OCtech Fall Classes Begin Online Aug. 17

Photo of Macky Gray online instruction
Mechatronics Technology Program Coordinator Macky Gray is shown teaching an online class this summer at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. OCtech will begin the fall semester Monday, Aug. 17, with all online courses and extend to additional course delivery options Sept. 21.

Fall classes at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College will begin online Monday, Aug. 17.

Lab classes are an exception and will meet face-to-face in small groups as originally scheduled. However, all other classes will meet virtually until Monday, Sept. 21.

Fall classes are available in a variety of formats, including traditional, online, hybrid or synchronous online. These courses will resume in their published format Sept. 21.

“Our goal was to give our students a variety of options to accommodate the changing dynamic of their lives and the lives of their families,” President Dr. Walt Tobin said. “However, given the uncertainty of the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure a smooth start to the fall semester, we have decided to start the fall semester online. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff.”

In an effort to provide a safe campus environment, the college has:

  • limited occupancy in classrooms and labs.
  • installed safety shields and marked floor spaces in high-traffic areas.
  • provided masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for on-campus use.
  • displayed COVID-19 informational signs to remind students and employees of the importance of social distancing, face coverings, self-monitoring for symptoms and proper personal hygiene.

“During these uncertain times, OCtech provides a safe, flexible and affordable option for recent high school graduates and adults seeking great careers to begin or earn their college degree close to home,” he continued. “Scholarships like Lottery Tuition Assistance and SC WINS, a technical college scholarship program designed to address workforce shortages in South Carolina, make attendance tuition free for most students. For those interested in earning a bachelor’s degree, our Associate of Arts and Science courses transfer seamlessly to colleges and universities statewide. OCtech is proof that you don’t have to go far to get further in life.”

In addition to traditional face-to-face courses and online classes that students can complete on their own schedule, OCtech offers several other options to help students meet their educational needs. Hybrid courses deliver some instruction in a traditional setting at a scheduled time and some online. Synchronous online courses are the same as traditional lecture classes, except students attend classes at a set time online and are able to interact live with their instructor.

Several of OCtech’s career-ready programs are also available in a FLEX format, with program-specific attendance options for maximum flexibility. Students in the college’s Associate Degree Nursing FLEX, Administrative Office Technology, Business Administration, Early Childhood, Engineering Design Technology or Practical Nursing FLEX programs attend classes with day, evening or online options designed to fit their work or family schedule.

“We are making the best of this unusual – and sometimes stressful – situation to provide the very best educational experience possible for our students,” said Donna Elmore, vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are all learning how to teach and provide services more effectively in this new environment, and will continue to embrace new technology and innovate to provide a safe and secure learning experience for our students, faculty and staff.”

OCtech is open online and by appointment to help students register for fall classes. To learn more about the college’s programs of study or apply, visit www.octech.edu or call 803.535.1224.

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