Dear Manhattan Tech Community,
We appreciate your patience while we have developed our return to campus plans. We understand uncertainty about the fall 2020 semester may have compounded the stress you have been under during these extremely challenging times, and we know all are eager for information that will allow us to look forward and plan. We have been working diligently on plans to reopen the campus under conditions that are as safe as possible, and we are committed to improving and communicating those plans as changes are deemed necessary.
In close consultation with national, state and local officials, we began our reopening campus plan on June 8. Our reopening plans are grounded in the adoption of rigorous safety and prevention protocols. Based on the effectiveness of springs semesters and we determined and are very pleased to announce that we will resume on-campus, in-person classes for the fall semester.
A successful fall semester will require every member of our community to work together to create a safe and welcoming community for everyone. We recognize the strengths of hands-on instruction and want our students, faculty, and staff to have the chance to be together on campus under the new conditions that the pandemic requires. To accomplish that goal, this fall:
- In partnership with Faculty Senate and Administration, the Academic calendar has been updated to reflect in-person, on-campus classes beginning on Monday, August 17, and will conclude on Friday, December 11, with commencement taking place on Saturday, December 12.
- An updated Academic Calendar is attached and will be updated on the website.
During this pandemic, the health and safety of our community is of upmost importance to us. We are leveraging the learning, data, and experience we have acquired since the pandemic began in January to inform our plans and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread as much as possible. We will continue to closely track the course of the pandemic and will adjust these plans as necessary in response to the latest public health information.
CLASSES AND COURSE WORK
Although we are returning to on-campus, in-person instruction, classes will look and operate differently from the way they have in the past. For example:
- We intend to practice physical distancing and other protocols to promote health and safety in classrooms. Students will sit farther apart and adhere to any additional protocols that are in place. Faculty, Adjuncts, and Program Assistants also will adopt appropriate public health safety methods.
- A student’s individual course schedule may include a blend of virtual and in-person learning, and other approaches.
- We are planning for in-person courses to have options for delivery via a variety of virtual and alternative platforms. This will provide for students who cannot return to campus activities and for those who need to self-isolate or quarantine during the semester.
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
As we look forward, every one of us will need to fully commit to protecting our collective health and well-being as much as possible and play our individual part in managing the spread of the virus. At the core of our efforts is prevention of infection. Public health protocols, including symptom monitoring and temperature checks, public hand-sanitizer stations and physical distancing, will be in place. We will ask all students who return to campus to sign an acknowledgment of such protocols.
The college is also taking actions, such as enhanced cleaning protocols, changes to foot-traffic flow through buildings, and much more, to ensure all campus spaces and buildings support the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. Details are available on our COVID-19 website.
As a core component of our preventive measures, we will have requirements for COVID-19 testing, as well as rigorous contact tracing and symptom management. More information about our plans, as well as testing requirements for different groups of students—which may include testing before arriving on campus, upon return to campus, or during students’ time on campus—will be shared at a later time.
Should an outbreak occur or public health conditions change significantly, we will rely on local, state and federal officials and public health guidelines, to help us assess our response.
In addition, we are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being through a new collaboration with WellConnect, a holistic network of mental health resources and wellness services available to MATC students.
SHARED ACCOUNTABILITY AND WORKING TOGETHER
There is no denying that the ways in which we live, learn, interact, study and discover will continue to evolve and change in the coming months. These experiences will be new for all of us. We share in the feeling that there is a long road of uncertainty ahead; however, we firmly believe that our collaborative and innovative protocols will create a safer environment for everyone.
And, we encourage you to visit the COVID-19 Website for details and updates.
This is a pivotal moment, and we have a unique opportunity to shape it—as part of members of our broader community. We are committed to continue “Providing HIRE Education”, even during these unusual times, with the primary goal of fostering a community that is safe.
Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Stay Informed.
Manhattan Area Technical College