Haywood Community College is committed to serving and protecting our students and employees through the COVID-19 crisis. With the support of the North Carolina Community College System, HCC is pleased to continue offering educational opportunities to students using online instruction. Although this format is new for some of our students, the College is prepared to provide the support students need at this time.
Wendy Hines, VP of Instruction at HCC, states, “I have been impressed with the speed and efficiency in which this has occurred. The faculty have worked closely with our Online Learning Department to develop creative solutions for providing short-term instruction online. We are also working with our Workforce and Continuing Education Department to move critical public service courses into the online format. We feel these courses will be important to our local community’s response to this crisis.”
HCC has made other changes to help slow or reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. Many employees have started telecommuting but key services remain open to support students and the community. The library and computer lab remain open to students for those that need to utilize a computer and/or internet access. Student Services such as financial aid and student wellness remain available to students either in-person or virtually. Social distancing measures have been implemented for all on-campus services.
With this transition to fully online learning and virtual services available, we understand that students will lose that daily interaction and camaraderie with their fellow students and staff. “Our Student Life Division is working diligently to produce online content and interactive challenges that will be available for students,” says Dr. Michael Colman, VP of Student Services. Upcoming activities include Digital Trivia Tuesdays, A Virtual Lip Sync Battle, and a weekly online show titled “Coffee on the Couch,” which will feature segments detailing our campus, upcoming events, and interactive features.
The College continues to serve as a community partner during this critical time. Current guidance allows very limited face-to-face training opportunities, such as classes critical to the emergency and healthcare response. To help working parents, and with guidance from state government, the Regional Center for the Advancement of Children remains open. Campus gates will remain open until 8:00 pm each evening for use of walking trails and the disc golf course.
Navigating these uncharted waters has not been without its challenges. President of HCC, Dr. Shelley White, states, “The flexibility and creativity of the HCC Team to respond has been outstanding. We have shifted our focus and implemented new technologies to support and engage our students at record speed.” With guidance from the North Carolina Community College System, local, state, and national government, Haywood Community College is positioned to continue to serve our students and our community. “Over the coming weeks, we anticipate more changes in the world around us, and we feel prepared to meet those challenges,” said White.