Good morning everyone.
In Governor Sisolak’s press conference yesterday afternoon, he listed several key measures to continue our fight against the Coronavirus. In response to those items, Western Nevada College will close our physical campus locations for at least 30 days. As a result of these latest measures, the majority of faculty, staff, students or community members who had prepared to come to campus for services or work-related items should no longer come to campus. All campus buildings and locations will be closed for physical operations, effective 12:00 noon today. Key cards will be deactivated during this closure.
We will continue to provide services like admissions, advising, business functions, and financial aid services for students. We will do so remotely using a number of strategies like email, phone calls and video conferencing. A very limited number of WNC team members who provide core services will be on campus to provide continuity of operations. This will be a very small group of team members who are responding to anything the college may need.
Campus operations considered essential are police services, facilities, mail services, the business office, information technology, and student services offices. These essential services will continue to provide support from campus, and staff will rotate each week that this process of mitigation continue. All other services will also continue, but in a remote capacity.
All WNC team members working from home, including our part team members and student workers will be paid while we are out, and those that have been directed to stay home will be on paid administrative leave. All team members need to be prepared to support the college if they are contacted to perform work functions.
WNC faculty and staff have been working extremely hard to help stop the spread of the virus, but we have also developed the necessary strategies to restructure the way we deliver instructional materials to our students. We will proceed as planned and move to remote teaching and learning for the majority of our courses, when classes resume on March 23. The latest directives from the Governor require us to make additional academic changes.
- Certain programs are vital to the state and the current situation, and may be handled with additional parameters (nursing, EMS).
- All other lab-based classes will not meet in person until April 20, at the earliest.
- Faculty may access materials in their office to get necessary items but should plan to work remotely ongoing. Contact your academic director or the vice president of instruction before you come to campus. We will make needed arrangements to clean the areas prior to and after someone one visits campus, but I want to stress this should be on a very limited basis. Everyone should be adhering to the directives from the State.
Academic continuity will proceed as follows for classes that require in-person, hands-on instruction:
Nursing and Allied Health
Nursing and allied health classes (NURS, EMS) will continue in limited capacity under the following operating guidelines;
- Move instruction remote as much as possible;
- Continue lab and clinicals per established medical and CDC established protocols, which includes social distancing and groups of 10 or less.
Career and technical education classes (WELD, AUTO, MTT) and Science Lab Classes (BIO, CHEM, etc.)
- Suspend in-person lab times until at least April 20
- Move instruction remote as much as possible
- Over the next 14 days, faculty and directors should work on plans to meet minimum required hours for each class.
- College classes – follow above protocols for delivery online
- Jump Start – follow school district protocols
- Our prison education coordinator will be working on plans.
Testing Centers (Proctored): All proctored testing will be suspended until April 20 at the earliest; At the point that testing resumes, they will be scheduled by appointment only.
Library Services: All libraries will be closed for at least 30 days; Learning and Innovation staff will distribute information to faculty and students regarding online resources and look at additional options as well as computers for check out if available.
We understand that this transition comes with a lot of unknowns. We will continue to explore all options to extend instruction and support services our students in their classes. We are all very appreciative of your efforts to make all this happen. We will work daily to find solutions that allow us to continue to serve our students, faculty, staff, and community.
I am confident the college will emerge from this situation as a stronger higher education institution serving Nevada.
Thank you for all you do and remember …STAY AT HOME FOR NEVADA.
Dr. Vincent Solis
Western Nevada College