Instruction & Support Services
BPCC’s approach to the 2021 semester is a natural progression of how we have responded to COVID-19 over the last four months, what we’ve learned by preserving academic continuity for students, and our ongoing effort to align our strategies with best-practice student success principles. Our decisions will continue to be rooted in a desire to preserve and promote the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. We will also continue to follow all appropriate federal and state guidelines for safe reopening.
The academic leadership at BPCC has developed a schedule of course offerings that, given the circumstances, keeps students on pace to completing their educational goals and promotes the highest quality learning experiences and outcomes possible. On-campus, hands-on learning in a safe, structured, socially-distanced environment will take place this semester. This is important to ensure that our faculty and students canmake use of essential facilities and equipment while providing the first class teaching and learning that is expected of BPCC.
Most of the courses offered during the 2021 semester will be provided via online and hybrid methods of delivery. Hybrid instruction may be online-dominant, or it may be on-campus dominant. When classes can be effectively led via distance, they have been scheduled to take place fully online. Additionally, instruction delivered online may be scheduled synchronously or asynchronously. The strategy behind the selected mode of delivery has been determined by the academic leadership. Our faculty have been working throughout the summer to ensure that the online instruction is enhanced to engage students and create communities of learning that rival what we’ve traditionally achieved on campus.
Thanksgiving is a time for many to travel and to host family from out-of-town. Additionally, the cold and flu season increases in late fall and there are concerns about a resurgence of the coronavirus. Therefore, on-campus instruction and labs will be completed by Thanksgiving (with few exceptions). Any remaining instruction, assignments, or examinations will be achieved remotely to avoid any unnecessary risks to students, faculty, and staff. Any events or activities that take place after the Thanksgiving break, will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
One of our greatest challenges last Spring was the Stay-at-Home-Order which closed the campus to all but essential personnel. While obviously important, this measure cut-off students from ready access to academic support services that students rely upon to be successful. While BPCC was able to transition many of these services to remote delivery, it is part of our plan to provide controlled access to strategic support services on campus while continuing to make them available online. These services include but will not be limited to the Library, Computer Labs, Testing Center, Tutoring, Wi-Fi, Disability Services, etc.
BPCC’s Cavalier Care Center came to life during the response to COVID-19 and is working to address the heightened basic needs insecurity faced by students. For example, our Emergency Food Pantry has held multiple food distribution events while adhering to social distancing guidelines and the CCC staff have proactively connected students to local, state, and federal resources including food banks, state and federal unemployment forms, mental health and domestic violence helplines, and much more. As we move into the 2021 semester, BPCC will continue to promote these services and is working to establish an emergency grant program for students. The College will also continue to provide virtual counseling services for students who are struggling with mental health challenges related to depression, anxiety, grief, and social isolation. The Office of Student Life will continue to offer an extensive and diverse menu of virtual student life activities while assisting student-run clubs and Student Government leaders to meet virtually.
Health & Safety
Since the beginning of this public health crisis, BPCC has maintained a continuous presence of essential personnel on campus including Campus Police, Facilities & Maintenance, and Custodial Services. The College has developed extensive protocols surrounding sanitation and disinfection which continue daily. These include regular routine cleaning as well as a thorough disinfection of bathrooms, common areas, and benches utilizing CDC-recommended cleaners and disinfectants along with tools that complement the cleaning process and reduce germs, dirt and contaminants on surfaces. Additionally, we will wipe down high-touch and high-use areas throughout the day, including counter tops, elevator control panels, handrails, door handles and knobs, push bars, vending machines, and water fountains with refillable bottle stations (other water fountains will be disabled).
As we entered into Phase Two, BPCC developed an electronic system for requesting access to the campus. Gradually, we have expanded campus access using this system to ensure that guidelines on social distancing are followed. The Security and Facilities teams are provided this schedule daily, make sure the spaces are opened, clean and disinfected, and help to monitor compliance. Each supervisor has assessed on-campus staffing needs based on mission-critical operations, ability to control and manage specific work, and necessity to access on-site resources.
At the beginning of July, BPCC entered into a third-party agreement to provide health screenings and temperature checks at two access points on campus. As we move into the new semester, a third access point will be added. Students, employees, and visitors receive a paper wristband to demonstrate compliance with the required health screening.
The Director of Facilities is assessing all areas of the College prior to faculty/staff/students returning to campus. The assessments include recommendations to install modifications such as sneeze guards for high traffic service areas, applying social distancing decals, and limiting the number of individuals in a particular space. All buildings will be open with limited entry points and controlled flow of traffic to support social distancing efforts. Safety signage is being installed and will be updated as appropriate. Signs include but are not limited to personal hygiene, social distancing, and face mask reminders, floor decals, notices at elevators, etc. All buildings will have multiple hand sanitizing stations available.
To ensure a safe campus environment, it is imperative that clear reporting protocols are established should a student or employee develop symptoms, test positive, or become exposed to COVID-19. BPCC has developed detailed reporting protocols for students and employees which provide detailed instructions on what to do in the event they test positive for COVID-19 or have been/may have been exposed to COVID-19; these protocols are provided as appendices to this document. First and foremost, all students and employees are required to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. Students and employees who develop any of these symptoms should notify their Health Care Provider, follow the guidance provided and stay home.
It remains unclear what phase of reopening we will be in when the 2021 semester begins at BPCC on August 21st. If we are in Phase Two or Phase Three, BPCC is prepared to move forward, as planned, with our semester following the LA Re-open Safely Plan and the Guidelines of the Board of Regents: health screenings/temperature checks, social distancing, 50% capacity of classrooms, and mask requirements. Should the Governor order the State to Phase One or another Stay at Home Order (Phase 0), the College will adjust the on-campus offerings scheduled, move hybrid offerings to fully online, and shift employees to the remote work environment.
At BPCC, we understand that the continued health and wellness of our Cavalier community is a shared responsibility. Even as public health restrictions ease, we have an obligation to each other to help reduce the spread and stop any resurgence of COVID-19. BPCC will do its part. We got this. Go Cavs!