Clark State plans students’ return to campus for fall semester

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Clark State Community College said in a release it will be welcoming students back to campus August 24 following the phased return of staff and faculty beginning in June.

The College has been practicing remote learning and student services since March 16 following Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s directive for physical distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety and security of students and employees is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Clark State students, faculty and staff will be able to meet together in the fall in face-to-face settings, with an emphasis on the safety and well-being of everyone, including physical distancing and revised classrooms set ups, enhanced and aggressive sanitation and cleaning techniques and other protocols recommended by the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as wearing masks and frequent hand washing. Of course, should anything change based on direction from the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health, we will keep our community informed and comply with all laws, regulations and directives.”

Clark State said summer semester courses are continuing in a remote format, with some exceptions for laboratory and clinical experiences, Clark State’s fall schedule reflects classes with face-to-face options, as well as online.

Starting July 6, students will be able to return to campus for in-person services such as advising, enrollment, admissions, financial aid, tutoring and testing, though Clark State will also maintain online components for those activities. Staff members will return to campus on rotating schedules beginning June 24, allowing time to provide feedback to Clark State’s facilities staff on how best to reconfigure their spaces to accommodate students safely.

Clark State staff will fully return to campus on August 10; and faculty will return to campus on August 17 with Clark State fall semester classes beginning August 24.

“If needed, Clark State is prepared to pivot to a fully online environment should the situation necessitate it,” said Blondin. “Half of Clark State students take at least one of their classes online and 38 percent of courses at Clark State are online. Additionally, all courses at Clark State have an online component, meaning that faculty create a virtual ‘shell’ for every course for additional course materials, grading and teamwork/collaboration for courses. Because of this preparedness, Clark State can move courses quickly to an online environment if need be.”

The college said students will be asked to follow a “Return to Campus Daily Checklist.” The checklist follows current state of Ohio guidance regarding the “Responsible Restart of Ohio.” Clark State’s fall semester schedule, buildings and classrooms will look different, but the College’s dedication to ensuring success will remain the same.

Clark State preparations include:

  • Shifting staffing to ensure the College has staff available 24-hours a day to conduct deep cleaning and sanitization
  • Purchasing new equipment to make environmental sanitization more efficient using hospital-grade tools and cleaning agents
  • Continuous planning for health and safety for all those who come to campus
  • Ramping up communication, developing new signage, establishing physical distancing requirements and redesigning classrooms to maximize distances and safety

“The first phrase of Clark State’s mission is ‘to engage and empower diverse learners,'” said Blondin. “We want to do everything possible to remove the barriers that prevent students from receiving the education and training they need to enter employment, get promoted or transfer to a university. We are doing everything in our power to mitigate risk while at the same time ensuring that we meet our mission to serve students.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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