March 12 Update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus

12 Mar 2020

March 12, 2020

In conjunction with news of remote delivery from Chancellor Spaulding today, there are many aspects of this announcement that are unique to each institution. I write to share Vermont Tech’s plan moving forward in addition to items listed by the Chancellor.
Next steps:

  • Vermont Tech will transition to remote delivery by March 30, 2020.
  • Between March 14-26, students will be on an extended spring break. This replaces the April 6 break.
  • I will be hosting an open forum via Zoom at 11:00 AM. More details to follow!

Course Instruction:

  • Vermont Tech’s program delivery is unique in the VSCS system. Our intention, in moving to remote delivery, is to maintain our applied learning format to the degree possible. Each program may have its own solution to helping students make progress toward their degrees. As we promised our accreditors, we will maintain the rigor and standards expected of a Vermont Tech education.
  • Courses will resume remotely on Monday, March 30, 2020.
  • To assess student readiness for any online learning, Kellie Campbell, CTO, will be sending a survey to students asking key questions about connectivity, technology, and equipment. We will use this information to inform how students access their courses.
  • We remain open to the idea that on-campus delivery may resume this semester, but we need to evaluate when that could be as the situation evolves.
  • The BSN program is not impacted by this extended spring break or move to remote delivery. Only preceptorships will change to online/electronic format for the remainder of the semester.

Residential Students:

  • Randolph residential students may request to stay on campus by coming into see the Student Affairs staff by 4:30 PM, Friday, March 13.
  • Williston residential students may request to stay on campus by emailing Theo Manazir, Director of Residential Life, by 4:30 PM, Friday, March 13.
  • All requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Administration is working with Sodexo for continuity of operations for any remaining residential students.
  • Make sure to take anything critical to your education with you when you leave campus!

Faculty and Staff:

  • Employees are expected to work their normal schedules. Supervisors and employees are encouraged to discuss any work-from-home needs and consult with Director of HR, Kelly-Rue Riso for guidance and Kellie Campbell for technology support.
  • Please use Zoom for meetings where feasible and use social distancing practices.

Information Technology and Support for Remote Learning:

  • We are drafting training plans for faculty, staff and students. We are focusing on academic training first.
  • Our Canvas Champions and IT team will be ramping up training ASAP. Further notice of dates, times and details will come very soon.
  • IT is drafting a plan to gather spare inventory to support remote needs, including laptops, webcams, etc. We hope to identify critical need with the readiness survey responses.
  • In partnership with Academics, IT is building a support site with documentation and resources to support remote learning. This will be complete very soon.

Institutional Events:

  • Admissions and Conference & Events will work to cancel all events and tours.
  • SHAPE will be closed to guests and community members as of Saturday, March 14. Only faculty, staff, and students may use the facility. The pool will close until further notice.