Week of April 20
As another week of remote working and learning comes to a close, I am sure we are all ready to take some time and relax and recharge this weekend. Before we all power down to enjoy our families and friends, I wanted to provide some information and a few updates:
Dr. Johnson will be hosting another Town Hall next Thursday afternoon. You’ll be getting more information about how to join virtually early next week. Also, if you missed Dr. Johnson’s “In a Tri-C Minute" video update earlier this week where he briefly discussed Tri-C’s preliminary plans for a phased reopening in accordance with state and federal guidelines, you can watch it here.
We have received a number of inquiries about suspending the parking fee for faculty and employees as we are working remotely. Our staff and faculty parking fee provides revenue that covers much more than the maintenance of our parking lots, as it is a part of the funding that provides for the maintenance and improvement of all College grounds and facilities. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot suspend this fee, even in a remote working environment as those needs are constant.
Each year, the League for Innovation in the Community College, a leading national community college professional organization, invites member colleges to participate in the Student Literary Award competition, which showcases a selection of the best works created by today's community college students. The initial competition takes place at each member college or district, with the winners of each local contest moving on to compete at the national level. Students submit works in three categories: fiction, poetry and personal essays, and Tri-C winners are selected by a committee composed of English faculty and community members. First, second and third place winners are awarded in each category, with first place winners moving on to be submitted to the national League award competition. I am very proud to announce that our College committee was able to work through the challenges presented by our current situation and have awarded the following students first, second and third places as follows:
- Fiction: FIRST: Connor Callahan; SECOND: Laila Shotwell: THIRD: Author: Zachary Vargo
- Poetry: FIRST: Sophia Abdelhamid; SECOND: Dana Burtin; THIRD: Isaiah Mojica
- Essay: FIRST: Mark Rodriguez; SECOND: Kathryn Yutzy; THIRD: Audrey Skula
April 23, 2020 - Message from the Provost
I have appreciated all of your emails and notes about the successes, challenges, joys and frustrations you have experienced since we made the transition to remote learning. With your expertise and dedication, the College has continued to provide the highest quality education to our students, but it has been a tremendous amount of work and team effort to get us where we are today. As we now begin to turn our attention to summer, we know that our work is far from over. I have had the wonderful experience to receive a number of inspirational emails over the past few weeks from many of you. I can’t tell you how much they all mean to me. One such message came from Dottie Walton, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Eastern Campus this past week to a handful of faculty, and I was honored to be included. She put the spring term in perspective in her own unique way and with her permission, I’d like to share part of that message:
“This week is a sort of hump week for those who migrated their courses from traditional and hybrids to online. This week is 4 weeks since that move was made and for those in Session B courses, it is the 5 week stage. When I first started coaching running, my clients HATED running hills. While running hills all the time can do more harm than good, they do have a purpose and place in endurance, strength and mental toughness. They would often ask, "how do we get better at running hills," and I gave the most simple and direct answer possible...."by running hills." There was one particular group run that I was coaching and I kept them talking about something they were appreciative of or point out something in the landscape so that they didn't dwell in the discomfort and tiredness they were feeling on a straight one mile run all uphill. When we got to the top and had to turn around to come back, I remember the look on their faces of "wow, I came up that."
How do you get a handle on teaching online? ...by teaching online. Take a moment and think back to the flurry of activity and work in the last few weeks. You're at the top of the hill and are ready to come down to finish the spring term. Feel pride at how far you've come so far.”
I agree with Professor Walton’s comments…feel pride at how far you’ve come! I know I do, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the work you’ve done to make this unexpected transition and help our students get this far. Yes, we still have work to do, but you’ve already proven you’re up to the task. I thank you for ALL your efforts, and continue to feel pride as we support each other on this unexpected journey. Let’s enjoy the brief look down the hill together.
April 22, 2020 - Message from the Provost
We are all hearing reports and plans about how we may move forward as local, state and national conversations shift to conversations about re-opening our cities and businesses in the safest and most responsible ways possible. The College continues to process daily information received from the government as well as our communications with our counterpart community colleges across Ohio and the nation about their plans for summer and fall semesters. With Governor DeWine’s intentions to begin working on responsibly reopening Ohio’s businesses and institutions in May, College leadership will be meeting with representatives from our labor unions, professional employee group, administration and deans next week to discuss a Phase 1 reopening of a portion of our facilities that will align with the Governor’s directives. As always, our primary concern will continue to be the safety of our students, staff, faculty and community as we continue to provide high quality education and support to students. I will share more information with you about these plans as they evolve.
This morning you received an email from Dr. Lindsay English about ALLY and how it can help students to learn in the ways that are best for them. You will be receiving more information about ALLY over the next few weeks. Thank you to all the faculty who were and continue to be a part of researching and piloting accessibility technology that helped select ALLY and to provide this additional level of support for students, especially those in need of additional accessibility. You will be receiving more information about ALLY over the next few weeks.
Our team has been working closely with faculty in English, mathematics and English as a Second Language to design and implement new placement processes for new students during this time when our testing centers cannot be physically accessed. These new procedures will be operational next Monday, April 27th. We very much appreciate all the creative thought and hard work that has gone into creating these new pathways to help students move through the admissions, orientation, registration and testing processes during this time. Thank you and kudos to all those involved in continuing to support access and enrollment for new students!
April 20, 2020
Welcome back! As we plan for this summer’s remote instruction, we are continuing to find new tools and processes to help our students be as successful as possible learning remotely. To that end, I would like to present an announcement concerning a new tool in Blackboard designed to improve success for all our students: Access for All: Ally is Here! More information on Ally can be viewed in this overview: Ally Overview Video. Please note: faculty are not required to work on their course accessibility scores at this time and course accessibility reports will not be viewed by anyone other than the instructor for the course.
- If you were not able to join the Virtual Town Hall for staff and faculty last Thursday, you can watch a recording of it here: Watch the town hall for employees here
- Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has created daily virtual workshops for students. Sessions will be hosted from 3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Please encourage students with questions to visit www.tri-c.edu/financial-education to participate. This week’s schedule includes:
- Financial Education: Investing in Yourself - -April 20
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Virtual Workshop - -April 21
- Virtual FAFSA Workshop -- April 22
- Financial Aid Updates around COVID-19 and the CARES Act - -April 23
- Ask a Financial Aid Advisor -- April 24
- Our faculty development team has put together another week of Faculty Forums. You can browse this week’s schedule here: Click here to view the schedule of Faculty Forums: April 20-24
- Additionally, as we move closer to a summer of remote instruction, I encourage you to sign up for a Blackboard Boot Camp if you have not already. These boot camps are self-paced and can be completed within about three hours, though you will have up to a week to finish. A new session will begin each week through the end of July. To register, log into my Tri-C space and go to the Employee tab. Click the TEC icon to find available training sessions. Each can accommodate up to 200 participants and is adjunct faculty stipend-eligible. Hope you’re all off to a great week!