Victoria College began preparing strategies for its students to complete the Spring 2020 semester and employees to work from home long before the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the Crossroads area.

In early March, various Victoria College departments began a collaborative effort to take proactive measures in preparation for the looming crisis. Their work has resulted in VC students being able to continue their studies online and VC employees performing their duties remotely.

“We are seeing extraordinary efforts all around us as we respond to unprecedented circumstances,” said VC President David Hinds. “Thanks to efforts like these and many others, we are not seeing students drop their courses like we thought we might have.”

Victoria College’s Technology Services Department organized a curbside service for students to pick up AT&T phones to function as WiFi hotspots. The department also reconfigured over 60 laptops to meet the remote needs of students and employees, and Technology Service’s Computer Help Desk is supporting more students and employees than usual due to the necessity of taking classes and working remotely.

“Not only were laptops needed for students, but we also needed a way to support requirements for VC’s Advising, Admissions, Financial Aid, Payments and Call Center departments,” said Andy Farrior, VC Technology Services director. “With registration underway for the summer and fall, providing telephone and live chat support in these areas was critical to service students.”

VC’s Technology Services Department began facilitating social distancing requirements in early March before Spring Break (March 16-20) by separating student lab computers the recommended six feet. VC’s Distance Education & Instructional Technology Department began training faculty and staff on how to utilize software applications in case meetings would have to be conducted online.

“We implemented rapid and intense training for staff and faculty to facilitate virtual operations,” said Helen Dvorak, director of Distance Education & Instructional Technology. “We often work hand-in-hand with Technology Services, and this was very true with the COVID-19 situation. Planning began with designing training to be proactive and be offered while classes were still going on. However, the situation continued to be fluid.”

The preparations paid off when Victoria College and most colleges and universities throughout the state announced on March 30 that it would resume all classes online or through alternative formats. On April 1, Victoria College announced the closure of its Main Campus and other locations through April 30.

“I believe the endless hours of hard work demonstrated by Victoria College employees during this time is evidence of VC’s commitment to its students and the community,” Hinds said. “This pandemic is not yet over, and there will be other challenges for us down the road. But Victoria College will continue its efforts to see our students and employees through this crisis.”

Content from Victoria College is provided to Townsquare Media with permission from Victoria College.

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