OCtech Enhances Safety Measures for Return to Campus

CNA lab
OCtech students and faculty practice social distancing and wear masks during a certified nursing assistant lab on campus May 21.

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College is taking extra precautions to make sure its students, faculty and staff are safe when summer and fall classes resume on campus.

Summer courses – which begin Monday, June 1 – will be held online until July 6, at which time classes requiring lab hours will meet in small groups with social distancing guidelines in place.

Students, faculty and staff will be given masks, which must be worn in classroom and lab settings as well as other common areas, and workstations campus-wide will be spaced at least six feet apart with occupancy at 50 percent or less. Every other station will be used in hands-on labs. These guidelines will also apply to such common areas as the OCtech library, Student Success Center, math and writing labs, computer labs and testing center.

Additionally, students, faculty and staff will be provided with wipes to clean common computer and work stations before and after use. Keyboard and mouse covers will also be in place. Hand sanitizer stations will be easily accessible across campus. Cleaning of all classrooms, labs and shared spaces will be enhanced.

Safety shields will be used in high-traffic areas like the front desk where students make payments and student services check-in, and spaces will be marked on the floor to remind everyone of the six-foot social distancing standard.

“This is an unprecedented time, and we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety and security of all of our students, faculty and staff,” President Dr. Walt Tobin said. “We understand the concerns individuals have with leaving their homes and returning to campus. We are continuing to monitor this fluid situation and adjust our learning and work environment as needed while maintaining a standard of excellence in education at OCtech.”

Fall courses will be offered on campus and online. Hybrid courses combining online and classroom instruction will also be available. These options offer students the ultimate flexibility when setting their schedules around work, childcare and other obligations or health concerns.

“By providing flexibility in our course offerings and schedules, we have the ability to meet the needs of a diverse set of learners,” Tobin said. “We have developed an integrated approach to online and face-to-face instruction that allows for active learning while maintaining a safe and secure environment for employees and students. We have expanded our technology capabilities, and we’re using it as a resource and a tool rather than as a replacement for face-to-face instruction.”

“In these uncertain times, we have everything you need to take control of your future at OCtech,” he said. “If you’re a new high school graduate, staying close to home during the pandemic doesn’t mean you have to put off your dreams of a great college education and experience. Our relationships with public and private colleges and universities statewide make the transition to a four-year institution easy and far less expensive. If you’ve experienced a job loss during this crisis or want to change careers, we have excellent programs that lead directly to good jobs and great careers. We’ll help you get where you want to be.”

Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 17. Call 803.535.1234 to speak with an admissions counselor or visit octech.edu to learn more.

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