Bevill State officials discuss fall semester plan

Bevill State officials discuss fall semester plan

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Bevill State Community College has released course options for the fall that will include mostly virtual learning.

The fall semester at Bevill State's four campuses (Jasper, Sumiton, Fayette and Hamilton) and the college's one educational site in Carrollton will begin on Thursday, Aug. 20, and the majority of students will be taking classes online.

Virtual learning will be taught by Bevill State instructors during scheduled times and other online coursework and videos will be available 24/7.

Bevill State Director of Advancement and Public Relations Tana Collins-Allred said some courses will operate under a hybrid model where students will need to come to campus for labs and other required in-person instruction. Students in the nursing program and some technical programs, for example, will be participating in a hybrid model.

"Even in these cases, the courses will be partially online," Collins-Allred said. "All face-to-face instruction and on-campus labs will be completed by Thanksgiving. The remainder of the semester will be completed in an online format."

Clinicals, preceptorships, and apprenticeships will still be allowed after Thanksgiving to allow students real-world experience in the fields they are pursuing.  

When students are on campus, they will be required to wear masks and social distance, and each campus reportedly has a safety plan in place to protect students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Each student and staff member will be provided with a face mask.

In order to prepare for a mostly remote learning format, Bevill State Dean of Instruction Dr. Leslie Hartley told the Daily Mountain Eagle via email that instructors have been undergoing extensive training. 

"Faculty are required to participate in multiple formats of professional development each year. The learning management system that Bevill State utilizes, Canvas, has free and on-demand training for situations such as this so that faculty who are less familiar with online instruction can easily have access to training anytime and any day," Hartley said.

"The college and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) have also supplemented that training with various remote workshops and online seminars in the best practices of transitioning to online learning," she said. "Finally, Bevill State has subscribed to an online professional development service that provides live and on-demand training in matters relevant to all areas of the college. This service is open to all BSCC employees for the next year.”

The college was provided financial assistance earlier this year through the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in the amount of $1,321,420 to help students, as well, with technology and wellness needs. 

Collins-Allred said early on in the pandemic, Bevill State used some of the funding to provide an online tutoring service for students doing remote learning. In addition, the college is actively purchasing laptops and touch-screen tablets with funding for instructors to use at home when they are teaching virtually and doing lesson plans.

Bevill State students in need of financial assistance also received money through funding received by the college.   

On July 31, the college announced on its website that employees and students have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been quarantined. 

Bevill State is continuing to follow the guidelines of medical professionals and has heightened cleaning/sanitizing measures at all campuses.

“I think one of the greatest challenges we have faced during this entire pandemic is remaining flexible. The greatest priority for Bevill State Community College is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff," Bevill State President Dr. Kim Ennis said in an emailed statement to the Daily Mountain Eagle. "We have put in place a plan to keep everyone safe based on the most current guidance and information. However, as we have all learned, this can change in an instant. This plan has to be a living, breathing document that is continually evaluated and adjusted as necessary.

"Our faculty, staff, and students have demonstrated great resiliency throughout this experience. We must continue to evolve and adapt as necessary at Bevill State to continue to provide our students and the communities we serve with the highest quality educational opportunities.”  

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To register for the upcoming fall semester at Bevill State, visit www.bscc.edu.

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For more education news from the Daily Mountain Eagle, visit http://www.mountaineagle.com/education.