NORFOLK – As Northeast Community College students were recognized through a virtual graduation ceremony Sunday, the college also announced their plans of operation over the summer months under COVID-19.
According to a release from NECC, they adopted distance learning delivery methods of their courses for faculty and students in late March. This allowed many other employees the option to also work remotely in anticipation of a possible stay-at-home order as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Although the order was never issued, Northeast Community College has been developing a plan to operate with a limited number of employees and students through the summer and is looking at additional measures for the fall semester.
Northeast operates its main campus in Norfolk with extended campuses in O’Neill, South Sioux City and West Point as well as regional offices in Ainsworth and Hartington.
The Northeast COVID-19 Recovery Team has been working on designing a business continuity plan that includes facility adjustments and guidelines, practices and procedures to ensure that NECC functions effectively and safely.
Since late March, buildings at all Northeast locations have been closed to the public. Under the new business continuity plan, there will be public access to a limited number of facilities beginning in June. Instruction over the summer will mainly occur in a remote format, with some students on campus in hands-on classes with social distancing in place. By June 1, academic departments will have finalized their course plans for the fall semester so that new students will know the instructional delivery format when they register for classes. This will include hands-on options, synchronous and online delivery formats.
This preparation includes placing partitions in frontline areas and make certain social distancing measures are in place for reception areas, service counters and in open office areas. The College will also take additional measures to ensure classrooms and lab areas are reorganized by incorporating social distancing in the context of the learning environment.
Also, in June, Northeast Community College will bring a limited number of employees back to its campuses in a staggered or staged approach incorporating a combination of work from home and work in offices. The method of work will likely be in place for most of the summer and even into the fall.
In addition, the College will provide facemasks to all staff and faculty and encourage them to wear them. A group of employees plans to set up a sewing room to make masks for all employees who have a desire to wear one – or they can wear one of their own.