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Since fall classes began on Aug. 12, faculty members at Dodge City Community College (DC3) have worked diligently to transition their face-to-face classes to a hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) course delivery method to help accommodate students and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Many schools around the country have modified their instructional methods, remodeled their classrooms, and have even transitioned to a completely online course delivery in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” Kristi Ohlschwager, DC3 Assistant Vice President of Administration and Human Resources, said.
“Here at DC3, we are providing a HyFlex class delivery model that allows the students to continue participating in a class via the method that best fits their situation, which can fluctuate and change throughout the semester,” she said. “HyFlex instruction also provides a synchronous delivery that incorporates both remote learning and in-person learning—with appropriate social distancing in the classrooms.”
In order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the DC3 campus, all employees, staff, and community members now have increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE)—in the form of facial masks, gloves and noncontact thermometers, Ohlschwager said.
In addition, rooms and offices also have been accommodated with Plexiglas dividers for added safety. And all students are expected to wear masks in the classrooms and in common areas such as the library or cafeteria, she said. Any students who do not wish to wear masks will be accommodated either by remote learning or adjusted class periods.
“All students and employees are encouraged to self-screen for symptoms daily before arriving on campus and to stay home if they are feeling sick,” she said. “And noncontact thermometers have been provided campus-wide for individuals to screen as needed.”
If students begin to show symptoms at any point, or if they are exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, they can request transportation to the Western State Bank Expo Center for testing, she said. There, they will receive a standard test—or rapid test—pending Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
“While awaiting test results, these students should then self-isolate and continue their coursework remotely until they are cleared otherwise,” Ohlschwager said.
DC3 provides on-campus housing for up to 370 students in its residence halls and is currently housing 282 students. And for the students who live on campus, the college has implemented a number of additional protocols to help keep them safe.
Dr. Jay Kinzer, DC3 Vice President of Student Affairs and Risk Management, said, “DC3 Residence Life staff members have done an outstanding job working with students and others to ensure that all are safe and the spread of COVID-19 is minimized.”
Since the students living in the residence halls moved in on Aug. 10, DC3 has seen less than a 5% increase in positive cases, Ohlschwager said. While this increase is to be expected with students returning to campus, the college is taking immediate action to prevent the further spread of the virus.
“The college has responded promptly to these positive cases, and our students are doing well in isolation—both with minimal symptoms and by maintaining their coursework online,” she said. “However, in response to this slight increase, DC3 has suspended athletic and club activities until further notice.”
In addition, she said the college has migrated to only “grab-and-go” meals in the cafeteria, which means students receive a boxed meal that they can take back to their residence halls to eat.
“Resident hall students self-screen daily using an app on their mobile device to report their current health status, which is checked by our athletic training team to help proactively identify potential signs of COVID-19,” Ohlschwager said. “Students exhibiting symptoms are accommodated immediately to self-isolate for an incubation period before receiving testing.”
Regarding COVID-19 testing, Ohlschwager said DC3 recently collaborated with other Kansas community colleges to purchase MAWD Pathology Group’s sputum saliva test, which allows for rapid testing of students and for a faster confirmation of positive results, she said.
“We are committed to the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Ohlschwager said. “And this commitment started back in March when the college created a COVID-19 response committee.”
The DC3 COVID-19 response committee meets weekly—and it consists of members from across campus ranging from faculty, administration, counselors, health professionals, and even members of the DC3 Board of Trustees, she said.
“The COVID-19 response committee makes cohesive decisions that allow the DC3 campus to continue to provide a quality education while providing a safe and sanitized learning environment,” she said. “The committee’s COVID-19 plan is posted on our website at dc3.edu. Of course, this plan is subject to change at any time due to recommendations from appropriate authorities including the local and state government, the CDC, and the KDHE [Kansas Department of Health and Environment].”
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the DC3 response committee responds immediately in order to support our team members and students, she said.
“We follow the committee’s established protocols that have been created proactively to protect our students, staff, and faculty. These procedures include disinfecting any associated areas, updating the student’s learning methodologies, reporting necessary information to the Ford County Public Health Department, and to aid the students or staff in immediate contact who may now need to self-isolate,” she said.
Regarding self-isolation, all DC3 polices also are compliant with the guidelines outlined by Ford County, KDHE, and the CDC, Ohlschwager said.
“The college is in constant communication with the Ford County Health Administrator, along with other county officials, to provide updates and to keep them apprised of the DC3 campus,” she said. “We would like to thank them and also thank all of the testing sites across Dodge City for the amazing job that they are doing to serve our community. With their cooperation, we are helping to keep our community members safe and are also minimizing the spread of COVID-19.”
On Wednesday, April 15, Gov. Laura Kelly extended the stay-at-home order for the State of Kansas to May 3 at midnight. The previous order was expected to expire on Sunday, April 19, but new data has showed that the growing number of coronavirus cases in the state is not expected to peak until between April 19 and April 30. Questions or requests for additional information may be emailed to COVID@dc3.edu.
Due to an extensive shutdown of available testing for current and future students related to the Kansas “Stay-at-Home” executive order—and because of the closure of national certification companies nationwide—Dodge City Community College (DC3) has suspended all testing requirements for enrollment and placement until further notice.
“We know these are unprecedented situations for students who are planning to enroll in classes either this summer or next fall, and we do not want students to face any hurdles in continuing their educational plans because they are unable to test at this time,” Beverly Temaat, Vice President of Student Affairs & Risk Management, said.
Although the campus is currently closed due to the COVID-19 situation, students are encouraged to enroll immediately by phone or email to ensure they are able to take the classes that work best with their schedules.
For enrollment assistance, students may contact Jorge Estrella at email@example.com or (620) 430-3298; Melanie Chaussee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 227-9262; or Josue Gomez at email@example.com or (620) 227-9264. Students needing to enroll in workforce programs should contact Sara Wasko at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 227-9399.
“We encourage our students to continue working online with their classes,” Temaat said. “We want them to stay home, stay safe and take the important step of getting enrolled for the next semester now. We look forward to resuming with normal operations when it is safe to do so again.”
When the DC3 testing center re-opens, students will be notified and the college will resume offering testing for students and other professional certifications in the area, such as PRAXIS teacher certification. Anyone with questions regarding testing or other areas should email email@example.com.
#ConqsCare #WeAreDC3 #ThisIsHowWeConquer
In accordance with Governor Laura Kelly’s Executive Order No. 20-16 directing a Kansas Statewide “Stay Home” order, effective Monday, March 30th at 12:01 AM the Dodge City Community College campus is closed and most students and employees should “Stay Home” and work with classes online or work remotely. Only employees that provide certain defined “essential services” should continue to operate on campus. Essential services such as food service for students remaining in the residence halls, residence life staff, security protection for the campus, childcare center staff, personnel to operate “Core Information Technology Networks”, campus public information personnel, certain campus maintenance, and others designated by the President, will continue to operate on campus when needed on a limited basis. The Governor’s “Stay Home” order is in place until April 19th, 2020 and will remain in place unless rescinded earlier. All Students should check their email, student social media, and the college website frequently. All employees should check email for further information and monitor frequently for information from the administrative team and other supervisors. Dodge City Community College will comply with the statewide directive in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, employees and community members. Essential personnel will receive further communication. Others should stay away from the campus and should contact their supervisor if they need anything from their office. Questions or requests for additional information may be emailed to COVID@dc3.edu.
DC3 President, Dr. Harold Nolte, addresses faculty, staff and students about current COVID-19 protocals on Wednesday, March 25th
DC3 Athletic Director, Jake Ripple, addresses Conq athletes in regards to the COVID-19 situation and how they can finish the semester strong.
Under the measured and cautious guidance of the Dodge City Community College COVID-19 Preparedness Team and the college administrative team, the college announces the following operational and instructional modifications to normal operations and academic calendars. Special thanks to students, employees, community members and parents who have patiently waited for this information while our campus has been on Spring Break this week, March 16-20, 2020. The college announces the following:
Spring Break for students will be extended two days, including Monday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
All faculty and other employees are expected to return to work on Monday, March 23rd, 2020 unless prior communication/arrangements have been made with a respective Vice President or direct supervisor. Employees should be alert for additional communication from the Human Resources Office (HR) and/or supervisors. Please frequently check college email.
Academic instruction will be transitioning to online delivery, Technical Education will modify delivery and course scheduling.
The college has closed the Wellness Center, the Gibson’s Walking Track and all Weight Rooms based on guidance from health officials.
All official college travel has been suspended. Personal travel by employees is discouraged.
Employees who recently traveled out of state, went on a cruise, or traveled internationally should contact the HR office prior to returning to campus.
Students returning to the Residence Halls should call the on-call phone at 620.255.2872 or Margarita Morales, Director at 620.682.0863 in order to communicate expected time of arrival. Students will need to be screened according to guidance provided by health officials PRIOR to re-entering the halls after returning from Spring Break. Students will be permitted to check out of the halls to return home if they clear the screening protocol. International students or other students with extenuating needs (with prior approval from the VP of Student Affairs) that are unable to return home will be permitted to remain living in the Residence Halls at regular room and board rates. Food services will continue under altered schedules for Residence Hall students. Students should frequently review dc3 student social media accounts for updated and current information.
In accordance with NJCAA decisions, all Conquistador spring athletic competitions are cancelled. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, and postseason, and national championship play. For additional information review www.goconqs.com
Operational schedules for the Adult Learning Center, the Testing Center and other college operations will be announced on Monday, March 23rd, 2020.
Fulltime faculty are expected to report back to campus on Monday, March 23, 2020 for training and transitioning courses to alternative delivery. Instructional Vice Presidents will communicate details to faculty over the remainder of spring break.
Faculty will contact students by Wednesday, March 25, 2020 with information regarding course delivery and scheduling.
All courses that are already delivered online will continue without interruption.
All events, including from third party organizations, currently scheduled on campus are under review and decisions regarding cancellations will be forthcoming.
The entire campus community is expected to continue to follow recommendations regarding cleaning and sanitizing protocols, social distancing and frequent hand washing. The college is following guidance from two main sites:
Students, parents, and community members may email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Frequent updates will be placed on the www.dc3.edu website (note the COVID banner at the top of the front page).
Released by President Harold Nolte on 3/18/2020.
Late afternoon on Friday 3/13/2020, President Nolte met with the Vice Presidents and set a decision timeline for the next few days. Decisions regarding campus operations and instructional delivery in the midst of the evolving COVID-19 concerns were determined. College officials will continue to monitor local, state and national conditions by communicating with Ford County Health and other medical professionals every twelve hours or immediately if conditions change.
The Dodge City Community College campus-wide COVID-19 Preparedness Team will next meet again on Monday, 3/16/2020 to provide recommendations from both steering committee members and subcommittee members. Based on current conditions, campus officials expect that decisions regarding the Spring Break ending schedule, class delivery methods and other operational decisions will be finalized on Tuesday 3/17/2020. Next, the decisions are set to be communicated to students, faculty, employees, parents and community members no later than mid-week (Wednesday 3/18/2020).
At the time of this statement, it is important to note that health officials report no confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Ford County or the surrounding counties. We will continue to follow local health authorities’ recommendations and guidance for colleges and universities from the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
“The health and wellness of our campus community is our first priority and we will continue a robust and measured monitoring and evaluation of this evolving COVID-19 situation,” said President Harold Nolte.
Beverly TemaatVice President of Student Affairs & Risk Management
Campus officials are continuing to monitor conditions related to the COVID-19 (new coronavirus) to determine the status of campus operations and classes. Normal operations will continue for campus today and tomorrow March 12-13, 2020. Next, the campus community will continue to follow the academic calendar (SPRING BREAK) next week as regularly scheduled. No classes will be held March 16-20 during the previously scheduled Spring Break. However, offices will be opened according to normal operations schedules.
Based on current information from local health officials and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidance for colleges, classes will resume on Monday, March 23rd, 2020 according to the regular academic calendar. College officials are monitoring local, campus, state and national conditions every 12 hours and this robust monitoring will continue as long as needed to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty, employees and campus visitors.
If the status level of campus operations should change rapidly, the campus will be notified via DC3Alert. Please continue to follow campus emails and social media updates for DC3 campus guidance. Employee information will be provided by the Human Resources Office. Information regarding Instructional services will be provided by the Academic Affairs and Workforce offices. Information for Students will be communicated via the Office of Student Affairs and the Residence Life office. Student/Athletes should follow instructions from the Athletics Director (AD) or designee regarding athletic schedules.
The information related to the COVID -19 virus continues to be evolving rapidly and requires a frequent decision process. Other Colleges and Universities may be at differing levels of operations and instructional delivery due to conditions on their respective campuses. It is important to note, at the time of this release, the Ford County Health Department has NO confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19. Based on this information, we will continue to operate at level 1 of our Campus Preparedness procedures. Level 1 is “Preparedness, Prevention, Planning and heightened Information – Normal Operations”. If conditions change and we need to escalate the status level of operational or instructional procedures, all students, faculty and employees will be immediately notified. Please continue to email COVID19@dc3.edu to ask for further information or clarification.
“Preparation and Planning, not Panic” is the emphasized theme and guiding roadmap for procedures and protocols being implemented on the Dodge City Community College Campus and at outreach locations off of the main campus. President Harold Nolte authorized the creation of a specific COVID-19 CAMPUS PREPAREDNESS PLANNING Steering Committee earlier last week. “Our top priority is the safekeeping of our students, faculty and employees, and visitors to our campus,” said Nolte. While we certainly do not yet know if this will directly impact our main campus or off campus locations, we do not want to be caught off guard if it does encroach into our campus community,” said Nolte.
Beverly Temaat, Vice President of Student Affairs and Risk Management was appointed to Chair the campus-wide COVID-19 (new coronavirus) planning and prevention efforts. “We appointed members of an oversight steering committee and members of subcommittees last week,” said Temaat. At the planning meeting, all COVID-19 team members heard from Angela Sowers, Director of the Ford County Health Department. Director Sowers provided local, state, national and global updates and initial guidance information for the Campus COVID-19 team. According to Temaat, team members were selected based on expertise or areas of responsibility. The COVID-19 team is comprised of persons from all areas of the campus community. These include Board of Trustee members, campus health professionals, campus housing representatives, maintenance and custodial staff, food services staff, athletics officials, instructional services leaders, student leaders and all members of the administrative team. “We are communicating daily with local health officials, especially the Ford County Health Department, to continuously monitor this developing and evolving situation. In addition, we are following guidance from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for Colleges and Universities; WHO (World Health Organization) and specific higher education resource associations related to academic instruction, housing, student services and other critical areas,” said Temaat.
Temaat said custodial staff had an early start on facility disinfection efforts at the beginning of the spring semester when protocols were previously implemented to combat Influenza B and Influenza A infections on the campus. “Those already heightened disinfection efforts were expanded last week and will continue for an unknown duration,” said Temaat. Monitoring will occur daily and updates will be sent to the campus community.
“We want to emphasize a thoughtful, robust preparedness to COVID-19 and avoid needless and unnecessary panic,” said President Harold Nolte.
Persons with questions regarding the Dodge City Community College COVID-19 Preparedness Planning may call 620-227-9204 or 620-227-9303 with questions or emails can be sent to COVID19@dc3.edu.