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TCC continues to support students through the COVID-19 pandemic.See the latest

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Statement from Dr. Conston


Previous Communications

APRIL 1, 2020

To Our TCC Family,

First, I want you to know that your health and safety, and the health and well-being of our students, remain paramount. Also, thank you for your hard work and dedication during this difficult time in our history.  This is truly unprecedented.

I could not be more proud to work with a faculty who responded to remote teaching, quickly reconfiguring courses while mastering innovation and new instructional technology.

Staff are working remotely to support students efficiently to ensure that registration and other services remain operational and accessible.

As I have shared previously, remote learning will continue through the end of the Spring Semester; we are discussing and will continue to assess summer course offerings.

Per the Governor’s executive order on Monday, telework will continue until June 10, unless we are otherwise notified. You are encouraged to follow important updates on the TCC website.

While the physical campuses are closed to students and the general public, the College remains open.  However, the number of people attempting to visit the campuses must be reduced.   We are maintaining a stringent on-campus presence, which consists of essential personnel only.

The scope and scale of this pandemic are almost inconceivable. I am confident that we will meet this challenge together as a family.

To each of you, thanks for your good work, caring, innovation, understanding, and patience.

Please stay home; stay safe; and stay encouraged.

Best regards,

Dr. Marcia Conston
President

MARCH 23, 2020

TCC Community:

As we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19, I assure you that your health and safety remain a top priority. This public health emergency is growing rapidly in scope and impact, with hundreds of new cases being diagnosed daily. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and concern, the President’s Cabinet this morning made the following decisions:

Remote learning will continue through the end of the semester.  Our faculty members, with the support of Distance Learning and OIS staff, have worked tirelessly to prepare their courses for remote delivery, which started this morning. We are committed to helping our students successfully complete their programs and courses. Some of our students have expressed trepidation about remote learning. I know all of our faculty members are interested first and foremost in their students’ success and will help them get through this.

The College remains open. However, we will implement telework for all staff as of close of business today through April 4. No students or members of the public will be permitted in our buildings. I have directed each member of the President’s Cabinet to evaluate their operations and determine how essential functions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, admissions, advising, financial aid, tutoring, technical support, and web operations, will be carried out via telework. You should hear from your immediate supervisor regarding your work schedule and services to our students. Our goal is to maintain productivity.

As required by the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM), any staff member designated for telework, including wage employees, must have a signed telework agreement on file in Human Resources. The agreement is found on the Human Resources page of Inside TCC. Supervisors should send signed agreements to Clayton Ives. Questions about telework should be directed to Beth or Jill Adams.

Some essential functions, such as housekeeping, facilities management and network operations,cannot be performed remotely. These employees will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for hygiene and social distancing. Supervisors will be in communication with them.

All staff will be expected to report to work as usual on Monday, April 6, unless notified otherwise. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we ask you to frequently check your college email and the coronavirus web page for updated FAQs and instructions.

I have every confidence in you and in this institution that we will continue to meet new challenges as they arise. Please stay safe.

March 20, 2020

Dear TCC Faculty and Staff,

I write today to thank you. Your diligence and hard work are inspiring, and, though we are in difficult times now, I anticipate a bright and promising future for TCC. 

Because of your efforts, we have kept TCC open and operating. While everyone deserves recognition for their hard work during the past two weeks, I offer particular thanks to a few of our colleagues.

Faculty have worked tirelessly and collaboratively to prepare their courses for remote delivery starting Monday. Please accept my sincere thanks for all you are doing to support our students. A special recognition is extended to John Morea, associate vice president for Distance Learning, and his staff, who are helping faculty and students prepare and adapt to remote instruction.

Information Technology Professor Gary Noah and the Computers for Student Success program are bridging the digital divide by ensuring more students have computers. Gary and his team of students and staff are making computers available during this critical time, which will be delivered to each campus for distribution.

The Student Services staffs continue to be phenomenal. A few current and prospective students still are visiting our campuses for personal assistance, and I anticipate an increase in online requests for help. Your patience and dedication are appreciated as we continue through this uncharted territory.

I have heard from many of you about teleworking. The updated policy and procedures are posted on the HR Inside TCC site. Please review and speak with your supervisor regarding telework eligibility, and feel free to consult Beth Lunde for additional guidance on individual situations.

Finally, I acknowledge the housekeeping staff, which is working extra hard to keep our buildings clean, paying particular attention to touchpoints and public spaces. The staff worked tirelessly throughout last weekend. Be sure to thank them.

All VCCS spring commencements have been canceled. Our Commencement Committee will present recommendations for an alternative celebration, which we will communicate to you promptly.

As issues surrounding COVID-19 continue to change, we will keep you informed. Have a safe weekend.

March 17, 2020

Dear TCC Faculty, Staff and Students,

I write to share the news that Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, has decided that all 23 schools will cancel their May 2020 commencements because of the pandemic.

The CDC is now recommending that gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled for the next 8 weeks. His decision is in line with that guidance, as well as that of Governor Ralph Northam.

You can read his entire statement here.

TCC’s Commencement Committee will be working to provide alternate opportunities for us to honor our graduates and celebrate their achievements.

March 16, 2020

Dear TCC Faculty and Staff:

I write to provide you the latest updates on TCC operations as they are impacted by COVID-19.

I have decided to extend the class cancellation through this week. This will provide additional time for faculty to continue preparing their courses for remote delivery. Classes will resume Monday, March 23, using a variety of remote delivery methods. Thanks to everyone for your diligence during this critical time, and my sincere thanks to all in the Academics division who are implementing creative remote learning approaches to make classes available to our students.

As a result of this change, remote instruction will now continue through Saturday, April 4. A decision will be made by Wednesday, April 1, whether to switch back to face-to-face or continue with remote instruction.

With this schedule, the start of second 8-week classes will be delayed one week. Any changes in the academic calendar to accommodate this delay will be promptly communicated.

All TCC campuses and locations remain open. Faculty and staff are expected to report for work. Until we are directed otherwise, we are here to serve our students.

We will continue to adapt to this fluid situation as conditions change. President’s Cabinet will examine their divisions and determine how to maintain college operations in the event we are ordered to close.

Many questions are being raised about teleworking in order to promote social distancing. This morning, PC approved an updated telework and alternate schedule policy. You will hear more about telework procedures in the coming days.

Please continue to use the dedicated COVID-19 page on TCC.edu, which has been expanded to include employee-specific information and FAQs. It will be updated daily. There is also a form for submitting questions.

This situation continues to evolve moment by moment. As I receive additional information or guidance from VCCS, it will be promptly communicated college-wide.

As I mentioned earlier, I assure you that I am taking your comments and concerns seriously and I will continue to keep you informed.

March 13, 2020

Dear TCC Faculty and Staff:

As concerns regarding COVID-19 continue to unfold and activities in our community are changing, I want to inform you of TCC’s current status regarding class cancellations. Governor Ralph Northam on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Virginia and today announced the closure of K-12 schools for two weeks. Because the situation is so fluid, decisions we make today may need to be revisited tomorrow.

This is a stressful time for everyone. Our faculty and staff are our strength. I appreciate the resilience you have demonstrated during this critical time.

Below is a reiteration of the message I sent to you on Wednesday, March 11, as well as the latest updates from the President’s Cabinet. You can expect to see additional communications from the provosts about campus operations and from Dr. Corey McCray regarding classes.

  • All TCC campuses and locations are open. Faculty and staff are expected to report for work, unless otherwise notified. Until we are directed otherwise, we are here to serve our students.
  • In the interest of promoting social distancing, students are asked to not return to campus after Spring Break. They are encouraged to use online and virtual resources so that we may limit the number of people on our campuses. However, if students come on campus seeking assistance, they should be served.
  • TCC classes are still canceled Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, including online classes. We will monitor the progress of our remote delivery and adjust as needed while ensuring compliance with any federal, state and accreditation regulations.
  • March 16 and 17 will be used to provide opportunities for academic leadership and faculty to prepare TCC classes for remote delivery. Our faculty and deans are making great progress in preparing as many classes as possible for remote delivery.
  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18, TCC classes will resume using remote instructional methods. Remote delivery will continue at least through Wednesday, April 1. 
  • I have assurances from the Facilities staff that offices and common areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected over the weekend. If you see something that needs attention, email Matt Baumgarten and Tim Fobbs.

We must all continue to follow good health practices, such as washing our hands. Social distancing has emerged as a recommended strategy for slowing the spread of COVID-19. I urge you to do your best to avoid large groups and stay at least six feet away from others.

Continue to send me your questions and concerns. I assure you that I take them into consideration as we travel through this uncharted territory.

March 11, 2020

Dear TCC Faculty and Staff:

I promised on Tuesday that I would keep you informed regarding TCC’s response to COVID-19. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been consistent in recommending “social distancing” as a strategy to help stem the spread of coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for our TCC family, we are taking the following steps:

  • Students are asked not to return to campus following Spring Break.
  • Classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17.
  • TCC, its campuses, and all locations will remain open on both days. Faculty and staff are expected to report to work as scheduled unless otherwise instructed.
  • March 16 and 17 will be used to provide opportunities for academic leadership and faculty to prepare TCC classes for remote delivery.
  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18, TCC classes will resume using remote delivery. They will remain in remote delivery at least through Wednesday, April 1.
  • Students will be advised by their faculty about the specific remote delivery method for their courses. This information will be sent to students via their TCC email. Students are expected to check their college email accounts regularly, and the College will communicate with students using multiple channels, including the website and social media.
  • Students seeking services (such as advising or library) should use online options or call 757-822-1122 for assistance through April 1.
  • If there is a decision to continue with remote learning beyond April 1, TCC will advise faculty, staff and students by March 27.
  • Campus gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people. Our community partners will be notified that their events will be suspended.

The College’s goal is to maintain continuity in instruction for students while doing our best to limit the spread of COVID-19. By limiting the number of people on our campuses, we provide an opportunity for students and employees to practice social distancing, ideally staying 6 feet away from others, according to experts.

Our dedicated webpage will be updated with new FAQs as information becomes available. We also continue to focus on enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities.

The extent of this outbreak is unprecedented in our time. As conditions change, decisions often have to change as well. We will continue to take actions in accordance with federal and state health guidelines and VCCS and TCC policies.

This is a stressful time for all of us. We are suddenly aware of how close we are standing to colleagues and how many times a day we touch our faces. CDC is advising, “Stay calm, be careful and wash your hands!” Thank you for your comments and notes of advice, and please know that we share your concerns. I assure you that I am taking your comments and concerns seriously, and I will continue to keep you informed.

March 10, 2020

Dear TCC Family –

I write to assure you that the President’s Cabinet (PC) continues to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19. We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to ensure that we take expedient and appropriate actions as necessary.

In preparation for any potential interruptions in College operations, PC reviewed policies and procedures relative to academic and employee responses, along with our communication plan. Additionally, the College’s Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan is being updated. At this time, there has been no change in any TCC operational, academic or extracurricular schedules.

The College’s academic and student services leadership is meeting to develop a contingency plan in compliance with appropriate policies, and to address any issues not covered by current policies. The U.S. Department of Education and SACSCOC have provided colleges with additional latitude in moving classes online. We recognize that there are instances in which online learning is not appropriate, i.e. clinicals and hands-on class activities. The College’s academic leadership will work to identify alternate processes to teach outside a face-to-face environment. Please note that any changes to our academic processes will be communicated promptly through appropriate channels.

As the coronavirus landscape evolves, our dedicated webpage will be continuously updated. If our operating schedule is disrupted, emergency communication protocols will be activated, including TCC Alerts, Informacast, TCC.edu, and social media.

As you are aware, international, national, and local decisions regarding the virus are constantly changing. I assure you that we will continue to keep you informed as we learn more. In the meanwhile, follow these best practices to help keep virus from spreading.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is our topmost priority. In preparation for students returning from Spring Break, I will send a correspondence toward the end of the week reminding them to maintain healthy practices, along with any additional information they may need.

March 3, 2020

Dear TCC Family —

I write to assure you that the President’s Cabinet and the Office of Safety and Security are monitoring the coronavirus situation closely and following guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health.

As of now, there have been no confirmed cases in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There are no restrictions on academic, operational or extracurricular activities at TCC at this time. You are encouraged to continue safety practices as recommended by public health professionals:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue
  • Wash hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth
  • Avoid close contact (touching or shaking hands) with people who are sick

TCC has established a webpage to provide current COVID-19 information as it affects our community. Extra steps will be taken to increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas at all campuses.

For more CDC information about the coronavirus, click here. The Virginia Department of Health also has a dedicated coronavirus webpage. Furthermore, if you have questions, you can find contact information for your local Health Department here.

The College stands ready to respond to any changes regarding the coronavirus, and we will communicate accordingly. Please take care of yourselves and help protect the health of our TCC Community.