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DC3 Enters Phase 2 of Reopening

Published June 3, 2020

Dodge City Community College (DC3) announced Monday, June 1 that it is now entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan.

“Several areas of campus are now transitioning back to regular office hours,” Kristi Ohlschwager, DC3 Director of Human Resources, said. “Some of the areas currently returning to campus office hours, include fall coaches in athletics, and staff working in various offices in the Student Union. Business services and Student Affairs staff also are starting to increase their hours on campus,” she said.

Ohlschwager said the college strongly recommends that employees wear masks and maintain six-foot social distancing. And telework is still strongly encouraged, when possible, for employees who are not yet considered essential.

“If any employee, at any time, exhibits symptoms, he or she is required to stay home,” she said.

As part of the reopening strategy, all travel on behalf of DC3 is still prohibited, with the exception of coaches. All college events, including sports, are still cancelled until further notice, she said.

“However, the DC3 Testing Center will reopen, providing all appropriate preventative measures have been taken as outlined by the testing officials,” Ohlschwager said. “With the exception of the Testing Center, the rest of the DC3 campus, including our athletic facilities, will remain closed to the public.”

Ohlschwager said DC3 recommends the following precautions for employees returning to campus: they should take their temperature before arriving at work, and they should wear masks (and gloves or other protective equipment, if necessary).

“Employees are free to use their own masks or other protective equipment,” she said. “DC3 has ordered several products, but many of them have not been delivered yet.”

Additional preventative measures also have been taken around campus, Ohlschwager said.

“Maintenance staff have installed Plexiglass dividers in high-traffic areas, such as the Business Office, Testing Center, Student Affairs and the library. They are also working to install stand-alone hand-sanitizer stations,” she said.

To ensure safety in the classrooms, Ohlschwager said the plan for summer classes is to teach Session One remotely. And then, if feasible, return to face-to-face offerings in Session Two.

“Classrooms and labs also will be provided with disinfectant and wipes to maintain hygiene of furniture and instructional technologies,” she said. “Faculty should be attentive to social distancing in classrooms and should request arrangement of student seating accordingly. They also should encourage their students to wear masks.”

“Many of these new COVID-19 safety measures were funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,” Dr. Glendon Forgey, DC3 Vice President for Administration and Finance, said. “The college received an original award of $949,264. Of that amount, $474,632 is required to be disbursed to students to supplement their financial aid. The remaining half of the original award, $474,632, is being used by the college for COVID-19 related expenses or losses.”

In addition to covering the cost of the Plexiglass sneeze guards and sanitizing stations, DC3 also has used CARES Act funds to purchase laptops; masks; non-contact thermometers; hand wipes; fogging materials to sterilize and to clean vehicles and rooms; specialized cleaning; and technological equipment and software to assist in distance learning, Forgey said.

Through the financial relief portion of the CARES ACT funds, DC3 has received reimbursement for room and board refunds and reimbursement for tuition and fee refunds. And the college also has been able to offer additional student financial aid awards, Forgey said.

Ohlschwager said under DC3’s current plan, the campus will reopen to the public in Phase 3, which will begin on June 15.

“Even though our campus is currently closed, our offices remain open,” she said. “Our staff and faculty are available and eager to help any prospective students get enrolled. Please contact admissions at (620) 225-1321 or #WeAreDC3 #ThisIsHowWeConquer

By Lance Ziesch