A message from the Chancellor
(Posted Sept. 20, 2021)
Here is the latest update on what we now know about the ongoing effort to address the public health emergency in our community. Developments at the national- and at the state-level have helped to shape the strategy that the colleges of the LCTCS will pursue.
We are delighted to be back on campus, providing instruction, delivering student life activities, and taking another step in the nudge toward normalcy. To be sure, many of our students continue to elect for online learning experiences and there remains much work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On campus, we continue to enforce the statewide mask mandate and there have been minimal issues with compliance. Additionally, BPCC has installed UV germicidal irradiation lights for improved air quality.
As you likely know, the FDA has granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and over, and the Louisiana Department of Health has added COVID-19 to the schedule of required immunizations for students at Bossier Parish Community College and other LCTCS institutions. Consequently, BPCC will require that new students provide proof of this vaccination prior to enrollment in the Spring semester or formally opt out via BPCC’s Immunization Waiver/Compliance form. There is currently no requirement for faculty or staff at LCTCS colleges to receive the COVID vaccine or submit to regular testing.
As I have stated previously, BPCC strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated and to do so as soon as possible. Being vaccinated is how we do our part to fulfill our “Cavalier Commitment” to a safe and healthy BPCC community. I am grateful to all students, faculty, and staff who have already been vaccinated. For those who have not been vaccinated, BPCC has scheduled seven “Crush Covid” events for the fall semester; at our first event on August 25th, 82 students were vaccinated and received a $100 Visa card as part of the Shot For $100 program. On September 15th, a second event vaccinated another 75 from our community.
I am confident that we will have a very successful Fall semester and that we will continue to do all that is required of us to respond to the unprecedented historic challenge of the pandemic. #GoCavs
LCTCS Status Update on COVID Planning
(Posted Aug. 6, 2021)
The twelve colleges of LCTCS are engaged in a strategic effort to safely return to in-person classes in Fall 2021, as planned. The latest surge of the COVID Delta variant has generated additional preparations and response measures to prioritize the safety, health, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community partners.
To ensure students have continued access to training, virtual options will continue for many courses. The statewide mask mandate will be enforced for in-person classes at all colleges, and daily COVID symptom screening tools will continue to be implemented at most campus sites as well. Students will be spaced at least three feet at all campuses, combined with directional flow and signage to support distancing. Additional sanitation measures will continue, and PPE will be made readily available. Furthermore, a number of LCTCS colleges are installing HVAC upgrades and technology – both permanent and portable – to increase ventilation and filtration for improved air quality.
Louisiana’s twelve community colleges continue to engage in aggressive campaigns to encourage vaccination by students, faculty, and staff as well as individual testing. LCTCS colleges are communicating directly by email and in regular social media posts. Our colleges are partnering with healthcare leaders in their region to publicize free community vaccination and testing sites directly to students, faculty, and staff in addition to the numerous safety measures and processes underway.
LCTCS colleges are entirely non-residential, the average LCTCS student is part-time and over age 25, and no vaccine has yet received final FDA approval as we begin the fall semester. As a result, while there will be neither mandatory vaccinations nor mandatory testing at LCTCS colleges for the fall semester, future planning for spring will be continuously evaluated.
The safety, health and well-being of LCTCS students, faculty, staff, and community partners remains our top priority even as we continue our primary mission of educating and training Louisiana’s adults for high-quality jobs – an urgent and necessary goal to combat the COVID-19 economic recession.
BPCC is committed to keeping our campus community safe and healthy. COVID-19 has brought changes in our campus operations and in our expectations for students with self-awareness being critical in keeping students healthy while on and off campus. Expectations for students are as follows:
- Students are required to wear masks at all times while on campus. Masks will be provided to our students. Failure to wear a mask while on campus is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, subsection 1.38, and may result in a referral to the Vice Chancellor for Student Services.
- While on campus, students are expected to help with the sanitation of the classrooms, by wiping their seats, desks, and computer keyboards upon leaving a classroom. Cleaning wipes will be available in the classrooms.
- Students are expected to maintain healthy personal hygiene.
- Students are expected to help maintain social distancing whenever possible, keeping 6 feet away from others.
- Students are expected to wash their hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Students are expected to use the hand sanitizer machines placed around campus.
- Students should avoid touching their face, nose, and mouth.
- Students are expected to stay home if exhibiting respiratory symptoms such as a cough, difficulty breathing, or fever until the students are fever-free for 24 hours. Students are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare providers.
- Students are expected to notify campus personnel immediately if they have tested positive for COVID-19.
Students may dial 211 for general COVID questions or 1-866-310-7977 for COVID mental health.