SAN ANGELO – Howard College campuses are ready for the spring semester and will temporarily move to a virtual course delivery mode in some courses for the first two weeks of classes, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 confirmations. The alternative course delivery will not affect select Career Technical Education courses and Health Profession courses, which will remain in face-to-face mode.
Students should expect communication from their instructors within the next three days regarding any specific instructions for access to courses. The college is asking all students to actively monitor their student email for additional information.
“I want to reiterate that we are ready to begin the spring semester and this is a temporary measure.,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, president of Howard College. “We are taking these operational steps to prioritize the health of our students, faculty, staff and communities and feel the best way to do this right now, is to move to a virtual mode in some courses for the first two weeks of class.”
The college plans to re-evaluate the cases and trends in the communities we serve the week of January 24th and move back to the original course delivery mode for all classes on January 31st.
Campuses are open and are strictly following the Amber status which can be reviewed on the college website.
“We are being mindful of federal, state, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 measures and are remaining on our Amber status at this time,” added Sparks. “We will be social distancing and asking employees to limit contact with others on a regular basis and utilizing electronic means as possible.”
Howard College on-campus services will remain available during this altered period, but students and staff should monitor the college website or call ahead as hours and/or availability may change due to staffing changes resulting from health issues.
The college will make additional online tools available for students who have questions about access, passwords, resources, etc. prior to classes starting.
The dorms on both the Big Spring and the SouthWest College for the Deaf (SWCD) campus will remain open with move-in continuing as currently scheduled. Students who are not required to be on campus for an athletic program may choose to delay their move-in until classes return to in-person instruction. However, students are reminded most CTE and health professions programs will continue in the face-to-face mode and students will attend in-person. Any questions regarding dorm move-in should be directed to the housing staff on the respective campus.
“Our focus right now is to start the semester as normal as possible with this temporary measure to safeguard the health of our students, employees, and communities we serve,” stated Sparks. “We plan to return to face-to-face instruction for all courses as quickly as possible but will do so as illness subsides which will provide the best opportunity and environment for our students to be successful.”