FROM THE PRESIDENT
The year 2020 has been extraordinary, like no other I have ever seen. Our world, our community and our college have faced a challenge that is rare in scope and impact. The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it all over the world. But we stepped up to the challenge and are poised to move forward in this new normal. I have never been more proud to be an educator. I am in awe of our courageous students, dedicated faculty and diligent staff.
The COVID-19 global pandemic required us to suspend on-campus operations in late March and operate exclusively online. As a community college, many of our programs are skills-based and require extensive laboratory time, activities that cannot be executed completely online at this time. We now are preparing to return to on-campus operation July 8 at our Macon Cove and Union Avenue campuses. While student success remains our mission, COVID-19 has shifted our focus more acutely to protecting life. So, what does this return mean? How will it be different? Who will return to on-campus teaching and learning and operations?
In our plan, you will find details surrounding who should return to campus, how to access campus, on-campus safety protocols, attending classes, which buildings will be accessible and much more. Our plan is important for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, alike. This website is devoted exclusively to providing you unfettered access to the Back to Campus Plan anytime, day or night.
During Phase I, all other Southwest locations will remain closed. Phase I will be in effect until further notice as we continue to monitor the pandemic. When we deem it safe, we will move to the next phase.
COVID-19 has caused the College to make significant changes in a short period of time. We have taken this opportunity to reimagine Southwest. The Back to Campus Plan also contains a new yearlong academic calendar for 2020/2021. The calendar has been designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection and help students get in, get out and get on with their bright futures. You will find a more traditional calendar for online classes and a more flexible schedule for hybrid classes, which have lectures online and laboratory and skill-based sessions on campus.
The College’s COVID-19 Task Force developed the Back to Campus Plan in alignment with the White House Opening Up America Again Plan and guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Shelby County Health Department also is vetting our plan.
We also provided an overview of the plan to the campus and public during a Back to Campus Virtual Town Hall Meeting Monday, June 15 at 10 a.m. on Microsoft Teams. If you missed the event or would like to view it again, you may view the Back to Campus Town Hall meeting on the Southwest Tennessee Community College YouTube Channel.
The threat of COVID-19 is very real and the pandemic is fluid. We are vigilantly monitoring the pandemic and will continue to update this plan as necessary in response to this global public health crisis.
Stay safe and be well.
Dr. Tracy D. Hall,