Madisonville Community College is continuing to offer its programming entirely online, for the time being.
“Right now, for our first summer session, all of those courses are online,” said Vice President of Quality Assurance and Administration Dr. Jay Parrent. “Our next group of summer classes, most of those are going to be online, but there may some lab elements. The earliest a student might be able to come back on campus is sometime in July.”
Everything is subject to change depending on guidance from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and the Council of Postsecondary Education, said Parrent.
“We’re still keeping up with student registration. Our financial aid office is still helping students,” he said. “Our advisers are still helping with advising, and students are still applying online, and those applications are being processed.”
Parrent said they are planning on having both online and in-person courses in the fall.
“Again, that is subject to change with guidance from the Governor and state public health officials,” he said. “We’re going to adhere to what the best advice is and direction to keep students, faculty and visitors safe because that is the number one priority — safety.”
As they prepare for the possibility of in-person classes, Parrent said the college has made adjustments around campus and will make more before people return.
Some things they are preparing for include social distancing in classrooms; plexiglass barriers installed in certain waiting areas; some waiting areas may be closed; lobbies may look different with fewer chairs, and stairwells will become directional — people will go up one set and down another.
MCC Director of Public Protection Joe Blue said they are working to ensure everything is safe for when students return.
“The college is getting guidelines ready. We’re just kind of helping monitor things just to make sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing as far as the social distancing, handwashing and cleaning,” Blue said. “When students come around with people, they need to make sure if they’re within close proximity, to wear their mask. But if not, they should use common sense and deal with this thing accordingly.”
While classes meet online, Blue said he’s continuing to make sure the buildings that are supposed to be locked are, and he’s even seen a few students come by and use the newly available Student Wi-Fi Hotspots around the outside of the campus.
“We do have Wi-Fi hotspot signs up for them, and I’ve seen them utilize the Wi-Fi at the other campuses, too,” he said. “They’re sitting there with laptops, tablets, or whatever they might have in their cars, and that’s the best way to use it.”
Parrent said the new hotspots were added so students could have access to their online classes.
“We’ve really bumped up the connectivity in a few places around campus,” he said.
Parrent said the college remains very active, despite the changes, and he said they remain ready to provide help and assistance for students.
“Just because you can’t walk-in, doesn’t mean we’re not here and available,” he said. “Regardless of what’s going to happen, the campus will be clean and safe. The faculty and staff have done a great job adjusting to social distancing and understanding the importance so it will be a safe campus.”
A lot of time has been invested in their online courses, said Parrent, and he believes the quality of their instruction hasn’t suffered because of the pandemic.
Because of the investment, prospective students will not receive an inferior product, and classes can switch quickly from in-person to online as each course is created with an online shell, said Parrent.
“We’re going to be safe; we’re affordable, convenient, and high-quality,” he said. “The vast majority of what we provide in terms of training are those jobs that are really essential jobs in the economy.”
Parrent said if you are thinking about continuing your education during this time, consider attending MCC.
“That’s why it’s important to keep thinking about education and not taking a year off,” he said. “We provide that great education and training for those essential careers and the transfer component for students looking to move on after spending some time with us.”
MCC is currently in its first summer session and are now accepting applications for their second summer session. Tthe deadline is Monday, June 15. Classes begin the next day, Tuesday, June 16. MCC will be accepting applications for the fall semester as well.
For more information about the programs the college offers and about their application process, visit their website at madisonville.kctcs.edu.