Howard College Modifies Big Spring Class Delivery Modes

Photo of Old Main building on Big Spring campus

With the health and safety of students as the main priority for the upcoming academic year, Howard College has made some changes to their Fall 2020 semester regarding face to face classes on the Big Spring campus. 

            All classes will still begin on August 17, 2020 and will conclude with final exams November 20-24. With few exceptions, the face to face courses on the schedule will begin in a virtual/remote mode, mostly through Zoom. Online courses will continue as scheduled with no changes. All courses on the college’s San Angelo and Lamesa campuses will continue as currently scheduled with no changes to face to face courses.

            Exceptions to the virtual course status are some health profession courses, some career technical education courses, and the first-year experience LEADS courses. Information regarding instruction mode for each class will be shared with students through Blackboard, the college’s learning management system.          

“We are so ready to have students on campus and are putting many preventative measures into place to keep them as healthy and safe as possible,” said Dr. Cheryl Sparks, Howard College President. “But with the upturn in COVID-19 cases all across our state and having students living on this campus, we felt like we should start the semester in a virtual mode rather than face to face to give us time to make sure our protocols are effective and we can help keep students in socially distant environments.” 

Additionally, campus leaders have modified the dorm check-in process to stagger groups of students over several weeks to allow for student education regarding COVID-19 policies and procedures and to monitor the effectiveness of the plan as more students come to campus.

Students will be checking into the dorms beginning August 14th and the staggered move-in will continue through September 13th. Students who plan to live on campus must schedule a check-in date/time according to pre-designated groups. All students who have been accepted into the dorms are receiving separate communication regarding their group dates and how to schedule a check-in time.

Administrators are working with school districts across the service area to resolve any issues with dual credit schedules and the college’s health professions programs will be communicating directly with students regarding any additional changes to their schedules.

“With state and federal responses to COVID-19 changing daily, we are working diligently to make sure our processes are following guidelines established for higher education institutions,” Sparks added. “We know the semester may look a little different than we originally planned for the Big Spring campus, but we are looking forward to seeing students and tackling the semester with excitement.”

For students in face to face settings in any building on campus, face masks will be required, and students will regularly be reminded about maintaining social distances whenever possible. 

All student support services, such as the library, tutoring center, advising, etc. will be available in a multitude of formats, including virtual, online and face to face. 

“We want to assure our students and families that we are doing everything possible to keep students safe and healthy,” said Sparks. “Even in these times of uncertainty, our faculty and staff are ready to help our students focus on turning their dreams into reality.”

For more information about Howard College visit www.howardcollege.edu or contact Cindy Smith at 432-517-0073 or csmith@howardcollege.edu. COVID-19 updates can be located at www.howardcollege.edu/special-notice.

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