Lower Columbia College has pushed the start of spring quarter back two weeks, moved classes online and largely closed the campus to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Student leaders and staff are also working to get laptops and WiFi hotspots to students who need them.
Instead of starting April 6, spring quarter class schedules were revised to begin April 20, LCC Spokeswoman Wendy Hall said. The quarter will still end on June 18.
For classes that require on-campus attendance, instructors are working to make an adjustment plan, according to the college website. For now, all access to LCC buildings are restricted to faculty and staff from March 20 to April 14, and all events and activities in that time frame are also canceled.
Hall said that the college has set up dedicated virtual meeting rooms on Zoom to answer student questions, and it is increasing the number of online tutors available for students.
The Associated Students of Lower Columbia College has canceled or postponed all events, Executive Director Rosie Graff said, and it is looking into using programming money to buy more laptops and hotspots. The association also is considering giving more financial support than usual to the LCC food pantry, though Graff said the group has to wait to see spring enrollment numbers to finalize the budget.
Next semester, students should look for more online engagement, Graff said, like TikTok competitions or virtual museum visit opportunities.
Graff said while at first students were frustrated about changes at the college, that was before they realized how serious the pandemic was.
“This is a really cool thing, that our college cares about our health and the safety of our community,” Graff said. “We’re behind (the college) 100%, and students who were initially frustrated are turning around and supporting the college.”
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