Storm Forward: A Safe, Healthy & Strong DCCC Community for 2020-21
As our Fall 2020 semester approaches, DCCC continues to identify the most promising ways to Storm Forward in a way that keeps our campus community safe, healthy, and strong.
Staying strong means continuing to provide multiple educational options for those who depend on us in Davidson and Davie counties and the surrounding area. We know that the 125 pathways we offer in over 40 career fields help our students reach their professional goals or advance in their fields, pave the way for transfer to four-year schools, and support the economic growth of the region.
In this unusual year of 2020, however, we also have to balance carefully the education we provide with the ongoing dangers of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The safety and health of our DCCC family is critical to the well-being of each individual’s household, co-workers, and the greater community.
In recent weeks and months, we have asked our students and employees about their concerns related to COVID-19 and how we can best respond to them. Through these surveys and other discussions, we have learned that students and employees continue to have anxiety over their own health and safety and that of their families. However, many still believe they would have more positive outcomes if they could have in-person interactions with appropriate protocols in place. Both groups appreciated open and frequent communications, struggled with balancing competing demands, expressed mental health concerns, and experienced technology issues while learning or working remotely. We continue to listen to you and consider your feedback as we engage in ongoing planning for our future at DCCC.
Although we have tried to keep the campus community regularly updated, even as COVID-19 has rapidly evolved since March, we hope this report will summarize our plan going forward. Through Storm Forward: A Safe, Healthy & Strong DCCC Community for 2020-21, you will see that we are just as committed to fighting COVID-19 and reducing its spread as we are to offering you the DCCC education that you deserve.
Let’s Storm Forward together!
Fall 2020 Schedule
In May, DCCC was able to resume some in-person classes that were required to meet in order to satisfy requirements of accrediting boards. However, most summer classes were online, continuing the remote learning that many students were introduced to starting in March.
Students: The Fall 2020 semester begins on August 17, with course options described in more detail below. The academic calendar remains unchanged at this point, with no modifications to breaks or other dates. Should it become necessary to make changes due to COVID-19, you will be notified. Students can enroll now for Fall and Spring, including fast-track classes that may start mid-semester.
Faculty: Class schedules and other instructional needs will determine the schedules followed by the faculty who teach our students. Each course syllabus will outline the faculty member’s availability to students and how office hours will be conducted.
Staff: Even as employees conclude their usual summer work schedule on July 31, which includes longer hours Monday-Thursday and shortened Fridays, the staggered employee schedule will continue, with employees working remotely on the days they are not scheduled to be on campus. This staggered approach reduces the number of people on campus at any given time, allowing for greater physical distancing and exposure to fewer people. Necessary adjustments to current staggered schedules will be made by supervisors and may be affected by external factors, such as the status of K-12 education. Employees will continue to monitor closely their email correspondence and phones to ensure the best possible service to our students and community regardless of work location.
This fall, DCCC will offer traditional in-person classes, hybrid classes (a blend of in-person and online instruction), and fully online classes. We know that all classes are likely to look and feel a little different than they have in the past, but we want to assure you of one thing — your learning experiences will continue to be interactive, dynamic, and geared toward preparing you for your next steps in your educational or career pathway!
Faculty are hard at work now making sure that you have the learning opportunities and support necessary to be successful, regardless of the type of classes you choose at DCCC. If you have a class that includes in-person sessions (as indicated in StormTrac and on your student class schedule), you will receive information regarding when to meet in the classroom or lab and when to participate remotely so that we can keep our campus spaces uncrowded with plenty of extra space for maintaining social distancing. Most classrooms and labs will have about half the usual number of students present in person. Remote sessions will be recorded and available in Moodle so that students can review instructional sessions at your convenience.
Courses designated as “online” mean that 100% of the course material is delivered online. Students can access their lessons through a web browser anytime, anywhere. Some online classes may be completed at the students’ convenience, while others are synchronous, meaning that students meet virtually with instructors and classmates at designated times throughout the semester, just as you would an in-person class. Either way, please be aware that there will still be deadlines you need to meet in order to be successful.
All students should carefully read course comments in StormTrac and check their DCCC email regularly for communications from their instructors prior to the start of the semester. The variety of formats provided for courses reflect the formats that students originally selected at the time of registration. Our goal is to maintain these formats as consistently as possible to support your learning and engage with you based on your preferences. In the event that a change must be made to course format due to changing circumstances, you will be notified as early as possible to provide you with the information and resources necessary to continue your courses successfully. If you determine that your needs have changed and you need to select other course delivery formats or courses scheduled at alternate times, please contact your academic advisor to adjust your schedule. No matter what your course format, know that your instructors are prepared to provide you with a positive, high-quality learning experience and be accessible to address your learning needs and questions throughout your course.
Keep in mind that the college has significantly increased the availability of accelerated (or “fast-track”) courses that can be completed in less time than a traditional semester to give students more options. We encourage all students to make decisions about their class schedules and course formats based on their individual health and learning needs. At DCCC, we are fully committed to promoting health and safety and supporting student learning in all courses and across all instructional formats.
Storm Help Center
We know there is so much information to read and understand these days, even more than usual! Although we have all the resources and staff to help support you here at DCCC, we want to help you find what you need faster.
First, rather than looking in multiple places for information, try the Storm Help Center, where many of the resources you use are linked to this one online page. You will see that virtual and in-person services are available for prospective, new, and returning students as you navigate your enrollment, financial aid, course registration, career success, and more. Here are some of the things you can access at the Storm Help Center:
- Prospective students can get information or arrange to speak to a staff member about Admissions, Financial Aid, Disability Services, and more.
- New and returning students might need to connect with Academic Advisors, log into their StormTrac accounts to check class schedules or pay tuition, or use Starfish to make virtual appointments with staff.
- The College Transition Center offers assessments and academic support for students new to college who have an unweighted high school GPA of less than 2.2, as well as for students who have been out of high school for more than ten years.
- Students may access coaching, tutoring, and academic support from the Learning Commons. Services are available in-person and through virtual appointments to ensure that you have the support to make the most of your education at DCCC no matter your location.
- If you need support for reference and research to complete course assignments, our DCCC Library staff is ready to help you in the Learning Resource Center on campus and through virtual meetings, providing online search tools, guides, and many additional print and digital resources to connect you with the information you need to successfully complete research papers and other class assignments.
- When the fall semester begins, computer labs will be available for student use during campus hours of operation. Check Moodle as the fall semester begins for locations and times of open computer labs. Students may use these labs for class participation, as well as to complete course assignments. If audio is needed while in the computer lab, especially to participate in a class, students are encouraged to bring their own headphones. However, headphones can be checked out if needed and will be disinfected following CDC guidelines. In addition to WiFi available throughout campus buildings, students can also remain in their cars and access WiFi in parking lots.
Can’t find what you’re looking for at the Storm Help Center? Call the DCCC Hotline at 336.906.2230.
While we are happy to start welcoming students and visitors back to campus, keep in mind that everyone who comes to campus must follow new health and safety protocols designed to protect all of us. Prevention efforts on campus include mandatory face masks, keeping your distance from others, regular hand-washing, and not coming to campus when feeling sick or experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 or other illnesses. Read more in the Four-Part Prevention Strategy at the end of this document.
Food on Campus
The Storm Cellar will reopen in August to provide breakfast and lunch options. The menu will be streamlined in order to reduce lines and crowding. Our efforts to keep you safe will include “grab-and-go” meals that are pre-packaged following safe food service guidelines, allowing you to have only minimal contact with others as you purchase your meals. Our self-serve drink station will not be open, but vending machines throughout campus will continue to offer a variety of beverages and snacks. Microwaves will still be available for use in the Storm Cellar.
Those who use campus kitchens should continue to follow safe practices, including bringing your own dishware from home and storing those items in your own work spaces. No communal dishware or silverware will be available for use in kitchens.
If you dine in an area restaurant or bring take-out back to campus, we encourage you to follow public health guidance by wearing your mask, distancing, and washing your hands before eating.
Any person or group arranging for catering on campus must follow existing campus policies regarding approved caterers and practices. Email email@example.com with questions.
Students are encouraged to pay their bills online, but for those who prefer to pay in person, the Business Offices in the Brooks Student Center on the Davidson Campus and the Administration Building on the Davie Campus will be open to take payments during regular business hours. Please wear a face mask and keep your distance from others. Online bill payment is easy and convenient on StormTrac. Mail-in payments are also accepted. Please mail your payments to DCCC, PO Box 1287, Lexington, NC, 27293.
The NJCAA has moved Fall Athletics to Spring 2021. Men’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, and Men’s and Women’s Golf will have a Fall Practice Season, and then a Spring Competition Season that will begin in early January 2021. Student athletes should contact their coaches about scheduling of athletic practices and competitions. Schedules will be posted on the DCCC Athletics website once finalized.
This new environment has limited our on-campus gatherings. To acknowledge this fact and in recognition that many of our students face financial challenges at this time, our DCCC Board of Trustees has approved the waiver of up to $25 in fees per student per semester for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Individual course fees still apply.
We know that technology has become even more central in all our lives, but when we have questions or problems, it can be stressful. DCCC’s Technology Help Desk offers support for students and employees Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You can connect by phone at 336.249.8186 ext. 6232, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or get specific password help at email@example.com. On-campus appointments can also be made.
Four-Part Prevention Strategy
Central to our ability to start welcoming students, employees, and visitors back to campus is having a prevention strategy that reduces the spread of COVID-19. DCCC established a four-part prevention strategy in May before allowing anyone to return to campus. This strategy (Masks – Distancing – Hygiene – Screening) is updated with the latest guidance and summarized here:
Even before NC Governor Roy Cooper implemented a statewide mask order, DCCC asked all employees, students, and visitors to wear masks or cloth face coverings on campus except when employees are in their own offices or work spaces (yes, in classrooms! yes, in the hallway! yes, even in bathrooms and on elevators!).
Why wear masks? Think of it as, “I protect you, you protect me.” Although masks are not a guarantee against you getting sick, they do greatly reduce the chance you will transmit germs to others. If we all consistently wear masks, we reduce the overall transmission of germs and slow the spread of COVID-19.
We know now that masks are even more vital than we first realized in the fight against COVID-19, and we emphasize again the importance of this prevention method, both when you are on DCCC property and anytime you are outside of your home and in proximity to other people.
Several distributions of masks have already occurred on campus. Those who come to campus without one will be offered one from the DCCC supply. Remember to refrain from touching your mask or face and to wash cloth masks regularly. Those unable to wear masks for medical reasons should contact the Office of Disability Access Services to discuss and determine your reasonable accommodations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336.249.8186 ext. 6342.
The second cornerstone of our strategy is maintaining distance from others. Since COVID-19 spreads more quickly when people are closer together, it is important to stay at least 6 feet from others as much as possible. This guideline includes all your interactions throughout the day — from greeting colleagues or fellow students, stopping to ask someone a question, or sitting at a desk or in a meeting near others.
If you do come within 6 feet of another person, masks will help prevent the spread of germs.
DCCC also has installed glass barriers around campus to help protect you when you need to speak to someone in person, such as in our Enrollment Center and Business Office. Signs and floor markings remind students and employees to stay 6 feet away from others and to limit the number of people on elevators and in restrooms.
Employees should continue to meet virtually as much as possible and avoid visiting individual offices when a phone call or email will suffice. A limited number of meeting rooms are available across campus when in-person conversation is required and should be requested through email@example.com.
There will continue to be limits on the use of campus spaces for large gatherings and for use by external groups, guided by state regulations and public health recommendations.
Our custodial and maintenance teams work daily to keep our campus as clean as possible. Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and deep cleaning where needed, using CDC-approved cleaning procedures and EPA-approved cleaning products, helps us combat COVID-19.
We need everyone’s help to keep campus clean on an ongoing basis, especially during this time of increased need for disinfection. Administrative support personnel in each area have a supply of CDC-recommended cleaning products so that every employee can help keep work areas clean. This cleaning should include the regular disinfection of doorknobs, copier buttons, cabinet and drawer handles, keyboards and other computer equipment, phones, and desks. If you prefer to move your own trash and recycling cans to the door of your office or work area for pick-up, please remember to wash your hands after touching.
Cleaning supplies will be available in classrooms and labs where in-person instruction is occurring. Faculty and students should use these supplies to clean their spaces and instructional equipment between uses.
Hand sanitizer will be available at the main entrance to every building. Please use it on your hands every time you enter a building and wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Use paper towels to turn off faucets and use the recently installed arm-pulls to open bathroom doors.
Before coming to campus each day, employees complete an online health survey to identify early symptoms and possible exposures. Other important reminders for students, employees, and visitors to campus:
- Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or a loss of taste or smell, do not come to campus. If you are experiencing these or other COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should consider getting tested. Your doctor can help you identify a testing site, you can call the Davidson County Health Department’s hotline at 336.236.3327, or you can visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website.
- Students can self-report a positive COVID-19 test for themselves or a close contact using this online form. Employees in these same situations should contact their supervisors and Human Resources.
- An individual who tests positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate away from other people and will be excluded from campus for at least 10 days since their first symptoms; until other symptoms have improved; and until they have no fever for at least 72 hours without medication. If you live in the same household or have been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, remain in your home and contact a medical provider. You should not return to campus for a minimum of 14 days. The CDC offers more guidelines for “What to Do If You Are Sick.”
If a student, employee, or visitor is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will follow the directions of the local health department in identifying others who may have been exposed and will use CDC guidelines to clean and disinfect physical spaces.
Visit DCCC’s Coronavirus Response page for more information about COVID-19 and our efforts to keep you and our community safe.