By President Emerita Judie Wexler October 2, 2020

Dear Community,

I hope the Fall Semester finds you safe and well. We have important updates to apprise you on regarding building access, our clinics, and Spring Semester, among other things.

Building Access

Effective Monday, September 28, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) approved CIIS to have limited student activity at our two campuses and counseling clinic sites. The Operations Department sent out a detailed email earlier this week with revised building access polices. If you’re considering coming to campus, please review these policies ahead of time.

CIIS Clinics

The City Attorney of San Francisco has deemed that acupuncture is an essential health service, which is welcome news. Accordingly, the acupuncture clinic at our Arkansas St. campus is now open. The ear clinic at our Mission St. campus is still closed. All CIIS counseling clinics will remain virtual, continuing to offer telehealth services, and conducting phone intake assessments to accept new clients. The counseling clinics can offer some availability for students to work virtually using office space and computers; students with CIIS clinic counseling placements should contact their clinic director about access.

Spring Semester

Because the COVID situation in the Bay Area is still precarious, Spring Semester will continue to be virtual, except for ACTCM clinical courses and the in-person student clinic. We are working with the multiple agencies that have a voice in virtual education, some of which have not yet announced their Spring plans. We will update everyone involved as we hear from these agencies.

Intensives currently planned for January and February 2021 will also be held virtually. Please look for updates and information from your program about these plans.

For ACTCM students, accreditation waivers for partial fulfillment through Virtual Grand Rounds have been extended by our accreditors and are being followed. The balance of required in-person hours is being provided in our reopened student clinic in compliance with public health directives. Practical instruction is also proceeding with appropriate safety protocols and distancing. Despite the restrictions of the pandemic, all ACTCM graduates have the opportunity to meet the clinical requirements of the program.

For MCP students, our MCP Field Placement Office is working with practicum sites and students to track current placements. If you are concerned about completing your minimum required clinical hours for graduation this December, please contact the Office as soon as possible at All MFT students should continue to ensure that they are making full use of client-centered advocacy hours (a maximum of 75), as those will count toward their total required hours. In mid-October, the Office will be surveying MCP practicum students about anticipated clinical hours toward Spring 2021 graduation. A virtual Practicum Fair will be held on January 19–22, 2021. 

2020 Election: Voting

Voting has never been more important. So much of what we as a community hold dear hangs in the balance of this election. We urge everyone to make their voice heard on November 3.

For CIIS Employees

California law requires that every registered voter shall have up to two hours off with pay if there is not sufficient time to vote outside of working hours. If you cannot vote before or after work because of your required work schedule, please give your supervisor 24-hour’s notice of the amount of time off necessary to vote. Note, you will be required to present your supervisor with a voter’s receipt in order to be paid for voting time off.

Post-Election Wellness

Many people are wondering what the day after the election will bring. If you are one of these people, I encourage you to join the CIIS Wellness Center’s Counseling Services on Wednesday, November 4, from 11am to 12:30pm, for a post-election decompression and talking circle. You’ll have the opportunity to share reflections on the election and its potential impact. The session will be held by Wellness Center counselors John Carson and Caitlin Wicks.

Who would have thought that when COVID struck the U.S. in early 2020 that nearly nine months later we would still be operating primarily virtually? It has been truly an overwhelming year. I continue to be inspired by how our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and kin rises to the challenges we are presented with as they come, with dignity and determination. I find the strength of our community in the face of so much to be a constant source of hope and resilience.

Waves are said to come in sets of seven. Just how many we have ridden this year, I couldn’t say. What I do know is that we will continue to be a buoy for one another, as will the important work we are doing at CIIS to forge a more just, equitable, and resilient world, now and in the future.



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