Roxbury Community College (RCC) recently announced plans to offer a combination of online, remote, hybrid and in-person classes for its students in the fall 2020 semester.
In person classes will be held in spaces that allow instructors and students to remain six feet apart.
“We will continue to respond to the challenges facing higher education this fall with the clarity, compassion, and creativity that have served our staff and our students well during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dr. Valerie Roberson, president of RCC. The College will re-adjust its plans, should health data trends change.
The College incorporated the safety guidelines recommended by state officials into RCC’s Four-Phase Reopening Plan. Phase I went into effect on July 1, 2020. While campus access remains extremely limited during Phase I, students, faculty and staff will gradually gain access to on-campus resources during Phases II-IV. Throughout all phases of the plan, members of the RCC community must always wear a face covering or mask while on campus. Thousands of face masks, antimicrobial pens, and bottles of hand sanitizer have been purchased for staff and student use, along with additional hand sanitizing stations that have been stationed at key locations across the campus. Following CDC guidelines, handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water is required throughout the day. People must clean or sanitize their hands before and after visiting an office on-campus.
Anyone on campus will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The guidelines include staying at least six feet from other people, avoiding shaking hands, avoiding gathering in groups, avoiding crowded places, and maintaining appropriate distance when studying or meeting in person. Anyone who feels sick will be required to stay home and people who begin to experience symptoms while at RCC will be required to leave campus and inform the appropriate personnel about the change in their condition, whether it be Human Resources or the Office of Student Life. Appropriate cleaning procedures will be implemented in any spaces that a person suspected of being ill with COVID-19 visited.
Despite all the necessary changes due to COVID-19, RCC remains committed to its important mission of providing a cost-effective education and essential resources to students facing financial challenges. More than 80 percent of students at RCC are Pell-eligible. A 2018 study found more than 40 percent of community college students surveyed cope with food insecurity. RCC has support systems in place to accommodate the needs of its students including connecting them with the technology and hotspots they need to participate in remote learning.
Massachusetts community colleges provided education for more than 110,000 students in the past fiscal year. They will continue to be a source for workforce training for students of all ages in STEM fields that will need skilled workers to get the Commonwealth economy back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic.
For information about RCC’s College Reopening plan and Fall 2020 registration, please visit www.rcc.mass.edu/campusaccess andwww.rcc.mass.edu/fall20.