Good Afternoon, Everyone
Thank you all very much for your patience as we put together our Return-to-Campus plans for welcoming employees and students back for the Fall 2020 semester. I know you have been awaiting news on how ACC will proceed in August. Never in my forty-three years as a higher education professional have I seen a situation as disruptive to the educational process as the Coronavirus – and I’ve seen a lot!
Planning for campus re-entry has not been an easy task as information surrounding COVID-19 is continually changing. The thoughtful input from you and our students, along with the recommendations from healthcare experts, have significantly informed our preferred plan for returning to campus. Your responses on the employee return-to-work survey and the student feedback received on the quick polls have been valuable and appreciated. The current plan outlined here is to put you in the loop and address some of your questions. A more comprehensively formatted plan will be forthcoming later this month or early July.
Our primary goals during this time remain the same:
- To provide students with the best education possible during this unusual and unpredictable time,
- To maintain the safety, health, and wellbeing of employees, students, and visitors to our campuses, and
- To continue to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Please remember that the circumstances regarding COVID-19 remain quite fluid, and so plans may continue to change as we get beyond July 1st and into August, as well as fluctuate throughout the semester. For now, ACC’s Return-To-Campus plan includes the following:
A huge Thank You is extended to VPI-P Rebecca Woulfe, the AVPs, academic Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Program Directors and Leads, and Faculty for taking on the onerous task of crafting a Fall 2020 semester to keep student learning strong.
Instruction will be taking several steps to ensure a safe environment and quality instruction for all of our students. As we move back to campus, students will find that some of their courses will be entirely remote, while other courses will provide students an opportunity to meet with their teachers and peers in-person. ACC’s quality online courses also will still be an available option.
- Students can build their schedules from online, in-person, and hybrid formats.
- ACC will reduce the number of students in classrooms, per social distancing guidelines, through a suite of methods that includes splitting single classes into multiple sessions and using larger spaces.
- ACC will prioritize for on-site instruction those courses that have a hands-on component. These classes include skill-based courses such as Music Audio Technology, Automotive Technology, Mechatronics, and the Law Enforcement Academy. Our high-demand health careers courses are also included in this group.
- Science lab courses and studio art classes are tagged as options for a hybrid format in which half of the course content is online and half of the content is delivered face-to-face with small classes between 10 and 15 people, depending on the size of the classroom/lab and allowing for appropriate social distancing.
Faculty and staff at ACC are excited to have students back on campus, and also understand that not everyone is in a position to take in-person courses. By offering a variety of formats, ACC students should be able to build a schedule that fits their needs. In order to maintain our current schedule for the Fall 2020 semester, the following instructional definitions have been crafted for clarity and guidance.
- Hybrid Courses: in-person courses designed to be delivered using a combination of online and alternating in-person meetings during scheduled class times.
- HyFlex Courses: traditional in-person courses redesigned to be delivered using a combination of online and optional in-person meetings during scheduled class times (students can attend scheduled classes in person or remotely via web conferencing).
- Remote Synchronous Courses (Sync): traditional in-person courses redesigned to be delivered using a combination of online activities with scheduled web conferences during the scheduled class meeting times.
- Remote Asynchronous Courses (Async): traditional in-person courses redesigned to be delivered using mostly online activities with optional sessions for web conferencing and/or instructor meetings.
- Online Courses: traditional delivery of fully online courses with no requirement to meet in person.
Additional surveys to students through Navigate will be conducted to keep ascertaining their schedule preferences, needs, and issues. As further health and safety guidelines are announced over the next 4-6 weeks, ACC will ensure that our course offerings reflect the most current guidance to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Programs, Services & Operations
Many huge Thanks to the staff from the Student Affairs, Fiscal & Administrative Services, and President’s Areas Divisions, as well as the ACC Leadership Team and EMOG for all the diligent work and discerning conversations for shaping campus re-entry plans and protocol. Your efforts for keeping ACC operations moving forward and services for students viable and accessible have contributed to a doable Return-To-Campus plan.
- Beginning July 6th, a few more offices/services/programs will open on our campuses, with limited hours, to serve students as they prepare for Fall semester. Employees in these areas will maintain a staggered schedule in order to comply with the social distancing needed to maintain our goals for safety and wellbeing. You will be contacted by your supervisor if your office/service/program is included in the round of college re-entry. Most employees will continue to work remotely during July.
- Beginning August 3rd, additional offices/services/programs will open, many with limited hours, on our campuses to provide a more robust and comprehensive experience for students, employees, and visitors. ACC will still implement a staggered schedule to comply with social distancing guidelines in place at that time and to maintain our important goals for safety and wellbeing. You will be contacted by your supervisor if you will be asked to return to campus. The plan at this time is for offices to operate on campus at 50% employee occupancy; however these plans may change as COVID-19 circumstances fluctuate, and guidelines from official health experts and State agencies respond to these changes.
- For all employees and students returning to campus, the “On-Campus Wellbeing & Safety Protocol Strategy” will outline the necessary required guidelines for being on campus in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
- Employees who are not able to return to campus, or are a member of a vulnerable population (or caring for a vulnerable person in their household), or uncomfortable returning to campus should contact their supervisor and the Human Resources office for alternative options. HR will be updating their FAQs for returning to campus, so please stay tuned.
What To Expect On Campus
When it is time for you to return to campus, you will notice many changes have taken place in order to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing guidelines recommended by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the Center for Disease Control, Tri-County Health Department, the Governor’s Office, and other state and local experts. These include the installation of plexiglass and the removal of some furniture in public areas to maintain appropriate social distancing, hand sanitizer stations in each of our buildings, cleaning supplies available to each department, masks available for people who forget to bring one, thermometers available for people to take their temperature, limited door access into some buildings, and appropriate cleaning schedules for facilities.
My dear colleagues, please know that these plans for returning to campus are designed with your and our students’ wellbeing in mind. We don’t know for sure what the Fall will bring regarding COVID-19, if there will be a second wave of the virus, or the impact of the regular flu season. We have shown ourselves to be a flexible college, ready and able to adapt effectively to changing circumstances. We are all in this together, and the college teams could not have created such a well thought out strategy without your input, questions, and needs. The collegiality, compassion, and assistance I have witnessed from you all as we’ve taken care of each other and our students during this pandemic is admirable and inspiring. Let’s keep it up! We got this! We are ACC Strong!
Peace and be well,
Diana M. Doyle, Ph.D.
diana [dot] doyle [at] arapahoe [dot] edu