Terra State Community College will be reopening its campus for in-person classes as regularly scheduled on Monday, Aug. 17 for the Fall 2020 semester.
“We want our students to be able to come to campus and receive the full Terra State experience,” said President Dr. Ron Schumacher.
The college plans to hold 14 weeks of in-person classes this fall. After Thanksgiving break, Terra State will conduct online-only classes for the remainder of the semester, Schumacher said. “This way, they can stay in isolation with their families and finish the rest of their semester online,” he said. The reason for this is to avoid a surge on campus.
“We are optimistic, based upon current modeling, that some version of on-campus classes and residential housing will return in the fall,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Bill Taylor.
According to Taylor, the leadership team is creating multiple “movable” plans that can be implemented in order to be prepared with “multiple contingencies” as the new academic year arrives. “Our guiding principles are straight forward and simple,” he said. “The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our highest priority.”
The college has continued implementing safety precautions around campus to ensure students are safe when they return. Entrance to buildings will be limited to a few locations where all campus visitors will be screened by a facial scanning device called Speedface+. These devices identify a person, make sure all campus visitors are wearing a facial covering and scan for a temperature.
In addition, the college is utilizing Ozone machines around campus and in the residence hall. These machines kill Coronavirus by creating O3 (ozone) through an electric current process. This process breaks down odors, microorganisms and other pollutants leaving behind a fresh scent.
To ensure students will maintain proper social distance, there will be a 10-person occupancy limit in its smaller classrooms, but more than 10 people may be allowed in the larger classrooms.
Also, some computers have been taken offline in the computer labs, library and other common areas. These systems were then covered with bags to make it clear which computers cannot be used. Each classroom will be supplied with disinfectant, back-up Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and equipment cleaning guidance for students and faculty.
“Employees will be returning to campus to work beginning July 6,” said Schumacher. They will work from home Monday and Friday and work on campus Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hope, Schumacher explained, is that all employees will be back to their regular on-campus schedule by the middle of August.