After nearly seven weeks of classes, Kellogg Community College is moving the majority of their coursework to a virtual format for the remainder of the semester.
In a Monday release, Chief Communication Officer Eric Greene announced the switch as a way the college can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Case numbers and infection rates have recently increased in KCC’s service area.
While classes are going online, campus buildings will remain open to students and employees in Albion, Battle Creek, Coldwater and Hastings.
“The vast majority of classes will now be delivered fully online as a way to reduce the number of people who are interacting with others on a KCC campus at any given time,” Greene said.
At the start of the semester, the majority of KCC classes started in an online format.
Classes that cannot move to an online format will continue with face-to-face instruction with other mitigation efforts still in place. Those classes include industrial trades, health sciences and criminal justice.
Before school began Aug. 31, every KCC campus was closed from mid-March through June. The closure occurred due to concerns about furthering the spread of COVID-19.
When classes started in August, KCC implemented a stringent list of requirements for staff and students including mask-wearing requirements, social distancing, self-screening resources, cleaning requirements and response protocols.
The reopening plan is available in its entirety at Kellogg.edu/coronavirus.
“We started our semester with most classes online and have informed our students and faculty that there may come a point when we need to move to an online-primary model,” Dr. Paul Watson, vice president for instruction said. “Fortunately, we have prepared for this modality change and we expect our Bruins will be able to make the transition quickly and relatively painlessly.”
Beginning Tuesday, instructors were directed to notify their classes of the changes. Any students with questions about how a specific class is shifting should contact their professor directly.
Additional steps to protect students and staff comes after COVID-19 case counts have increased in Barry, Branch and Calhoun counties. Confirmed cases on KCC campuses have also risen.
As of Sept. 29, a total of five students and employees after being on a KCC campus reported a positive test for COVID-19. Another 13 individuals self-reported or were confirmed positive having not been on a KCC campus.
Oct. 1, Calhoun County reported that the seven-day positive test rate had risen to 6.1 percent. The rate is 4.2 percent in Branch County and 3.2 percent in Barry County.
Students in need of academic advising, the KCC bookstore, career and employment services, counseling, disability services, financial aid, the Morris Library, placement testing, the registrar’s office or tutoring can still access KCC buildings. Appointments can be scheduled with those departments via the KCC Virtual Services web page at Kellogg.edu/virtual services.
KCC’s lifelong learning classes will continue in one-time small-group sessions with facial covering and social distancing measures in place.
“We look forward to our students returning to the wonderful facilities at KCC and making those in-person connections,” Dr. Watson said. “In the meantime, we will continue doing our part to ensure our campuses are as safe as we can make them while continuing to provide an excellent college education to all of our Bruins.”