WEST BURLINGTON – Southeastern Community College will resume face-to-face classes and limited campus activities with safety accommodations when students return August 19.
Planners developed the Blackhawk Strong, Blackhawk Safe return to campus plan over the past three months in conjunction with state and local health department recommendations, as well as input from faculty and staff.
While SCC will be open for face-to-face classes, it will also deliver many subjects via other methods that eliminate or reduce the amount of time students need to be on campus including online, hybrid, and scheduled livestream class delivery.
“Every student learns differently and has their own comfort level with the realities of our world right now,” says SCC President Dr. Michael Ash. “We’re doing our best to provide as efficient and effective learning opportunities as possible that also ensures everyone’s safety.”
Ash continues that for those students in health and technical programs whose only option is to attend classes on campus to complete their degree requirements, SCC has implemented a number of safety measures.
Students can also choose from ten degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Programs include degrees in agriculture, accounting, biomedical electronics, and a number of four-year transfer majors.
“Every college in the country learned a lot when we transitioned to online-only learning last spring,” Ash says. “Since then, we’ve had time to research, plan and implement a whole slew of safety measures that enable us to provide a safe, quality on-campus learning environment.”
Elements of the plan include:
- Face masks required for all persons while inside SCC facilities
- Protective shields installed at front line service counters
- Campus signage with guidance on health safety practices and requirements
- Increased cleaning and sanitization protocols
- Hand sanitizer dispensers located in classrooms and high traffic locations
- Reduced capacity classrooms with distanced desks and workstations
- Limited food service offerings with single-service meals in West Burlington
- Special screening and quarantine requirements for residence hall students
- Increased availability of student services via phone, videoconference, or online delivery
While most of the elements are already in place, the plan will be in full effect the week before classes begin on August 19.
SCC Vice President of Academics Dr. Janet Shepherd says that while the plan addresses all key aspects of health and safety, it is flexible enough to allow the college to adjust as needed.
“We identified three different scenarios for how things could look in the fall depending on the severity of COVID in our region,” explains Shepherd. “We’ll continue with this plan through the Fall Semester and will assess its effectiveness periodically and use what we learn when we determine what to do in the spring.”
Many extra-curricular activities and athletic events have been put on hold or rescheduled. Safety procedures will vary by activity and related information communicated in advance.
For more information on the campus reopening plan, visit scciowa.edu/covidsafereturn
For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit: scciowa.edu