CW Emails and Messages from the Provost - July 2020
Although it is hard to believe that our summer semester is coming to an end, it is certainly a time for us to pause to look back on and value all the hard work, innovation, and dedication you have provided your colleagues and our students since we went mostly remote. Thank you for all for everything you have done to make this summer successful!
- We are continuing to see encouraging enrollment information as we move closer to fall semester. Our team is continuing to reach out to current, former and potential students to assist them with registration, financial aid and other enrollment related topics.
- Our faculty development team has created this week’s schedule for online training and development: Faculty Forums and Professional Development
- As we did this summer, we are asking faculty to include the following COVID-19 syllabus statement in your fall course syllabi. This statement, updated for fall, informs students of their roles and responsibilities in keeping classrooms and our campuses safe. The curriculum office is working to include the statement in their syllabus templates, which will take a few days. When that work is completed, Dr. Lindsay English will contact all faculty and deans. Whether or not you choose to use the template, please include the following in your syllabus:
- Students are responsible for adhering to all College health and safety guidance, including that which relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Public health requirements and standards are changing rapidly, and the College is adapting its guidance accordingly. Please check your Tri-C email and visit tri-c.edu/coronavirus regularly for updates.
- All students must adhere to the following general guidelines, until further notice:
- Remain at home if you are ill or experiencing symptoms of illness. Do not attend any in-person class or gathering.
- Notify your instructor(s) if you are ill, have tested positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and they will report the information to the Tri-C Compliance & Risk Management team and you may be contacted for follow-up information.
- Wear a mask or face covering at all times, including, but not limited to: upon entering and exiting any Tri-C facility, in class, and in all common areas.
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others at all times and if you must pass near an individual do it quickly and do not linger.
- Provide the College with relevant information about your current health status and participate in any required on-site checks (e.g., temperature checks, current contact information, symptom profile, etc.).
- Use only designated areas of Tri-C facilities, including entrances and exits. Sign in and out of Tri-C facilities as directed.
- The general guidelines listed above do not encompass all coronavirus-related guidance. These guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the College and under the direction of public health authorities. Students who fail to adhere to this guidance may be subject to disciplinary action under the College’s Student Code of Conduct and the Student Judicial Code.
July 21 - Changes to Phase I hours, Fall courses, Blackboard bootcamp, faculty forums
As you know from Dr. Johnson’s email last week and yesterday’s Town Hall, due to the continuing increase in COVID cases in our area and in alignment with our commitment to keeping our faculty, students and staff as safe as possible, the College has made the decision to postpone the Phase II continued reopening plan. We will continue with a modified Phase I model, which includes the following changes:
- On Monday, August 3rd, we will shift on-campus services from Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm to Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
- While we will not add additional on-ground student services at this time, this shift will allow us to slightly extend our hours of services to assist more students, and aligns more appropriately with our highest traffic concentration based upon the fall schedule.
As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation around us, and as we adjust to keep our
Tri-C family safe, we will keep you informed of any additional modifications to our fall plans as we get closer to the start of classes on August 24. To view a recording of yesterday’s Town Hall, please click here: Town Hall
- Even though we are extending Phase I with limited modifications for fall semester, we are continuing to ask our faculty to reach out to their deans to discuss office hours for their classes for fall. As noted in a previous newsletter, each faculty member’s teaching load may consist of a variety of on-ground, hybrid or fully remote classes; please work with your dean to determine what type of office hours work best for you and your students.
- For those faculty using Blackboard this fall, I wanted to once again encourage you to complete our Blackboard Bootcamp. This training is asynchronous, can be completed in a few hours and is available weekly throughout the summer.
- Our faculty development team has planned another week of training and development opportunities for our faculty. The current listing of offerings can be found here: Faculty Forums and Professional Development July 20-25.
At this point in the summer, I think we were all hoping to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel in regard to a “first round” of COVID 19. Unfortunately, that is not the reality, and we find ourselves in similar circumstances to the spring. Although we are all COVID-weary at this point, it’s good for all of us to take a step back, appreciate the summer weather, our time at home, and the peacefulness of our home base, whatever that is for you. I continue to be grateful for this awesome Tri-C team and your continued commitment to the institution, our students and to each other. Good luck with the end of the summer term, and let’s keep the momentum as we move towards the fall term. Thank you all!
July 20 - Town Hall
July 16 - Changes to Phase I and Phase II
The following is a change to the information you received last week regarding student services.
After additional discussions and consideration, we have decided to revise the recently announced reopening plan. This will allow us to better accommodate your schedule and need for on-campus services as we move into the fall semester.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 3, the schedule for on-campus student services will shift to Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This will give you more time to access the services you need, including Enrollment Centers, Financial Aid offices, Technology Learning Centers, bookstores (limited services), and Job Link Services. We will provide additional details regarding plans for fall semester in the coming weeks.
As we navigate these challenging times, the health and well-being of the entire College community is our top priority. We are continuously evaluating information and scenarios to determine the best path forward. This means we must sometimes rapidly alter our course in response to the changing environment.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we adjust plans to meet your needs and keep everyone safe.
Alex Johnson, Ph.D.
The July 10 Employee Town Hall - Watch it here.
After consultation with faculty, students and staff, and in alignment with the latest state, federal and local guidance, we have created our initial Phase II extended opening plan for the upcoming fall semester. This is what we can share to date, but please realize the COVID-19 environment is changing around us by the moment. We will continue to watch and respond accordingly to the changing landscape to keep all safe, and we’ll provide you with additional details as we are able to confirm them.
- Beginning on August 10, 2020 we will make changes to certain service hours.
- On-campus student service operations will move from the current Tuesday and Thursday schedule to Monday and Thursday.
- We will also offer extended hours of operation on those days, moving from the current 10:00 am - 2:00 pm timeframe to a 9:00 am - 6:30 pm schedule. General business services for students will be available on Mondays and Thursday from 9:00 am -- 5:00 pm with limited enrollment and financial aid services, as well as limited access to computer labs open until 6:30 pm.
- During these hours, we will expand the number of on-ground student services. We will share this listing soon.
- Administrative staff at JSTC, District, MTC and ATTC who have been working staggered and rotating hours on-site, will continue to do so as appropriate for each area.
- All other days of the week, campuses will continue to be open only for scheduled, on-ground or hybrid academic and workforce courses and programs for those specific students and faculty.
- In-person student services will continue to be supplemented by remote services efforts to ensure the College is providing access to services in-person, by phone, by chat and by email.
- Beginning on the first day of classes, August 24th, and continuing in effect through December 23, 2020:
- Campuses will continue to be open Mondays and Thursdays for in-person student services and academic activities. Additionally, the Brunswick University Center will open on August 24th and will follow the same service model.
- Additional in-person student services will open the week of August 24th to accommodate classroom support as the semester begins. These additional on-ground service areas will be announced soon.
- Even after August 24th, the testing centers will remain closed for placement and academic testing. The centers will be available by appointment to assist in accommodating students from Student Accessibilities Services and other services as needed.
- Per CDC guidelines, the College is refining our Phase II tracing and attendance process for faculty teaching on-ground classes, which is separate from the attendance tracking used for financial aid purposes. This process has worked well over the summer and will continue through the fall. More information will be shared soon.
- The legal department will soon be finalizing our entry and screening protocols for anyone who enters College buildings in Phase II. This includes face coverings or masks for all visitors, students, faculty and staff who enters a campus facility. Additional entry protocols will be shared soon.
- We have completed the inventory of classrooms and labs to accommodate for social distancing, and facility enhancements and changes are being made, including making appropriate adjustments to any course caps.
- Our capital team has ensured enhanced cleaning protocols are in place, necessary plexiglass barriers have been installed, and furniture rearranged to comply with social distancing guidelines in classrooms and social spaces.
- We are continuing discussions with faculty leadership to ensure faculty who will be teaching on-ground have the supplies needed for additional cleaning such as wiping down desks, chairs, instructor stations, technology, etc.
- We are working with faculty leadership to develop support and training for faculty on these additional safety and cleaning protocols, as well as any potential student conduct implications for students who refuse to adhere to them.
- We are also providing guidance and advice to our retail operations management as they continue to finalize service hours with outside vendors such as Barnes & Noble and Aramark.
- While our official start and end dates for our fall terms will remain the same, all on-ground courses or those that plan to meet on ground occasionally will move to fully remote delivery after Thanksgiving beginning on Monday, November 30th through the end of the term on December 13th. This shift in delivery is an additional step to ensure the health of you and your students. If you teach any on-ground courses or any that meet occasionally on our campuses this fall, please work now to plan and incorporate this change in your pedagogy and syllabus. On-site clinicals such as for dental hygiene and massotherapy may continue to meet in person past November 30th if needed while maintaining safe practices.
- As we are offering some in-person classes during Phase II, students will likely expect that their faculty also are available on campus for limited office hours. We ask that each faculty member work with their dean to determine appropriate on-campus office hours based on the faculty member’s teaching load. For example, if a faculty member is teaching primarily online but has one course in-person, it may be appropriate for this faculty member to schedule 1-2 office hours on campus with the remaining hours held virtually. Furthermore, if a faculty member is teaching all their courses online, it would be appropriate for all office hours to be offered virtually with no on-campus hours. As each situation is different, please reach out to your dean to establish what is appropriate for your teaching load this fall.
- By now our full-time faculty should have received information and a link for details about earning service credits for Academic Year 20-21. We understand that some of the activities listed in the current catalog are not applicable given the fact many faculty are teaching fully remotely. To address this issue, our service credit committee will convene to update the catalog with additional options this fall. In the meantime, I want to assure you that your deans will be flexible and work with you to recognize the time-consuming and important work faculty are completing when they build, improve and manage their online courses with service credits. I encourage you to bring your projects and ideas to your deans to discuss the possibility of receiving service credits.
- As a reminder to faculty who use Blackboard, if you plan to roll over your course site for fall semester, please make this request by Tuesday, August 18th. After that date, Blackboard will create sites using the academic continuity template for any courses where a faculty member has not requested a roll over. Faculty may easily copy course content into the new templates if necessary. Additionally, faculty using any Blackboard course site are encouraged to complete Bb Bootcamp. This training is asynchronous, can be completed in a few hours and is available weekly throughout the summer.
I realize this is a great deal of information, but Phase II of our service model which includes the delivery of courses for fall is a big undertaking and has many moving parts. This is just the start of our communication around Phase II, so look for updates in my weekly emails, upcoming Town Halls, College-wide email communications, and at Convocation. As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions as we work together to make this fall the best experience possible for our students while keeping each other safe and healthy. No small task. More to come!
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! We are finalizing the details of our Phase II opening plans for fall, and look forward to giving you more information in next week’s email. Until then, just reinforcing the list of opportunities our awesome faculty development team has just released. Have a great week!
Our faculty development team has released the schedule for professional development and training sessions this week: Faculty Forums and Professional Development Opportunities for July 6-10