K-12 schools in North Carolina are currently shut down due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but they are not the only educational institutions that are being rocked by the virus. Community colleges are taking many steps to comply with social distancing guidelines while still creating a path for students to obtain their credit hours for the semester. Carolina Journal’s Julie Havlak reports:
Community college classes are canceled or moving online through the end of the month as COVID-19 spreads in North Carolina.
N.C. Community College System president Peter Hans has advised colleges to make plans to keep classes online for at least eight weeks, or until the end of the semester. Colleges say they might extend the spring term into the summer, giving students a chance to complete labs and workforce training that can’t be done online.
Wake Technical Community College’s president, Scott Ralls, explains how they are handling things this semester:
Ralls expects students to finish the courses the college can move online. But certification courses and workforce training will prove complicated. Classes like nursing and welding require hands-on experience, and Ralls says the college might extend the semester to give students a chance to complete these courses.
Randolph County College is making special adaptions for nursing programs. Havlak reports:
Randolph Community College is working to move coursework online for student nurses. Most curriculum already uses “hybrid programs” with significant online learning, says Dr. Elizabeth Snow, Randolph Community College nursing instructor.