Fall 2021 Plan

KCAI is planning to return to in-person instruction for both liberal arts and studio classes for the Fall 2021 semester.

Safety protocols, including masks and social distancing, may still be observed and will align with the recommendations put forth by the Kansas City Missouri Health Department. In preparation for the fall semester, liberal arts classes will be scheduled in our largest classroom spaces and some occupancies may be reduced, depending on the recommendations we receive from the health department just prior to the start of the semester on August 23, 2021. Studio instruction will continue to be in-person, and the configuration of the studio spaces will be assessed to determine if staggered studio work times outside of class times will be necessary to ensure safe distancing.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email responseteam@kcai.edu.

COVID19 Campus Policies and Protocols

The following policies and protocols were put into place in order to keep our campus community safe and in studio. These policies are subject to change.


Academic Calendar

When do classes begin?

The first day of class for the spring 2021 semester will begin on January 25. The first week of studio class meetings will include health and safety training designed by MRI Global and specific to the department’s curriculum, materials, equipment and facilities.

Spring Break and Virtual Classes

Spring break starts Saturday, March 13 and ends on Sunday, March 21. Campus housing will be open to those who choose not to travel and/or gather; however, Wylie Dining will be closed. Students who choose to stay in Kansas City and avoid gatherings may continue to use studios and campus housing during the week of spring break and return to class in person on March 22. Consistent with our current policy, students who choose to travel during spring break will participate in virtual classes for the two weeks following and may not return to in-person classes, campus studios, and campus housing until April 5.

On-Campus Dining

Wylie Dining and Café Nerman

Wylie Dining and Café Nerman are open for students, faculty and staff, but closed to the public. Food in Wylie Dining will either be served by Great Western Dining employees or consist of grab-and-go items. Café Nerman will continue to feature coffee and specialty drinks, as well as grab-and-go food items. In order to meet the health department capacity guidelines, meal times for Wylie Dining will be scheduled based on meal plans. Seating within Wylie will be prioritized for BMRH residents first and seats arranged for social distancing.

As approved by the Kansas City Missouri Health Department, Wylie Dining will issue each student with a meal plan a green reusable to-go container. Containers will be made available for purchase for employees and students without meal plans. Used containers must be turned into the Wylie dishwashing station after eating to be professionally cleaned and sanitized. Once you have returned your container for cleaning, you will receive a clean container for future use.

Wylie Dining Meal Schedule
Monday – Friday

Picked up the evening before during scheduled dinner time

Lunch (served M-F 11:00am-1:00pm)
11:00am-11:30am: major studio residents/students
11:30am-12:00pm: PM Foundation residents/students
12:00pm-12:30pm: AM Foundation residents/students
12:30pm-1:00pm: faculty, staff, and students who missed other times

Dinner (served M-Thurs 4:45pm-7pm)
4:45pm-5:30pm: PM Foundation residents/students AND students in HTH 1001/81, HTH 1001/82, FYS 1001/81, FYS 1001/82, HRT I001/41, and HRT 1002/81

5:30pm-6:00pm: AM Foundation residents/students

6:00pm-6:30pm: major studio residents/students AND students in HTH 1001/44

6:30pm-7:00pm: faculty, staff, and students who missed other times

Friday Dinner hours 4:45pm-6:15pm*

Saturday & Sunday
Brunch: 11:00am-1:00pm*
Dinner: 4:45pm-6:15pm*

*No specific schedule to follow, but capacity and social distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Café Nerman Hours
Monday –  Thursday:  7:30 am – 6 pm
Friday:  7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday:  CLOSED

On-Campus Housing

Barbara Marshall Residence Hall

As during the fall semester, we expect maximum occupancy in our new Barbara Marshall Residence Hall again this spring. In order to provide a safe experience for all residents, please follow all protocols communicated directly with residents from the KCAI housing staff. Residents may return to campus housing January 22.

Students who have medical conditions that place them at greater risk in the residence hall should contact the Disability Office and Academic Support Services.

The Fitness Center, Game Room, and Micro Kitchen, and Lounge within the Sherman Family Student Union will be open to students on a limited basis with priority given to BMRH residents. The Community Kitchen, and Meeting Room will be closed for the fall semester.

Visitors will not be permitted in the residence hall. Campus visitors are by appointment only.

New Student Orientation

New to KCAI?

Orientation will be held from Thursday, January 21 through Friday, January 22. Due to ongoing pandemic circumstances, Orientation events will be hosted virtually. Please plan accordingly to be present and online during the days and times listed on the schedule. All sessions will be recorded, so should you happen to miss one, or experience technology issues, the information and material will still be available.

Virtual Orientation – spring 2021 Schedule

Instructional Plan

What will classes be like?


The focus of all in-person on-campus interaction this Spring will be on studio instruction and work time.

Students will be able to complete their liberal arts courses while continuing their in-person studio work on campus. 

Online liberal arts courses will allow for students to reduce their cross-departmental in-person interactions, and we know that by limiting the time of face-to-face interaction, social distancing, and using masks, we can reduce our risk of contracting COVID-19.

Courses will be asynchronous and some will be synchronous, and some will be a hybrid of both. This information will be clearly detailed on each course syllabus.

In asynchronous courses, there are not set meeting times for the class. Students are provided with pre-recorded instructional materials and assignments with deadlines. Although faculty and students are not “online and on-screen together” at regular class meeting times, the faculty member will have monthly check in meetings via google meet with small groups or individual students.  We believe this is important to check in with students on their progress and comfort level in an online course.

In synchronous online liberal arts courses, students attend live lectures and class sessions via Google Meet at the set class time. Instructors and enrolled students log onto the virtual classroom concurrently, and students interact with the instructor and other students in real time.

KCAI faculty members are committed to our students’ personal and professional development and academic progress. Regardless of the course delivery mode, class sizes will continue to be small, and faculty members will be readily available to talk with students about their work.


KCAI will provide a full semester of coursework with in-person instruction and student access to the studios, Media Center, Central Shop, Beals Studios for Art and Technology, Print Center, and Jannes Library.

Each studio major faculty group has formulated a plan that meets the unique needs of their curriculum, equipment and facilities.  Plans address details such as the occupancy and social distancing requirements in each classroom and studio space.  For studio class meetings and studio work outside of class time, we are fortunate to have facilities that allow students to work at safe distances from one another. For each studio building, there is a specific plan for the appropriate traffic pattern in and out based on the number of students. Through proper scheduling and placement of individual workspaces, students will continue to have in-person instruction in a majority of studio classes.  Students will have access to their studio spaces both during and outside class time.  Virtual supplemental instruction will be provided through live and recorded demonstrations, visiting artist presentations, and online critique and small group discussion.

The core of our mission is to provide safe space for students to become studio artists and designers who transform the world, and the KCAI Covid plan centers on this principle. We recognize the critical importance of “hands-on” making time in the studio, and we are committed to providing this to our students in the safest way possible.

Precautionary Measures and Safety Protocols

How do we keep the campus community safe?

Safety Precautions and Protocol Reminders

Faculty, staff, and students are asked not to travel or attend social gatherings outside of their immediate family and close social contacts for the two weeks prior to returning to campus.  We must each do our part to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and we know that reducing our face-to-face contact and limiting in-person interactions to less than 10-15 minutes is an important precautionary measure that we can all take. Guest access to campus will be extremely limited in the fall.  There will be no in-person events or gatherings on campus.  Again, the focus of all in-person interaction on campus in the fall will be dedicated to studio instruction and work time.

All students, employees and KCAI guests will be required to wear a mask or face covering while inside campus buildings. Exceptions include when in a residence hall room with a roommate, or while alone in an office space. Individuals should not wear a mask or face covering if they have trouble breathing, or other medical concern that makes wearing one difficult, or if they are unable to remove it without assistance. KCAI will provide every student and employee with one washable, cloth mask and personal hand sanitizer. The custodial crew has increased their efforts and frequency for cleaning and sanitizing buildings throughout campus. Prior to the fall semester, the college will be installing more hand-sanitizing stations.  Signage will be posted throughout campus with instructions for social distancing and traffic flow. We will also have signs reminding everyone to practice regular hand washing, use hand sanitizer, wear face masks and to clean personal spaces.

The college continues to partner with MRI Global, a world-renowned research institute in Kansas City, whose experts are reviewing our protocols and providing biosafety support services to KCAI. MRI Global will be providing health and safety training to faculty, staff and students prior to the start of the fall semester and throughout the first week of classes. It is important to note that should COVID-related circumstances and governmental restrictions demand, the college will be prepared to move from face-to-face to online studio instruction to protect students, faculty and staff. In this event, however, all coursework and instruction will continue online so that students can complete the semester and receive credit.

The custodial crew has increased their efforts and frequency for cleaning and sanitizing buildings throughout campus. Prior to the fall semester, the college will be installing more hand-sanitizing stations.

Signage will be posted throughout campus with instructions for social distancing and traffic flow. We will also have signs reminding everyone to practice regular handwashing, use hand sanitizer, wear face masks and to clean personal spaces.

Visitor Policy

Visiting Campus


KCAI has implemented a visitor policy that will continue throughout the spring semester. Safety is our number one priority and we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our students, faculty, and staff.  To minimize risk, our visitor protocol limits the number of visitors entering the college at any given time, requires that all visitors complete a health screening form prior to arrival, and that all visitors comply with KCAI’s regulations. This policy may change, as needed.


  1. Seek approval first from the person to be visited and arrange a time and place for meeting.
  2. Please know that all visitors and groups will be limited to five people, including the KCAI representative.
  3. Complete the online health screening form 48-hours prior to your visit. Please refrain from visiting campus if you are ill or experiencing any symptoms.


  1. Arrive wearing a mask. Masks are required on campus and in all KCAI buildings.
  2. Visitors are asked to please use hand sanitizer upon entry into any KCAI building.
  3. Comply with social distancing norms by staying six-feet apart and avoiding handshakes and person to person contact.
  4. When you arrive, call the KCAI representative you are meeting for instructions on where to go.
  5. Most visitors will come to campus through the main entrance at 4415 Warwick Blvd. and meet at Vanderslice Hall.

Visitor Policy Form

Please note that visitors are not permitted in the Barbara Marshall Residence Hall at this time. Residents may meet with their guests in the parking lot south of the building. For questions, please email housing@kcai.edu.


Who to contact

While campus is closed this summer, staff is available to answer your questions.

For questions about academic programs, contact Dr. Bambi Burgard, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, at bburgard@kcai.edu.

For questions about Barbara Marshall Residence Hall and on-campus dining, please contact Gina Golba, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs, at ggolba@kcai.edu.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) provided funding to colleges and universities for emergency student grants. The purpose of the money is to award emergency financial aid grants to students for specific expenses. Student grants may be used for any component of their cost of attendance, emergency costs that arise due to Coronavirus, etc. with examples including: tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health), and childcare.

KCAI has received $420,333 in student financial aid funding. Following the guidelines set forth by the US Department of Education, these funds will be distributed as emergency financial grants. As designated by the Department of Education, KCAI is required to prioritize grants to students with exceptional financial need, such as those who receive Pell Grants; however, we plan to distribute these funds as widely as possible. Students’ financial needs will be determined by the FAFSA.



The federal CARES ACT provided funding to colleges and universities for emergency student grants. The purpose of the money is to award emergency financial aid grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.


Policies and Procedures


Archived Messages about KCAI’s Response to COVID-19

March 26, 2020 Update
March 21, 2020 Update
March 18, 2020 Update