March 16, 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We continue to see the impact this is having both personally and professionally. East Central College takes this situation very seriously, and we are committed to making decisions with your health and wellness as the top priority. At the same time, we remain committed to your academic success. To date, no one associated with ECC has tested positive for the Coronavirus.
However, consistent with CDC guidelines, the following measures are being taken at East Central College:
Instruction—Classes will be held as scheduled today and tomorrow (March 17). Beginning Wednesday, March 18, classes will not be held in order for faculty to prepare for the transition to on-line instruction for the remainder of the semester. We will be closed as scheduled during Spring Break. Beginning on Monday, March 30, and continuing for the remainder of the semester, most instruction will be delivered on-line. There will be no in-person lectures. There will be limited in-person instruction in selected labs, studio courses, and certain career and technical education (CTE) classes for which there is no on-line equivalent. Faculty in those courses will be contacting you directly with information about the scheduling of those labs and other courses.
Campus—Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, the campus will remain open during this period of on-line instruction. Offices and other facilities will be open. Students are strongly encouraged to access services remotely as much as possible. To the extent possible, phone, e-mail, Zoom, or other technology should be used to minimize the amount of direct contact. I realize that many of you do not have access to the hardware and/or broadband necessary to work as an on-line students. Our labs and WiFi will continue to be available to students as long as the campus is open. Our goal is minimizing contact as much as possible, while providing the necessary resources for students to be able to complete the semester.
Public Events—The CDC has advised cancelling events that involve 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. We are finalizing plans today regarding campus events, and a separate communication will follow by the end of the day concerning these activities. One event that will continue to be held is the Mercy Blood Drive on April 16. We have consulted with Mercy leadership on this event, and they feel blood drives will continue to be important throughout this situation. Accordingly, this event will continue as planned.
Commencement—A decision will be made by April 1 regarding commencement, pinning ceremonies, and other end-of-semester events. These events fall outside of the 8-week window identified by the CDC. We will assess these events over the next two weeks and decide whether it is advisable for them to be held. We will keep you informed as decisions about these events are made.
Athletics—All spring competition, including softball at ECC, has been canceled by NJCAA, effective immediately. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play. Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.
I realize this is a very uncertain time. If you are concerned about these events, or how they may affect you as a student at East Central, please reach out to our counseling staff, your instructors, or others you know at the college. We are deeply committed to your well-being, and want to ensure that you are able to complete the semester in this new environment.
As other decisions are made, we will keep you informed. To repeat, classes will be held as scheduled today and tomorrow. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, through spring break, there will be no classes. When we return from spring break on March 30, instruction will be offered on-line. You will receive additional information about your work in class, and if you are in a class that will require a limited amount of on-campus work.
In closing, please remain informed about CDC guidelines intended to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.