Coronavirus Update #5 – Virtual Campus
March 15, 2020
Although we continue to increase student success rates for both online and in-person classes – with a laser focus on closing our racial equity gaps, I am so proud of what Foothill College was able to do in a short period of time to transition to a “virtual college” for our students. Thank YOU!
Yesterday, Chancellor Miner wrote, “While we have been focusing on instructional delivery, we want to examine ways our support and administrative work might also transition to remote delivery to the greatest extent possible.”
As noted in my email last Wednesday, Foothill College has already initiated this process. Thanks to everyone working diligently last week, we anticipate over 95% of Foothill employees working remotely as of tomorrow (Monday). We are working under the principle that everyone will be working from home by Wednesday.
Thank you to the Instructional and Student Services teams for being so proactive in preparing for this eventuality. There will be some administrators, faculty, and staff on campus tomorrow and Tuesday to help students and other employees with the virtual-campus transition. All faculty and staff should be working remotely by Wednesday evening.
Faculty and staff who do not have computers at home can arrange to take their desktop computers home. Please confirm with your manager and put in an ETS ticket to unlock your computer.
Per Governor Newsom’s recommendation today, all employees with preexisting conditions or over the age of 65 should take reasonable precautions and stay at home. Email me or Simon Pennington firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know how we can support you. These are trying times, and we want to be there for you!
Faculty: if you notice any students in your class in need for virtual access, please let us know so we can reach out to them!
An emergency relief fund has been established to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots for students who do not have internet access at home and loaner laptops are being made available to students who need them. The college is also ordering laptops to support students in the spring quarter. Please contact Dr. Melissa Cervantes, Dean of Equity (email@example.com) as she and her team are leading such effort for all students who need access virtually.
Please direct students to our website for updates on services.
The situation is dynamic, but thanks to the brilliant work of everyone at Foothill, we are in a good position to continue supporting our students. Our students will be able to complete the winter quarter, and we will be able to offer them a broad selection of classes in the spring. As long as we are flexible and keep our students in mind whenever we take decisions (including asking them for advice and assistance), we will continue to serve our communities with distinction.
I will be in touch tomorrow with links to the Instructional and Student Services Continuity Plan and updated Student Services web pages. Don’t forget to Zoom in for the daily briefing at 9:30 AM tomorrow for the latest updates and to ask questions: https://fhda-edu.zoom.us/j/173639361
Thank you to the faculty, staff, and all our managers who have worked tirelessly to support our students. We are exemplifying the true spirit of a ‘community’ college.
I will be in touch tomorrow with more updates. Remember, even when working virtually at home, we still need to stay safe and follow the CDC protocols to help “flatten” the Coronavirus epidemiology curve!