Student Guidance COVID-19

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Over the next few months, as events unfold, our goal is to keep you informed.  With each day, we learn more about COVID-19, its ability to spread, and severity of symptoms in a variety of individuals.  State Tech is confident it can resume near normal operations this summer and fall but is prepared to continue operations in a variety of conditions.

The guidelines below represent our plan, as of today, to provide a safe learning environment for our students both now and into the fall.  These guidelines could change as local, state, and national COVID-19 guidelines evolve.

 

With many colleges across the state looking into more online courses this fall, the State Technical College of Missouri is taking steps to assure that students will complete the fall of 2020 semester on campus.

State Tech will build three “flex weeks” into the fall schedule. If none of the flex weeks are used most programs will end the regular semester the day before Thanksgiving on Nov. 25th.

“While we don’t expect to have to close campus as a result of Covid-19 this flexible schedule will allow us to close a program or the campus for a short period of time without losing valuable hands-on education,” said President Shawn Strong.

The plan, still being developed, means State Tech will look at a variety of strategies to ensure that the hands-on class time students receive will NOT be reduced.  Strategies could include eliminating non-instructional days, extending class periods, or additional evening or Saturday labs. Most State Tech programs use a cohort model, meaning students in a particular program take all of the same classes together.  This cohort model makes social distancing, contact tracing, and even cleaning fairly straight forward compared to other colleges.

Due to COVID-19, State Tech moved to remote learning to finish out the spring semester. Remote or online education isn’t an ideal alternative for the first class hands-on education students get at State Tech.

“On May 30th, we were able to have one of the first in-person graduations in the country. The same characteristics that allowed us to have an in-person graduation are the same reasons we will be on-campus this fall. Our location, size, and delivery methods help ensure we can provide a safe environment for our students,” said President Strong.

State Tech is currently in the middle of their summer semester with the fall semester scheduled to begin the week of August 24th, 2020.

Until Further Notice State Tech Will:

  1. Disinfect equipment before and after each student’s use.
  2. Sanitize facilities nightly and high touch areas regularly throughout the day.
  3. Make available reusable face covers for students.
  4. Enforce state and local health policies for student well-being.
  5. Continue to offer classes as close to “normal” as humanly possible with a priority on safety.

Until Further Notice State Tech Students Will:

  1. Agree to wear masks if required by individual instructors.
  2. Agree, should it be determined necessary, to COVID-19 screenings as they enter or leave campus. For example, completing a questionnaire or having temperatures taken.
  3. Agree to regularly wash or sanitize hands.
  4. Agree, to the best of their ability, to follow any social distancing guidelines.
  5. Agree to self-quarantine if COVID-19 exposure is determined or is likely.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever - 100.4 degrees and higher
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

(This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.)

Returning to Classes

The following outlines a progression of scenarios State Tech could pursue should it be determined necessary to assure the well-being of both students and employees.

(Scenario 1) The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is minimal, and large group congregation without social distancing is acceptable.

  1. The campus will return to normal operations.

(Scenario 2) The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is minimal, but large group congregations are not recommended.

  1. Classes return to normal operations.
  2. Large group events will be limited to the number of students recommended by state guidelines.
  3. Instructors may require students to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in specific classes.
  4. Students are encouraged to practice social distancing or use face coverings while on campus.

(Scenario 3) The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is still minimal, but social distancing and face covering rules apply.

  1. Furniture will be arranged in common areas to help ensure social distancing rules are followed.
  2. Students are required to practice social distancing or use face coverings at all times while on campus.
  3. Activity Center will be open regular hours but will require social distancing (no team activities).

(Scenario 4) The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is likely, and strict social distancing and face covering guidelines necessitate that a progressive approach is required to keep campus open. That would mean scenario 3 plus:

  1. The Activity Center will be closed.
  2. Students will be asked to travel only to their home building while on campus.
  3. Cafeteria will be carry-out only. Many campus offices will be open only virtually.
  4. General education and non-hands-on classes may be taught online, hybrid, or at student’s home building. Students will be responsible for technology resources needed for remote learning. ,
  5. Lab sections may be split to maximize social distancing.
  6. Students will be asked to limit non-essential travel.

(Scenario 5) COVID-19 has been detected on campus.

  1. Contact tracing will determine how much of Scenarios 3 and 4 are implemented.
  2. Individual programs may be suspended or taught remotely for up to two weeks.
  3. In the case of evidence of community spread, campus may be closed or moved to remote teaching for up to two weeks.

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus while complying with relevant guidelines.