THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020: EMPLOYEE ANNOUNCEMENT
March 19, 2020
Tri-County Technical College Employees and Students:
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to create challenges that I have not witnessed in my two decades of service to higher education. We continue to focus on providing the opportunity for our students to complete the spring semester in a safe, healthy environment.
In accordance with Governor McMaster’s executive order, I am providing you with the following updates regarding Tri-County Technical College’s operations through the spring semester:
- All lecture classes will be delivered in an online format for the rest of this semester. Faculty and staff have been preparing for this scenario. After reviewing academic plans, I feel confident faculty will deliver high-quality learning experiences that will facilitate learning and help students successfully complete the spring semester. I am awaiting further guidance regarding clinicals and technical program labs, and I will communicate updates as I learn about our options.
- All Tri-County Technical College activities and events are suspended at least through the end of the spring academic semester, May 4. We will provide further information about May Commencement in a future communication.
- All essential employees are encouraged to work remotely. Essential employees are designated by their supervisors. At this time, all non-essential employees will be required to work remotely through the end of the spring academic semester.
- I know these decisions, while necessary, will create burdens for some. Rest assured we will do our best to support you. I know you will have questions, and we will continue to communicate updates as we learn more. The entire Tri-County Technical College leadership team is dedicated to providing answers to all your questions as quickly as possible and, to the best of our ability, providing solutions to the challenges that may arise for our students and employees.
As I shared in prior messages, events are rapidly changing, requiring all of us to remain nimble while maintaining our focus on student learning and success. I am proud of the work of our faculty and staff to prepare for delivering courses and services in an online format. Our faculty and staff have demonstrated incredible dedication to student learning, and
I appreciate your patience and understanding. Know that we are all working to keep our Tri-County community healthy and safe while providing an excellent learning environment under these very challenging conditions. Please continue to monitor tctc.edu/coronavirus for updates.
In your service,
D. Galen DeHay, Ph.D.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020: FACULTY ANNOUNCEMENT
Our shared goal is for all students to have the opportunity to complete the spring term. Academic leadership has developed a comprehensive plan to achieve this goal, including delivering all lecture courses in an e-learning format. In addition, we are working with myriad agencies to reopen clinicals for our health education students, and plans are in development for compressed laboratory schedules for technical programs when students return.
We are dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to help your students learn and succeed as you deliver courses in an e-learning format. There is a significant amount of information in this message, so please read carefully. As questions arise, please contact your program director, department head, or dean.
- Beginning today, March 19 through Friday, March 20, faculty may access their office locations to pick up equipment and materials. Building access hours are as follows:
- Community Campuses: Thursday, 2 PM – 4 PM Friday, 10 AM- Noon
- Pendleton Campus: Thursday, 8 AM– 5 PM.; Friday: 8 AM – 2 PM.
Faculty should plan for no access to offices after Friday, March 20 through March 31.
- For faculty who do not have laptops: Your department heads and deans worked with the IT Department to identify those who require laptops and equipment. The IT Department will be conducting drive-up laptop delivery service on the Pendleton Campus today and tomorrow. The IT Department will send the identified individuals an email today on an individual basis of when and where technology will be deployed.
- Academic Development and Information Technology have partnered to provide a variety of training resources on Blackboard Learn and Collaborate, as well as a free screen-casting app to record and upload videos to your Blackboard courses. The following is a summary of training resources. Detailed information is available at https://tctc.edu/life-at-tctc/student-services-and-support/information-technology/faculty-resources/.
You have choices to access training resources:
- Visit the Faculty Resources webpage (see above link) to access a variety of printable handouts and video tutorials.
- Sign up in SPARK for optional face-to-face workshops that are limited to 8 participants each. Workshops will run throughout the day from 8 AM until 9 PM on Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 in Ruby Hicks Hall as long as CDC guidelines allow for group gatherings of up to 10 people. If gatherings are no longer permissible, then visit the Faculty Resources webpage for the video tutorials. Be sure to bring your laptop.
- Drop in to the support lab in Ruby Hicks Hall Room 234 (in the Academic Affairs suite) from 8 AM until 9 PM on Monday, March 23 or Tuesday, March 24 to get individualized help on a specific question you have about e-learning. If CDC guidelines change and no longer permit group gatherings up to 10 people, then we will hold a virtual support lab via Blackboard Collaborate and access instructions will be announced.
- You need to communicate to your students about starting their online course experience. You should communicate with your students no later than Monday, March 24. Each instructional division has created information for you to use. Follow the instructions from your dean, department head, or program director.
- For students in your classes who have accommodations, those accommodations remain applicable. If you have a question about how to provide the accommodation in an online format, please contact Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at ARCenter@tctc.edu. You may also leave a message at 864-646-1564.
- As our community responds to COVID-19, TCTC Wellness Programs are available for students via Wellness@tctc.edu, or leave a message at 864-646-1569, to provide services, answer questions and assist with resources in the community.
I know that each of you care deeply for your students and that you desire to create the best learning experiences possible. As acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, I want to remind each of you that no one expects perfection. These unprecedented times have required everyone to remain nimble while maintaining our focus on student learning and success. So many of you have already developed learning plans for your courses, and I am confident that all of our faculty will use your creativity during these difficult times to help students continue to learn.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. Know that we are all working hard to keep our Tri-County community healthy and safe under these very challenging circumstances. Please continue to monitor tctc.edu/coronavirus for updates.
In your service,
D. Galen DeHay, Ph.D.