Week of May 11, 2020
Friday of finals week…I don’t even know where this semester went, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who is not sad to see it pass. So much change, confusion, isolation…yet we persevered! As you finishing submitting grades, prepare for a break, or look ahead to summer classes online, we all have much to celebrate, as the progress we’ve made together, as a collective, is amazing. Thank you for not giving up, giving in, and for reinventing yourselves and your courses so our students could complete.
Speaking of completing, a huge thank you goes out to all of the faculty who shared student stories, videos, and congratulations as part of our virtual graduation ceremony last night. It was awesome, and both you and the students made me feel so proud -- and a little choked up I might add. If you did not have the opportunity to watch, you can do so here: Virtual Celebration. I want to thank all the faculty who took time from their busy schedules to submit videos of congratulations to our students. While I look forward to the opportunity celebrate in person with our graduates next December, I am proud of each of them, and thankful for our dedicated faculty and staff who worked to make this spring’s ceremony so meaningful to students.
I’d also like to congratulate and thank the Convocation Committee for planning and facilitating our first virtual spring Convocation this week. We had 1,254 participants join remotely facilitated sessions, joining in dialogue, leading exercises, and encouraging teaching and learning. I think Alan Gerding may have a new career path after this week! Outstanding job to all who participated. This spring’s Convocation is just another great example of our ingenuity and commitment to the value of our culture and tradition at the College.
Many of you logged on today as Dr. Johnson and the leadership team presented the College’s budget outlook as a result of COVID-19. Much more will be shared over the next week or so, but it is hard to fully celebrate the end of this challenging semester and our successful graduates while also contemplating these significant budget implications moving forward. As I celebrate my 23rd year at the College, this place has become my home away from home, and everyone is family. As we face these challenging times together, I can honestly say that these past few weeks have been some of the most challenging I have ever faced as a leader, and I take none of these potential decisions lightly. I can also honestly say that the leadership team at the College has spent countless hours reviewing and planning and continue to keep our students and all of you in mind as we plan in the best interest of assuring the College’s success in the future. We will get through this period together. That’s what we do. I thank you for your dedication and support.
Regardless of your plans over the next week or beyond, I hope all of you have time to relax, recharge, and reflect on just how much we accomplished this semester. While our work is not over, I am more confident than ever that with your leadership and commitment, we will continue to find creative and effective ways to provide the highest quality education to our students and our community, virtually or in person, no matter what challenges the next few months may bring us. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.
I am looking forward to connecting with you tomorrow during our virtual Convocation ceremony. The Convocation program is attached for your review, and I especially look forward to providing you with updates and answering your questions during the morning’s presentation.
- It has come to our attention that the link to the back to work guidance contained in yesterday’s email was not working. We’ve corrected the issue, and wanted to provide the link to you again: Return-to-Work Guidance here
May 11, 2020 - Full tuition assistance program, Return-to-Work Guidance
Welcome back to a very busy week at Tri-C. While many of you are busy finishing grading and wrapping up spring classes, we also have two very important College-wide activities scheduled this week. I am excited about the opportunity to connect with you this Wednesday at Convocation, as we come together to celebrate the many successes and achievements you have all accomplished this year, and very specifically, over the past few months. Additionally, I am eager to be a part of the College’s first virtual Celebration for our Graduates to take place this Thursday, May 14th at 6:00 p.m. I hope many of you took advantage of the opportunity to submit a video congratulating our graduating students and wishing them well. Although I haven’t seen the entire program complied yet, I hear it is truly an emotional and meaningful celebration of our students and I am so honored to be a part of it. Hope you have the time to view!
- I am extremely excited to announce the launch of a Full Tuition Assistance program to offset academic and workforce training costs for Cuyahoga County residents facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Funded through generous donations to the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, this program may cover tuition for new or returning Tri-C students with financial needs that intensified during the pandemic. The funding can be used toward academic credit courses or workforce training programs. Students can begin the program this summer or fall, with funding available for three consecutive sessions (summer-fall-spring or fall-spring-summer). Assistance can cover up to one year of academic courses or the full length of a workforce training program. Should you have students that may possibly benefit from this program, or have further questions, please let them know they can find more information by visiting: tri-c.edu/tuitionassistance.
- The College has made available information about its current plans to return to ground based instruction, services and operations, which can be viewed here: Return-to-Work Guidance. As Dr. Johnson mentioned in last week’s Town Hall, this plan is based on the current environment – what we know today. The dates and activities outlined in the plan are subject to change based on federal and state recommendations, as well as CDC guidelines and updates. The College is planning to open gradually in four phases, beginning in June 2020 and concluding with the summer 2021 session. Phase I, which is the most defined at this point, takes us through the end of July. It includes bringing essential student services back to campus on a limited basis as determined by campus presidents and the executive leadership team. It also includes resuming limited on-ground skills labs necessary for spring and summer program completion. As we continue towards summer semester, I will share any updates or changes to the plan as they become available.
Hope you’re off to a great week despite the snow (for some) and cold. Looking forward to better weather toward the end of the week and a chance to connect with you all remotely for Convocation.