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Virginia’s Community Colleges announce intentions for fall 2020

Virginia’s Community CollegesDr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, made the following announcement today regarding how fall 2020 classes will be offered.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are open for business and ready to help individuals meet their educational needs as safely as possible. Here’s how we intend to move forward for fall 2020:

Technical, Occupational, Health, and FastForward Programs

Programs such as Practical and Associate Degree Nursing, Dental Hygiene and other career and technical programs require face-to-face instruction. We are planning for smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing, recommending face coverings (which may be required in some instances), and have cleaning and sanitizing protocols in place between classes.

General Education and Transfer Offerings

Virginia’s Community Colleges will offer a variety of options for courses depending upon COVID-19 conditions, Executive Orders from the Governor, guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health, and other definitive public health sources. All community college courses will likely have some online content, others will be entirely online, and some will be a combination of in-person and online.

A Responsive, Flexible Approach to Fall Classes

Questions continue to outnumber answers in this pandemic. Public health experts say there is a strong possibility that we will see additional flare-ups of COVID-19, which may trigger further closings and quarantines.

Should that occur, your community college is prepared to continue without disruption.  For most offerings, this would be through an online environment. In those instances, we have the mechanisms in place to support our online learners, including assessment of online learning readiness, career exploration, tutoring, advising, and online testing. In some instances, for face-to-face courses, this may require a modified schedule to address safety concerns and comply with safety requirements. We are committed to working with students to complete their courses.

We believe that our approach is the safest and most prudent choice we can make for this fall. While we cannot guarantee anyone’s safety, we strive to make our campuses as safe as possible. We aspire to minimize the disruptions students face on their academic journey, while prioritizing their safety, their family’s safety, and that of their community.

Understanding Options

We believe that it is important to understand that not all online courses are the same. Some online courses are structured to meet at specific times on tools like Zoom, just like a traditional in-person class, so students can engage with their instructor and classmates together. Others offer a chance to learn material at one’s own pace, needing simply to complete assignments or take exams by specific deadlines. Our faculty stand ready to help students succeed, regardless of which mode they prefer.

All of Virginia’s Community Colleges have trained advisors, called college Navigators, who can help students consider the options, and answer questions they may have about a specific class, program of study, or other questions about college.

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