Like several institutions across the state, Sampson Community College has made plans to prepare its campus for the arrival of students. The plan includes increased safety measures for faculty, staff, and students, and several other preventative measures.
Safety measures include hand sanitizing stations that have been installed at entrances, stairwells, and other high traffic areas, and requiring employees, students, and visitors to wear face coverings in classrooms, hallways, and common areas where appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained.
Despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, President Bill Starling says Sampson Community College has not seen major issues as an institution.
“SCC has been in continuous operation since many of our classes transitioned to online delivery in March. This summer we enjoyed the largest enrollment we have had with almost all classes taught online,” Starling stated. “We will begin the semester using multiple forms of course delivery including face-to-face, blended, and online sections. We followed the lead of many of our senior universities and will conclude the fall semester by Thanksgiving.”
The College will offer classes in a combination of approaches: online, face-to-face, and hybrid and blended courses. These hybrid and blended courses have both face-to-face and online features. SCC also reduced enrollment caps for courses by 50 percent to maintain social distancing in face-to-face courses and hybrid/blended courses with face-to-face functions. Face shields and/or clear barriers are provided to instructors and in classrooms where face-to-face courses are held.
Employees are encouraged to limit in-person office interaction, and to hold virtual meetings via Zoom or phone. The College also encourages divisions and Student Services to continue conducting virtual services and appointments with students.
Housekeeping and maintenance teams will continue to maintain frequent and routine cleaning of high-touch and high-traffic areas. Commercial grade disinfecting of classrooms will occur on a regular basis to increase sanitation.
If a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the school has already implemented plans to work closely with the Sampson County Health Department and has instituted an ‘Excused Absences Due to Public Health Emergency Policy’.
The policy ensures that students can complete and continue coursework if asked to remain home due to a public health emergency.
“Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We will be following the guidelines set forth by the CDC as well as the local health department. The work of the students, staff and faculty since the pandemic began in March has been exceptional and inspiring,’ shared Vice President of Academic Affairs, Wanda Capps. “SCC is committed to the success of the students and will continue to provide stellar instruction during this time.”
Faculty and staff worked to quickly transition courses entirely online in March at the onset of COVID-19. Now after more preparation, instructors and division chairs have adapted and are even more prepared to make changes to courses if necessary, in order to accommodate student needs. The online delivery of courses is under constant evaluation in an attempt to improve course functionality.
“These are the most unusual circumstances that we have faced in my career here. I am confident that our staff and faculty can continue to provide safe and accessible instruction in all our programs of study,” Starling concluded.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.