As colleges across the country work to determine how the fall semester will look, plans have taken many shapes.
The administration at Piedmont Technical College (PTC) wants the community to know that PTC is the place to be for students interested in getting an effective, quality education, while ensuring they are as safe as they can be. Fall classes at PTC will begin on August 17.
“We have been working diligently to make sure we can provide maximum flexibility for students this fall,” said Ray Brooks, president of PTC. “We have developed strategies to ensure that we’re going to be able to conduct labs and face-to-face instruction safely. In the lead-up to our fall semester, we’re also conducting a thorough review of our online courses so that students can be confident they will get the best, most-effective instruction they can receive anywhere.”
In short, PTC is doing everything possible to ensure that students receive a high-quality education this fall and that students have a variety of choices to ensure their needs are met.
As such, we will be providing a mix of course options for the fall semester.
The college will offer an expanded selection of online courses; courses that are a mix of online and face-to-face — commonly referred to as "hybrid" — courses; and a selection of face-to-face coursework that can be delivered while ensuring social-distancing protocols are followed and appropriate safety measures are in place. Courses with a lab, shop or clinical component will meet in person in small numbers as directed by faculty.
Flexibility has always been one of Piedmont Technical College’s strengths. For more than 50 years, students have looked to PTC because they know that innovation and the ability to serve a population with varying needs is at the heart of the college’s mission.
"The safety of our students, our faculty and staff, and the communities we serve is our top priority at Piedmont Technical College," Brooks said. "The college has been working to ensure that we can deliver our coursework effectively, that we can implement safety measures according to CDC recommendations, and, at this point, we have detailed plans for all segments of the institution."
Brooks said that work is underway to implement a variety of safety protocols across campus and employees are preparing to return to campus after working remotely for the last few weeks. Planning is well under way to implement these protocols in classrooms and labs across all PTC locations, with the understanding that the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus this fall are still unknown.
“Right now, it appears that the country will still be in a containment mode to some degree, and that means that promising a return to 'normal,' with packed classrooms and a bustling campus life, is simply not safe or responsible at this time," Brooks said. "While we are all craving a sense of normalcy after the last few weeks, we at PTC feel it's important to be up front and to do the right thing for our students to ensure they are safe and can move forward with their education. Classes will be held, but they will necessarily look different."
But Brooks wanted to be clear: “Different, for PTC, is part of what we do. Determining the best instructional approaches for students while ensuring flexibility is in our DNA, so we are building on our strengths as we plan for this fall.”
PTC continues to closely monitor public health recommendations as fall approaches. If circumstances allow for a full reopening, PTC will adjust its schedules accordingly.
“What I most want to say to our prospective students is this,” Brooks said. “Don’t put your future on hold. We’re going to be ready for you this fall, and we want you to be ready to move forward with your college career.”