Southwest Tennessee Community College
Reopening Plan – Phase 1
Out of an abundance of caution, Southwest Tennessee Community College closed all seven locations to the public March 20 in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, thus moving to Level 2.5 of the Pandemic Preparedness Plan. In addition, all operations and classes were moved online for the remainder of the spring semester.
The College closely monitors the pandemic and continues to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local, state and national government agencies.
Safety is our top priority and the decision to reopen the College will be in the best interest of Southwest students, employees and visitors and the community at-large and will align with guidelines set forth by the CDC and local, state and national heath and government agencies. Once these agencies and authorities deem it safe to operate on campus, Southwest will reopen locations using the White House Opening Up America Again Plan as a high-level guide.
Phase I will consist of the following activities:
- Employees will continue to telework whenever feasible.
- Lecture-based courses will continue online.
- Lab and skills-based programs/courses will be offered on campus in a face-to-face modality with strict adherence to social distancing measures. Programs will be given priority that have been unable to continue optimally, if at all, in an online format (i.e. nursing and allied health, technology and Culinary Arts, and possibly, graphic art and music). The College also will determine the best path forward for offering non-credit programming that was suspended due to COVID-19.
- All locations will follow CDC guidelines as they relate to social distancing and sanitation. In addition, the College will provide personal protective equipment to students and employees as feasible and possibly monitor them for signs of fever and other COVID-19-related symptoms.
- Common areas such as cafeterias and libraries will remain closed.
- COVID-19 positive test results reporting procedure will be finalized. The College also will develop procedures to monitor employees and students displaying symptoms indicative of infection.
- Symptom monitoring, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) use and social distancing in labs and classrooms procedures will be developed.
- Procedures for monitoring and maintaining sufficient PPE and other COVID-19-related supplies for Phase 1 will be developed.
- Business/operational processes that support lab and skills-based programs/courses on-site (mail and package delivery, security, custodial services, etc.) will be developed.
The Southwest COVID-19 Task Force is formulating logistics protocols for instruction (i.e. scheduling, building and classroom identification, staggered labs with no more than 10 at a time, etc.) and developing a health and safety checklist for custodial services (sanitation, hand sanitizers, PPE supplies, etc.). The pandemic response is fluid. Therefore, the task force focuses on those areas where the College has some degree of control (i.e. the who, what, where, why and how) and relies on state and local officials to provide guidance as to when it is safe to implement Phase 1. The College is preparing to implement face-to-face career and technical education (CTE) instruction by our Summer II session that runs July 8-August 10 should government and health agencies grant permission. The College also plans to allow Spring 2020 CTE students to complete the hands-on portions of their courses during the Summer II session, where and when possible.
In addition, if pandemic developments require, the College is fully prepared to remain in Phase 1 through the fall semester. Employees who perform support functions that indirectly support students will be phased in when health and government authorities deem it safe to do so. This phased-in approach will allow the College to quickly move operations back online should the danger of infection suddenly escalate due to a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Conversely, if the pandemic improves dramatically and health and government agencies deem it safe, the College will be poised to fully restore operations quickly.
Online Rigor and Integrity
Southwest is fully committed to providing a rigorous educational experience in an online environment. Therefore, all full and part-time faculty are required to become certified in online instruction through the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition, our Teaching Academy offers faculty additional resources and professional development opportunities. The College also is surveying faculty, staff, and students on access to technology and other online instruction factors and will use the feedback to make data-driven decisions that ensure equity and quality online instruction now and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southwest COVID-19 Task Force
Dr. Tracy D. Hall, President
Dr. Kendricks Hooker, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jacqueline Faulkner, Vice President for Student Affairs
Michael Neal, Vice President for Financial and Administrative Affairs
Cynthia Graham, Vice President for External Relations
Michael Boyd, Chief Information Officer
Cynthia Abadie, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Sherman Greer, Executive Director for Government Relations
Daphne J. Thomas, Executive Director for Communications, Marketing and Community Relations
Medical Advisor: Dr. Shelia Bouie, Chair - Health and Natural Sciences / Nursing