ATCC finds ways to continue educating students

Jun 25, 2020 | 8:50 AM

The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by the Echo Press. Full article:

by Jasmine Johnson, Echo Press

Alexandria Technical and Community College has been implementing suggested COVID-19 protocols in order for students to return to campus.

The college allowed second-year law enforcement students to return to campus for a week to fulfill the skills training needed to graduate. All eligible students returned to finish their degree requirements with no health-related issues reported.

Law enforcement skills training, a separate program, began June 1. ATCC normally sees around 130 students come through this program, but they capped it at 75 this year - Class sizes were reduced to maintain social distancing.

Welding students should be able to return to campus July 6.

ATCC President Michael Seymour looks forward to the fall, knowing that returning to in-person instruction is essential for many technical programs.

“College is an experience – it’s not entirely about earning a credential,” Seymour wrote in a May column. “We may not convince all students to attend this fall, but we can assure the ones that do we are doing everything we can to keep them safe.”

Students transition back

In preparation for fall semester, the college will be implementing a high-flux delivery model. This will allow classes to be held face-to-face while simultaneously being streamed remotely through Zoom, so students can choose which method they prefer.

Lectures will be a smoother transition to an online format, as it will be similar to what was used this spring, said Vice President of Academic Affairs Gregg Raisanen, but hands-on labs will be more difficult to hold virtually. ATCC may add additional class sections so that fewer students will be in a room at a time.

In common areas, students are encouraged to wear masks. The college’s current online tutoring services will continue, and half of the chairs in the cafeteria and library will be removed. Students will be advised to sanitize and wipe down any desks, computers or other equipment before they use it.

Employees will be asked to assist in making sure students follow social distancing. The campus is also limiting the number of accessible doors so they can keep track of visitors and inform them of the campus guidelines. The main message is we are open and ready to welcome our students,” Raisanen said.

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