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Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Programming Updates

Update on Coronavirus

In addition to the summer and fall programs outlined on our website, Sea Education Association plans two spring programs for the 2022-23 academic year. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, program details are not finalized and schedule information is delayed. Nevertheless, due to the popularity of these programs, we encourage students to begin their applications as soon as possible so that we can keep you informed as details are confirmed.

SARS/Covid-19 Protocols, 20 October 2021
Sea Education Association (SEA) and its associated programs fully recognize the significant responsibility for training and housing young people at our campus in Woods Hole, MA and for taking them to sea. Since 1971, SEA has continuously and thoughtfully honed its safety policies and procedures to manage risk to program participants and personnel while achieving programmatic goals. While we take pride in our safety record, SEA regularly monitors and assesses our personnel qualifications, training practices, safety policies, and material condition of our equipment to maintain safety as a priority within our programs and operations. We operate under a philosophy of prevention but prepare for and are capable of a broad spectrum of response. 

The SARS/Covid-19 illness is a new risk to humanity; while it cannot be eliminated, risk management strategies are effective at reducing the relative risk to program participants.

Vaccination
All SEA faculty, staff, and program participants must be fully vaccinated, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Exemptions for medical reasons or personal religious beliefs may be considered, but due to the nature of our programs, SEA may choose to require vaccination for all participants.  

SEA students are eligible for booster shots.  Please refer to the latest CDC advice.  

Program Participants: Pre-Arrival
Program participants must provide proof of full vaccination before arriving to SEA facilities.  Additionally, program participants must arrive with a negative PCR test which was taken within 72 hours of arrival on campus.  Participants are asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 7 days before traveling, and to remain masked while using commercial transportation. 

Program Participants: Shore Component
Program participants must remain masked during indoor activities for the first 96 hours of program.  After 96 hours, students will be tested on campus with a PCR test.  After arriving cohorts have received negative tests, masking restrictions on campus may be relaxed.  Local community visits and activities may be allowed, and masking requirements will be communicated to students during the program based on local conditions and CDC guidance for fully vaccinated adults. Prior to boarding the ship, some programs may require further testing and/or a remote shore component to minimize the risk of illness aboard the ship. 

Shore Component Response
In the event of positive tests or symptoms ashore, program participants will isolate and undergo a subsequent test to ascertain infection status. Other participants or staff may be subject to further testing to determine possible spread.  SEA will rely on local emergency services for treatment of infection. 

Program Participants: Sea Component
Program participants will remain masked during commercial travel to the vessel and may be required to undergo an isolation period in a second shore component location prior to joining the ship. In all cases, participants and staff will self-monitor for symptoms for 7 days prior to boarding the ship.  Participants and staff will undergo a pre-travel PCR test as well as a pre-boarding PCR test. 

Sea Component Prevention
During the sea component, programs operate in a variety of locations and environments.  In all cases, participants and staff will maintain standard hygiene practices including hand washing, cleaning, and sanitization.  Likewise, SEA vessels carry officers with medical training, and have access to remote tele-medicine via satellite communications at all times.  The goal for shipboard operations is to reduce the likelihood of illness aboard the vessel via robust testing and, if necessary, isolation before departing near coastal waters. 

Currently SEA is conducting programs with port visits only in domestic United States and U.S. Territory locations, or programs with no port visits at all. 

Sea Component Response
Despite robust preventative measures, there is a risk that participants may become ill underway.  In the event of SARS/Covid-19 symptoms underway, program participants will isolate and be evaluated for further treatment or antigen testing.  Other staff and participants may be tested to ascertain spread.  It is important to note that advanced medical care, proper isolation, and treatment may not be available offshore and is an inherent risk in seagoing programs, despite all preventative measures.

For programs operating near coastal locations, SEA will also rely on local emergency services for treatment of infection. 

SEA Faculty and Staff Based Ashore
SEA offices are currently open, and all faculty, staff, and participants are fully vaccinated.  All personnel are masked when outside their office or workspace in areas near program participants.

Contact Information

Please email us with any questions or concerns at covid@sea.edu

FAQs

How will SEA communicate information about program cancellations or changes?

Enrolled students will be contacted directly by our admissions department. For regular updates and information, please check this page.

How is SEA preparing for programs?

As we prepare for fall programs, Sea Education Association (SEA) continues to monitor advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, helping to guide our thinking during the Covid-19 pandemic. Likewise, we are and will continue to follow all requirements and modifications as set forth by the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We will continue to update this page if we modify and amend our protocols and practices as new information becomes available.

Academic Year 2021-2022 Refund Policy

Based on the fluid and ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, SEA has revised our refund policy to provide students with more time to commit to enrolling.

All refund language below refers to deposits, tuition, and program fees only. SEA will not refund any personal costs incurred in association with the program, including but not limited to airfare, visas, etc.

Refund Policies for SEA Undergraduate & Gap Programs, Academic Year 2021-2022

If SEA cancels the program:

  • Program cancellation before the program start = students may apply funds to a future SEA Semester program pending space available. If a future program is not possible, we will issue a full refund.
  • Program cancellation after the program start = partial refund prorated based on the week of cancellation. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester fall programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a student chooses to voluntarily withdraw from the program:

  • Withdrawal 30+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 29 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a sending institution suggests that a student not participate in the program:

  • Withdrawal 30+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 29 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a sending institution requires that a student not participate in the program:

  • Withdrawal 30+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 29 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

How You Can Help

Every year, we ask our community to make gifts to SEA’s Annual Fund. Donor support keeps us sailing through shifting winds and this year we ask for your support to help us weather this global pandemic.

Like all non-profit educational institutions, tuition alone does not fully cover our operating costs. We count on contributions from generous donors like you!

With your continued support at this critical time we look forward to inspiring ocean scholars, stewards and leaders for generations to come.

Make a Gift

Giving Options

How Your Gift helps SEA

Your donation helps us:

· Provide scholarships for future students. We never want the cost of our programs to be a barrier.

· Continue to develop programming that enriches and inspires.

· Keep our ships and campus in Woods Hole ship-shape and ready for students.

New Tax Deductions for Non-Profit Giving:

COVID-19 Stimulus Package / CARES Act

· The bill makes a new deduction available for as much as $300 (individual)/$600 (filing jointly) in annual charitable contributions for those who don’t itemize.

· The second change is an increased limit on charitable deductions for those who do itemize. Donors can now deduct 100% of their 2020 donations to public charities, like SEA, from their AGI, except through Donor Advised Funds.

Giving Information

Sea Education Association is a Massachusetts 501(c) 3 educational non-profit.

Make a gift online.

  • Become a Navigator: SEA’s recurring gift society
  • Send a check to: Sea Education Association: PO BOX 6, Woods Hole, MA 02543
  • Stock & Annuities: please contact Peg Brandon, pbrandon@sea.edu
  • Donor Advised Funds

If you have a question or would like to speak with someone in the Development Department, please email: development@sea.edu.