As the executive order is lifted, employees at Glen Oaks Community College will begin to return to work on June 15, and the faculty and staff are learning what those plans entail.
“We take this seriously and want to be sure we are taking the necessary precautions at the college to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “We have a team which created a “Return to Work” plan that incorporates best practices, taking into consideration recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Our work environment will look different as we address new safe work measures.”
College employees received an email stating that the plan would be communicated through a series of Zoom meetings, as well as via the COVID-19 website, and the shared drive of the Glen Oaks network. “The team has done a lot of research and hard work to find the best way for Glen Oaks to safely move forward,” said Devier. “We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adjust accordingly.”
The main points of the plan calls for a phased reopening ranging from Phase I (now campus closure); Phase 2 (limited campus access as governor’s executive orders are lifted, and employee training and campus disinfection is complete); Phase 3 (campus is open to public following safety protocols); and Phase 4 (campus returns to normal operations).
The plan addresses personal protective equipment, social distancing, and workplace sanitization, among other things. Face masks are still required in enclosed public spaces per state executive order and can be a fabric face covering from home, or surgical type mask. The college will make them available in the main campus entrance area for persons needing them.
Students and guests will be required to make appointments in advance prior to visiting campus and may do so by calling (269) 294-4253. The college continues to serve students with online instruction and support services for the summer semester which began in mid-May.
“We will welcome back our students for face-to-face instruction for the fall 2020 semester,” said Devier. “However, we are converting many face-to-face classes to a hybrid format (less than 50 percent online), and will offer a greater number of online courses. Although we place great value on face-to-face instruction, this shift in thinking is so that we can be ready should there be a second wave of the virus outbreak – flexibility is key.”
This plan also allows the college to serve the more vulnerable populations as well as those who may not be as comfortable coming to campus.