Alexandria Technical and Community College continues to make preparations for when its students return from an extra-long spring break, and has released more details on what will happen when classes resume on March 30.
The college, in conjunction with the Minnesota State system, had announced earlier that it was working on alternatives to traditional in-person classes in response to the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday it provided a glimpse of what that may look like.
"Our top priorities are protecting the health and safety of our faculty, our staff and our students, and enabling our students to complete spring semester and continue their progress towards their educational goals," read a statement released by ATCC. It said Minnesota State has been working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and is moving classes to alternative modes of delivery to minimize person-to-person interaction.
While most classes will move online, the statement said that administrators, faculty and staff are exploring all options – online courses, web conferencing, correspondence courses or other instructional technologies. In cases where those options are not feasible, instruction may still be delivered in a classroom setting, with social distancing and other measures in place.
Instructors will contact students prior to the resumption of school with specific details on what this will mean for their classes.
All campuses, including residence halls, student support services and offices, will remain open and staffed under enhanced cleanliness and hygiene practices recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health, and campus learning spaces will also be adjusted.
When feasible, the college said employees will work remotely while still maintaining services required by students.
ATCC is one of 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities in the Minnesota State system, which had earlier announced it was suspending classes for two weeks following spring break for those schools that were due to resume on March 16. The additional time has been used to work through the logistics involved in changing how instruction will be delivered.
All out-of-state and international business-related travel for students, faculty and staff has been suspended. Minnesota State has canceled all gatherings and events where 100 or more people would be in attendance until May 1.
ATCC the deadline for all scholarships has also extended to June 1, but it will give priority to those who meet the original April 1 deadline.
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