Good Afternoon, Everyone,
I hope my note finds you all doing well in ACC Remote-land!
Today I shared with the CCCS Governing Board how proud I am of ACC’s faculty and staff for the way you all have stepped up during this unprecedented crisis. Not only have you had to set up home work spaces so you can continue the teaching and work of the college, but you have done so with the highest professionalism, compassion and grace. I can never say thank you enough for all you’ve accomplished on behalf of our students and each other.
A few updates for you today…..
Stay at Home Order
As you know, Governor Polis has extended the statewide stay at home order to April 26. However, as I mentioned on last week’s Town Hall virtual meeting, ACC will remain working, teaching and learning remotely through April 30, at the earliest. Classes will remain in remote mode through the rest of the semester. There are a few exceptions to this, as explained below.
Amendments to Governor’s Executive Orders and Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE) Orders
- The CDPHE has amended its Public Health Order 20-24 to allow for higher education institutions to provide in-person classroom laboratory education for medical training only. Next week ACC’s EMS, Medical Lab Technician, and Medical Assistant Apprenticeship programs will be allowed to resume on-campus instruction to complete the skills-based components requiring use of their on-campus facilities. These programs must put a plan into place to adhere to all current COVID-19 requirements regarding social distancing, use of personal protection equipment and supplies, and personal safety/wellbeing.
- Additionally, an exemption has been made for Law Enforcement Academies to continue their tactical training for program completion. ACC’s LEA has put into place a plan for students to complete the Firearms, Driving, and Simulation portions of the program, including measures to ensure all the current COVID-19 personal health and safety requirements.
Summer Semester Classes
Our current schedule of classes for summer semester will remain as listed, with a mix of online, hybrid, and on-campus courses. While we may need to begin all classes remotely, depending on COVID-19 factors in place at that time, our hope is to be able to bring students in scheduled hybrid and on-campus classes back to campus at some point during the summer.
Extended Course Withdrawal Deadline and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades
While we encourage students to persist in their classes, we recognize that some may experience difficulty in being able to successfully complete their class(es). In order to be sensitive to students’ needs during these unusual circumstances, we have extended the course drop date for all courses to May 5th for this spring semester. Additionally, students may have the opportunity this semester to receive a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade instead of a traditional letter grade. More information on this process, and which programs may be excluded due to accreditation requirements, will be forthcoming.
We still plan to honor our graduating students through a virtual commencement environment. Students have worked hard to complete their studies, and they deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments. Stay tuned for details to be revealed at a later date.
State revenues have been negatively impacted due to COVID-19. This will have an effect on the funds allocated by the Colorado Legislature to state colleges and universities, including ACC. Additionally, we need to anticipate a potential decrease in enrollments for summer and fall depending on the status of COVID-19. Because the legislature is still in recess we don’t yet know, specifically, what that means for our budget – for the remainder of this year and next fiscal year – or for our CCCS Board’s ability to set next year’s tuition rate. What we do know is that we will in all likelihood experience cuts to our budget for next year, and potentially for the remainder of this year as well. I ask that all ACC budget owners curtail spending until further notice. Please confer with your Dean and/or VP if you absolutely must make an essential purchase.
The Bigger Picture
Yesterday I had the opportunity to join all the presidents from Colorado’s colleges and universities, both public and private, on a call with Senator Michael Bennet. We shared with him our concerns how COVID-19 has, and will continue to impact our institutions now and moving forward. Regardless of the type, size, or location of our institutions, this pandemic affects us all. The Senator listened thoughtfully to our issues, and we strongly encouraged him to carry our message to the national level.
I understand that working and teaching from home can get to be tedious and taxing at times. And some of you may be a tad tired of refereeing computer time in your household. By working together, we and our college will get through this situation and be stronger and smarter for it. You are making all the difference during this incredibly unusual time. Sending you all a big honkin’ THANK YOU for doing what you do every day and for keeping yourself healthy and safe. I’m also wondering who has the best face mask….
Peace and be well,