Week of March 16 - 20, 2020
March 20, 2020 - A Message from the Provost - Campus Operations, Class Withdrawal Info
As this very busy week comes to a close, I am extremely proud of how much we have accomplished together through our efforts to make sure our students can successfully complete this semester with the support they need while moving our classes to remote delivery. Your responsiveness, your flexibility and your hard work is making a tremendous positive impact on our students as they continue to work towards completion of this semester and their ultimate academic and workforce goals.
To keep the entire College community as updated as possible, today Dr. Johnson and I created a video which is available for all our staff and faculty to view: Watch the video here I would like to highlight a few things from the video below, as well as provide you with some information you can share with your students:
- Our current plan is to keep our campuses open with minimal staffing and services as we move into next week. This is, however, a continually evolving situation and, as previously noted, we may be mandated to close all our facilities by the Governor at any time. I continue to urge our faculty to visit their offices as soon as possible to collect any materials you may need to provide remote instruction so you are prepared in the event of a College or government mandate to close all our facilities. At this point, we are hoping that you can still do this on Monday and possibly Tuesday, March 23 and 24.
- To accommodate students who are beginning new online classes on Monday and may visit us in person needing assistance, limited campus services will be available to students needing to access the TLCs, testing centers and limited enrolment and financial aid services from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24.
- As part of our continuing efforts to keep our Tri-C students, faculty and staff as well as the greater Northeastern Ohio community safe, the College will also consolidate in-person service and support to the West and Metro campuses from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, March 25th. East operations teams will work alongside the Metro team at Metro, and the Westshore services team will work together with the West to support operations at West. Please remember, that even though our on-site operations will be limited to Metro and West from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., all of our team members will be working remotely to support you and our students daily from 8:30 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m. as always.
- Also beginning Wednesday, March 25, all Aramark operations and on-site Barnes & Noble operations will be closed. Barnes & Noble will continue to provide access to books and course materials through their online and digital services.
- In our continuing efforts to accommodate students, several changes have been made to some important student dates that you can share with your students:
- The last day to withdraw with a W grade has been moved to April 24 (from April 10), this giving students about 2 additional weeks to withdraw.
- Brunswick University Center services will move to Western Campus on Monday, March 23rd.
- Information about changes in our student services can be found here: student service hours
- Please refer students to these Frequently Asked Questions for answers and updates: Student FAQs
- And please continue to check our faculty Frequently Asked Questions for updates as well: Faculty FAQs
It’s been a whirlwind week for everyone, and I know there is still much to do to support those classes that are already up and running along with all of those transitioning to an online formant on Monday. Know that you have our full support. Get some well-deserved rest over the weekend and know you have a team of people behind you as we move forward together. Stay healthy!
March 19, 2020 - Special Message from the Provost - FAQs, IT Equipment Recommendations, Testing and Help Desk Info
Happy Thursday everyone. I hope all are staying safe and healthy. Today I wanted to provide faculty with these new and important updates:
As was indicated in the College-wide email you received earlier today, and in preparation for potential changes to campus access, we ask that faculty visit their offices by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20th to collect any materials you need to provide remote instruction. We realize this does not give you much time to get to your office, but we must be prepared in the event of a College or government mandate to close all our facilities. Faculty should also consider instructional alternatives to using College facilities to offer remote courses.
All full-time faculty, including lecturers, will continue to receive full pay for the ESUs you had as your ESU load for spring semester. For adjunct faculty teaching a class that was cancelled after the class was in session, you will continue to receive your regular pay through the pay period that ends on April 4, 2020. If an adjunct was scheduled to teach a class that was cancelled before the beginning of the second 8 week session, or the class had not otherwise begun, the adjunct will not be paid for that course.
For all full-time tenured and tenure track faculty, please refer to the email you received earlier today from me, Professor Jeff Tuma and Dr. Andrew Pegman regarding the purchase of technology you may need to offer remote instruction through professional development funds.
We have created a FAQ document specifically addressing questions and issues facing faculty. Please review the information and check back often for updates and new information.
For all faculty, if you need to purchase laptops or other equipment to support remote delivery of courses, our ITS department has provided some basic suggestions and College standards you should be aware of as you consider technology purchases:
- Standard Windows 10 laptop with a minimum of 4 GB of RAM (8 GB preferred), a minimum of 128 GB SSD hard drive (256 GB preferred), and a minimum of an HD resolution screen (1080p resolution preferred)
- Standard laptops should have a built-in webcam so a separate one isn’t necessary
- Logitech H340 (or similar) USB computer headset
As a reminder, faculty should be able to access instructional systems outside of the College network; therefore, you may not need VDI.
- The exception is if you store files locally on your C: drive or on an H: or departmental drive. ITS recommends faculty move these files to OneDrive using the attached instructions. Please note any files that contain student information (e.g. rosters or grade sheets) should not leave the College network or be copied to OneDrive.
Our testing centers are working to accommodate increased testing demands as courses move online while balancing access and use with safe practices such as social distancing and cleaning. Testing centers, while open with limited hours, will not be scheduling appointments for full classes to test in person, and we encourage you to consider other methods to assess student learning beyond traditional testing. Our faculty development team will be providing resources to you that outline different alternative authentic assessment methods such as projects, papers, learning logs, and other activities.
While we are encouraging our faculty to use ProctorU as a testing alternative, we have learned that ProctorU is also experiencing an increase in demand. While it remains fully staffed, student appointments may be delayed 1-3 weeks. To accommodate students using this software, we have suspended any student fees associated with ProctorU testing through the end of the semester. Please note that students need a webcam to use ProctorU.
We are continuing to make emergency funds available to students as usual and to assist them through this transition to online learning. If your students indicate they have a need for technology and resources to participate in virtual courses, please refer them to the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office. Financial aid staff will determine eligibility for and potential access to emergency funds for students from the College which can be used for any educational resource, food or other expense, including technology, associated with their education.
In response to increased demand, the College has expanded the Help Desk Team to include representatives from Online Learning & Academic Technology (OLAT), Information Technology Services (ITS), Blackboard Representatives, Faculty Development, the Transfer Center, the Centers for Learning Excellence (CLE), faculty, and staff. As you transition your courses to the online environment, the Help Desk is here to support you every step of the way.
If you need assistance, please reach out to the Help Desk by email, phone or live chat which is available 24/7:
Once the Help Desk receives your ticket, they will do the best to resolve your issue. However, if the issue cannot be resolved initially, they will escalate it to level 2 where we have added an additional 50+ team members supporting the Help Desk and at your service. The hours for the extended help desk staff are:
- Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Campus Reprographic Centers at Metro, East and West will begin a new schedule starting today, and will only be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. through April. Should there be any changes in the hours of operation we will make sure our faculty are notified.
Just a reminder that we have finalized the changes to Session B Withdrawal refund dates for students:
100% -- Friday, March 27
70% -- Wednesday, April 1
50% -- Monday, April 6
25% -- Thursday, April 9
Thank you again for your continued great work and support. We hope you’ll watch the video message Dr. Johnson and I will be broadcasting on Friday, March 20th at 3:00 pm. Watch for an announcement and link to view.
March 19, 2020 - A Message from the College - CDC Recommendations
During his daily press conference yesterday, Gov. Mike DeWine called on businesses to take the body temperatures of on-site employees and send anyone with a fever home. Currently, this is a recommendation rather than a state mandate. Tri-C recommends that employees take their own temperature prior to coming on-site and, following CDC guidelines, stay home if they have a temperature above 100.4 degrees. Keep in mind that an individual without a fever could potentially be a carrier. This measure is being taken as a precaution and to comply with guidance provided by the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health.
March 19, 2020 - Guidance on Moving to a Complete Online Environment
Thank you for everything you have done over the past few weeks to adapt to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak. We understand that the volume and pace of change and communication has been extraordinary. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we make decisions that are in the best interest of the entire College community.
We have taken steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus by moving the majority of our classes and services online and reducing the number students, faculty and staff on our campuses.
In light of our ongoing responsive planning to combat COVID-19, and the potential for a mandate from Gov. Mike DeWine, we are now preparing for the possibility that all classes and services may need to transition to a completely online environment.
In this scenario, the College would continue to provide remote learning and online services. On-site student services, remaining on-site technical or experiential courses, and access to campuses and buildings would be suspended.
Specific Guidance for Students
We know that some of you do not have access to computers or internet connectivity and rely on the College’s Technology Learning Centers. If so, please contact your instructor for possible alternative assignments. You should also begin exploring other options to meet your technology needs.
Currently, campus student service centers are open and providing in-person assistance. Beginning Monday, March 23, these in-person services will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only.
Specific Guidance for Faculty and Staff
To prepare for potential changes to campus access, we ask that faculty visit their offices by 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, to collect any materials needed to provide remote instruction. We realize this does not give you much time, but we must be prepared in the event of a College or government mandate to close all facilities.
Faculty should also consider instructional alternatives. We are exploring resources to support you and will provide additional information soon.
Staff who have been told to work remotely should not come on-site.
Thank you again for your flexibility and understanding as we respond to this rapidly changing situation.
March 16, 2020 Message from the President - Temporary Telework
Effective March 18 – April 30, 2020
In keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Gov. Mike DeWine, Tri-C is taking temporary measures to further reduce the number of people who are on our campuses or at our locations every day.
From March 18 through April 30, 2020, we will move to a telework environment for most employees.
- Only employees required to meet on-campus student needs and maintain critical areas of operation will be on-site. This includes, but is not limited to: enrollment services and support; tutoring support; counseling support; limited hands-on instruction; Technology Learning Centers; plant operations; and public safety.
- We will make accommodations for safe distancing and take additional precautions for the well-being of on-site employees.
- On-site shifts will be based on operational needs and will be determined by the department supervisor in order to maintain operational consistency and continuity.
- Whenever possible, supervisors will schedule on-site coverage on a rotational basis.
- Employees who work on-site will receive their wages plus an amount of time off equal to the amount of time they worked on-site. Time off will be provided to employees at a mutually agreed-upon later date.
- Employees working remotely are still required to work their applicable, standard hours per week.
While working remotely, employees will complete work assignments and projects, participate in meetings via teleconference, and respond to emails and phone calls. Supervisors will determine assignments and projects that are conducive to remote work.
Employees who are unable to work any portion of their 7.5 or 8-hour workday must use leave time. If an employee has no available leave time, they will not be paid for the unworked hours.
March 16, 2020 Message from the Provost - Communication, Virtual Service Model, Technical and Experential Credit Courses and Online Services
As you may have learned during Dr. Johnson’s live address to the College today, or for those who weren’t able to access the link live by watching a replay of his address, this Wednesday the College will be moving to a telework environment for most employees until at least April 30th.
The College is taking this unprecedented step in our ongoing response to the latest information we have about COVID-19, including an increasing amount of federal and state mandated institutional and business closures. Continuing to provide needed academic and other support for our students while ensuring the safety of our students, staff and faculty remains the priority for the College, and informs this most recent decision to greatly reduce the number of individuals on our campuses. Additionally, as more institutions are required to close by various authorities, we are striving to be prepared in the event of increasing restrictions on our operations.
- We continue to stress the importance of communication throughout the College at this time, and communication with your students is particularly important. Please continue to remain in close contact with your students through emails, announcements on Blackboard, and other virtual communication methods. As we have learned, one of the most critical factors in retaining students is instructor engagement and presence, and we encourage you to continue to remain as engaged as possible with your students.
- Based upon Dr. Johnson’s message today to move to a temporary virtual service model in most areas, and in response to the inquires we received from our counselors and librarians, we are pleased to share that both may begin to work remotely offering virtual, email, and phone appoints and support to students beginning Wednesday, March 18th. We are currently working behind the scenes and with our campus teams to reinforce our technology to make this shift. More information will be forthcoming from your assistant deans.
- Very limited technical or experiential credit courses will continue to run on-campus with small groups of students. These courses include disciplines such as hospitality, auto tech, some manufacturing areas, and some skills labs, and certain testings for a number of our health careers disciplines. We will ensure that these courses are conducted in an environment using recommended social distance guidelines.
- Campus services are moving primarily online as much as possible. Moving forward, we will have a very limited on-campus presence in most of our service areas to assist the few students who do come to a campus to use the TLC, get enrollment support, ask for financial aid assistance, seek to see a counselor or get tutoring help. Those limited onsite services we continue to offer moving forward will be conducted in a safe environment following recommended guidelines for social distancing.
- Just a reminder that Tri-C’s online tutoring service is called SmartThinking, and students can use it to receive assistance in a variety of disciplines and can be accessed at: https://www.tri-c.edu/tutoring/smarthinking-online-tutoring.html
- Testing Centers also remain open and will also be using safe, social distancing spacing. Testing Centers, while open, will not be scheduling appointments for full classes to test in person. ProctorU is our online test proctoring service, and we are encouraging our faculty to use this resource as much as possible for online testing. This is a time to be creative and consider a variety of options to assess student learning beyond the traditional proctored exam.
- Withdrawal refund dates for the spring 2020 Part of term B session have been updated and are as follows:
- 100% -- Friday, March 27th
- 70% -- Wednesday, April 1st
- 50% -- Monday, April 6th
- 25% -- Thursday, April 9th
Hang in there everyone! We’re all in this together, and we’re doing the best we can to stay one step ahead. More to come tomorrow. Until then, stay safe and healthy!