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MVCC announces fall semester restart plan

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Mohawk Valley Community College on Tuesday announced its plans and pandemic-related guidelines for the upcoming fall semester. (Photo credit: Sharon Zohne, provided by Mohawk Valley Community College)

UTICA, N.Y. — The upcoming fall semester at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) will offer both online classes and in-person instruction beginning Aug. 31.

MVCC is calling it the “Responsible Restart Plan.” Safety “remains our top priority” and the decision on how to reopen the college is in the “best interest” of MVCC students, employees, visitors, and the community, Randall VanWagoner, president of Mohawk Valley Community College, said in a Tuesday news release.

“The Responsible Restart Plan aligns with guidelines set forth by the CDC and local, state, and national health and government agencies, and based on continued guidance from the State University of New York and the State of New York, our plan will be flexible and evolve as practical and safety considerations dictate,” VanWagoner said.

Pandemic-related changes

Under the MVCC plan, all college staff will wear face coverings on campus when they cannot socially distance, “except when they are at their desks.” Voluntary self-screening of each employee will be conducted daily and campus visitors are asked to wear masks and keep social distance.

All classrooms, labs, and lecture halls have been assessed to determine the maximum capacity while adhering to social distancing guidelines, the school said. All classrooms, labs, campus common areas, and the residence halls will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Depending on the course, some classes will be conducted in a hybrid environment with a combination of in-person and online. Some courses will be delivered entirely remotely, either through Blackboard’s learning management system or other distance-learning formats, per MVCC.

The college will also convert all residence hall bedrooms to singles, with one student per room. All of MVCC’s student-living arrangements are “suite style,” so students will share common spaces within those suites (bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms).

MVCC will invite all residence hall students to a S.T.A.R. (Student Testing, Advisement & Registration) Day in mid-July and move-in will be conducted in a “staggered” period starting in mid-August. Each student will be screened upon arrival.

Dining services will be open to service meal plans. MVCC noted that “while the mode of delivery and schedule will change,” the school will work with its food-service partners to provide meals.

In addition, student services, such as the library and Learning Commons as well as campus study spaces, will be open. MVCC will continue to “monitor closely” when the fitness center will be allowed to reopen.