub for information and a helpful primer created by Dr. Bruce Ecker. 

College Updates and Communications

How can I make sure I have up-to-date information regarding College announcements?

Updates will continue to be posted at

WJC Community members, please also make sure your contact information is up to date in the WJC Notification system:

If my friends, relatives, or my significant other have questions about this information, where should they go for information?

We ask students to remind their friends, relatives and significant others that FERPA regulations prohibit us from talking to them about students. Please direct them to our College website for updated information:

Please also see the William James College Resource Hub for information about topics of public interest. 

I am a  WJC student, faculty member, or staff member. I have a comment, or I’d like to talk about something I’ve read or heard, but I’m not sure it belongs in this FAQ. Who can I speak to?
Dean of Students Josh Cooper is available to speak with students and employees (faculty and staff). Please contact him at

Do you have a question? Please submit it here.