UPDATE ON CCSNH OPERATIONS AND COVID-19 PLANNING
To the CCSNH Community,
As the public health situation continues to evolve and NH enters a period of incremental “re-opening,” we’d like to share an update on what this means for CCSNH, and about the planning that is underway for the summer and fall semesters.
The Governor announced last week that he is implementing a new, modified Stay-at-Home Order that will remain in effect until May 31st. The new order, Stay at Home 2.0, allows some businesses that were previously closed to open under a phased approach. Under Stay at Home 2.0, CCSNH must comply with universal guidance for safe operational practices. The universal guidance is based upon recommendations from the CDC, EEOC and OSHA. For the most part, the guidance is consistent with CCSNH’s temporary employment practices. We will be developing additional protocols as needed to ensure compliance and proper recordkeeping. For now, and at least through May 31, our colleges will continue with our present approach of remote operations with minimal on-site business operations.
We are hard at work planning for summer and fall semesters. Our immediate priority is to develop a framework to bring students and faculty back into labs in the late spring and summer to complete required hands-on coursework. We will do this through appropriate social distancing and in consultation with public health authorities. Summer semester itself is likely to be a mixture of online courses with some in-person labs as needed. We are also planning for Fall, with the understanding that the public health situation will doubtless remain fluid up to and beyond the start of the academic year.
We have a large internal task force that is working on the question of how we will conduct instruction and business operations. The task force will report up to a steering committee, whose responsibility will include establishing system-wide standards and protocols that impact a broad range of stakeholders. Recommendations will come to the presidents and chancellor for final approval. We’ve broken this work down into five principal consideration areas, and we will develop protocols within each for the variety of questions and considerations that fall under these areas:
- Safety and well-being of students, employees and visitors
- Educational delivery and degree completion
- Financial impact
- Business and workforce continuity
- The new higher education paradigm
As we move forward, CCSNH has been asked to coordinate with other higher education sectors and share our work with NH public health authorities.
Thank you for all your good work during these unusual times. CCSNH has done an exceptional job adapting this semester to new conditions, and we are confident we will continue to adapt and fulfill our mission over the upcoming weeks and months and academic year.
Please continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
With our best wishes,
Susan Huard and Ross Gittell
As we have been discussing for several weeks, Commencement will take a different form this year. Following a survey of faculty, staff, and graduating seniors, the planning committee was given a clear direction: Celebrate the graduates in an online format in May and organize a traditional ceremony in the fall. It is with that feedback we are communicating the plan for the immediate future and setting a date to celebrate in a physical manner (with some obvious assumptions built in regarding the current pandemic).
- We will be acknowledging the achievements of our graduates on May 15th with a pre-recorded video being released at 5pm, the original time of the celebration
- Students and faculty will be asked to submit photos and videos with specific instructions coming in a link from Tribute, the video software company assisting with production
- Diplomas and diploma jackets will be mailed to graduates in the weeks immediately following the end of the semester
- Caps and gowns will be mailed to graduates
- A traditional Commencement celebrating the 2020 graduates has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 26th at 3pm on the WMCC campus in Berlin with more details forthcoming. At this time please treat this as a save the date.
I believe I speak for all of us when I say Commencement is one of the most important acts in the life of the college community. The event is an acknowledgment of the various academic achievements and the celebration of the hard work of all members of the community who helped the graduates attain success. It is truly why we do what we do, with a physical representation of our mission on display.
I thank you all for your ideas, feedback, and comments and appreciate your willingness to adjust to the new format during this time. A special thanks goes to the Events Committee for undertaking this planning during an already busy time for each member.
Charles Lloyd, Ed.D.
White Mountains Community College
2020 Riverside Drive, Berlin, NH 03570
MANAGING YOUR MONEY-FREE WEBINAR
Dear WMCC Students,
Below is an opportunity to participate in a free webinar that focuses on managing your money during these difficult times. If you are interested, just click on the date and time links below to register.
Any questions should be directed to Jennifer Schott directly, at email@example.com
Martha P. Laflamme, M.Ed.
Vice President of Student and Community Affairs
White Mountains Community College
2020 Riverside Drive
Berlin, New Hampshire 03570
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> on behalf of Jennifer Schott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2020 10:19 AM
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [HEFWA Listserv] Additional Dates Added: Managing Your Money During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar
This week, AccessLex Institute is offering three more opportunities to attend our free webinar on managing your money during the COVID-19 pandemic. New guidance, clarity, and information continue to emerge at a fast pace. Jump in to join the conversation or pass along to students or staff who may benefit!
Managing Your Money During the COVID-19 Pandemic Webinar
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a harsh reminder of our financial fragility. During times of uncertainty, it becomes especially crucial to focus on what’s within our control. In this free webinar, we will walk you through four steps of navigating this and any financial crisis. Topics include organizing financial accounts and debt, bridging unemployment and income uncertainty, prioritizing outflows, and constructing credible support systems. The CARES Act and what to do with your stimulus check will also be discussed.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Managing Director, AccessLex Center for Education and Financial Capability®
10 North High Street, Suite 400 ▪ West Chester, PA 19380
FREE ONLINE COUNSELING SERVICES
Dear WMCC Student,
Here at White Mountains Community College we realize the importance of school/work/life balance and its critical impact on the productivity and general well-being of each and every one of us. We also understand all the additional stress caused by COVID-19 and its impact on our social lives, jobs, and families.
WMCC is pleased to announce that the Community College System of NH (CCSNH) has partnered with BetterHelp – the world’s largest therapy provider – in extending an additional layer of support to our students, providing access to professional counseling…Anytime, Anywhere.
You should be receiving an email from BetterHelp inviting you to access the service, including a unique link for you to create an account.
Below are some FAQ’s about this new benefit.
What is BetterHelp? BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform worldwide, changing the way people get help with facing life’s challenges by providing convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Who are the counselors? Counselors on BetterHelp are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), or licensed professional counselors (LPC). All of them have a Master’s Degree or a Doctoral Degree in their field. They have been qualified and certified by their state’s professional board after successfully completing the necessary education, exams, training and practice. While their experience, expertise, and background vary, they all possess at least 3 years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience. Click here to learn more about the counselors.
What is the cost?
BetterHelp is paid for by CCSNH and WMCC, so there is no cost to you, and you do not need health insurance to access this benefit.
Will the college know that I am getting counseling? No. WMCC will not know who is receiving counseling and will not have any access to your counseling or other personal data. You can also select an anonymous username and use your personal email when you sign up.
Additional questions? Contact Better Help at: email@example.com
As always, if I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT NOTICE: CHANGE IN COURSE DELIVERY
To WMCC Students,
Although you are on spring break, you most likely are not escaping news surrounding the Coronavirus. We are all finding it difficult to keep up with the latest updates. I am reaching out to you today to assure you that White Mountains Community College has your safety and well-being as our highest priority. We are also committed to act in ways that support the public health concerns of our communities and the state. With this in mind, here are some updates you need to be made aware of:
Our Facilities: Our buildings have been closed to the public, but currently remain open to students, faculty and staff. The library is currently open as well for student use.
Academic Programs: Planning is well underway to move as much of our coursework as possible to online learning, and we will be positioned to make this shift after spring break, beginning on Monday, March 23. This means face-to-face classes will not be meeting on the campuses. There will be some isolated labs still occurring in alternative formats while exercising extreme caution and practicing social distancing. If your academic program is one of those involved, you can expect to hear from your instructor(s) directly. Please do not come to the main campus in Berlin, or either of our academic centers, in Littleton and North Conway, unless you are participating in a lab and your instructor has reached out to you with the specific plan that has been put in place. We anticipate this change to be in effect at least until April 3, with an evaluation and updates being provided at that point.
Technology: In a separate email, we will be reaching out to all students with a survey, to determine if you have the required technology to participate in online learning. We will want to know if you have internet access where you live, and if you have a device (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) that you can use for your coursework going forward. If you do not have the technology, we will work with you on an individual basis to put something in place. Please be watching for the survey. NOTE: if you do have the necessary technology, you do not need to complete the survey.
Personnel: At this point in time, offices at all locations are operating. I would encourage you to contact the individual you are hoping to meet with prior to travelling to one of our locations to ensure that they are in the office. Because public schools are closed across the state, some staff members are working remotely so that they can be home with their children. You can call specific offices, or contact our Welcome Center at 603-342-3050 for assistance. You can also email staff directly. To find emails and direct phone lines to college personnel, please visit the WMCC directory on our website: https://www.wmcc.edu/directory/ We will continue to provide student services (counseling, tutoring, accessibility services) as you are accustomed to. Should there be a need to take those services online, we will let you know.
What I have outlined above is where things stand at the moment. As you know, everything is changing quickly and we may need to put more drastic measures into place. In this rapidly changing situation, we will do our best to keep the lines of communication open so you are informed of developments and expectations.
Any major announcements will be sent via our RAVE alert system. You may also check our college website at https://www.wmcc.edu for updates.
I know these are challenging times, but the WMCC administration, faculty and staff are committed to you and to providing educational services.
Please take care of yourselves and your family members as we work through these less than ideal times.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly. My email and direct phone number are listed below. Do not respond to this email as it will not make it to my inbox.
MESSAGE TO COLLEGE COMMUNITY REGARDING TRAVEL AND POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
White Mountains Community College continues to monitor developments pertaining to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) and is requesting that students, faculty and staff who have travelled to countries identified by the CDC as “Level 3 Warning” (currently China, South Korea, Italy and Iran) self-report and not return to any of the WMCC campuses for 14 days even if you are symptom-free. We request that you self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor yourM health. (Please note that countries listed as Level 3 may change. We recommend that you check the CDC website every day for the latest updates if traveling abroad.)
If you develop symptoms — such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath — within 14 days of your return from traveling to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak or have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, please call your health care provider in advance. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.
Students who are returning from traveling abroad to a country designated by the CDC with a Level 3 Warning or who suspect they may have been exposed to Coronavirus must notify Martha Laflamme, Vice President of Student Affairs, via email or phone at email@example.com or 603-342-3005. Ms. Laflamme will then notify your instructors that you will not be returning to class for 14 days. We are encouraging instructors to work with students who are absent because of illness by offering online options, makeup exams, alternate assignments or alternate weighting of missed work.
Employees who are returning from traveling abroad to a country designated by the CDC with a Level 3 Warning or who suspect they may have been exposed to Coronavirus must notify Human Resources Officer, Gretchen Taillon via email or phone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-342-3003. For those who self-quarantine, if feasible, arrangements will made for the employee to work from home. If working from home is not feasible, the employee will be placed on paid administrative leave. An appropriate return to work date will be determined based upon travel history and/or symptoms which may arise during the quarantine period.
Planned Travel During Spring Semester:
Effective immediately through the remainder of the spring semester (May 15, 2020), employees who plan to travel abroad must report all planned travel to Human Resources Officer, Gretchen Taillon prior to leaving, and students who plan to travel abroad must report planned travel abroad to the Vice President of Student Affairs, Martha Laflamme prior to leaving.
Students, faculty and staff considering personal travel abroad at any time should please carefully consider the fact that many countries are implementing travel restrictions and these restrictions may cause delays, mandatory quarantines, or being denied entry to a country. Please report such travel as stipulated above. For guidance on travel restrictions that countries have implemented please refer to the CDC website.
Individuals who are traveling should, in addition to taking recommended measures to prevent illness, take basic precautions to prepare for potential travel disruptions:
- Keep cell phones fully charged and operational, and check their email at least daily.
- Travel with all key documents, including their passport, visa if applicable, and insurance documents.
- Travel with a full supply of any prescribed medications, regardless of how long they plan to be away. Prescription medications need to be in their original containers.
Please keep in mind this continues to be a fluid situation, and college guidelines may continue to evolve. We will provide further updates to our college communities as they are available.
For up-to-date information about the Coronavirus from the CDC and NH DHHS, visit these websites:
U.S. CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
NH DPHS website: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm