Summer Update #5

As we move into the middle of August and prepare to engage in Fall Learning Week 2020, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide one final Summer Update. It is hard to believe that this is our twenty-second week in the living, learning and working virtual space.

College opens for limited in-person registration services – On Monday, August 10 a “lean team” returned to campus to provide registration, admissions, business services and general enrollment assistance. While the numbers of students taking advantage of in-person services has been somewhat modest, for those students without internet service or technology, this access is key to successfully enrolling in fall semester. My thanks to the Welcome Center team.

Fall class schedule takes shape – as of the first of August, our delivery modalities include: In-person 11%, Online 54%, Hybrid 12%, and Live Online 23%. My thanks to the Division Chairs for their creative problem solving to build a student accessible schedule amidst a constantly changing environment. Given the current status of the pandemic in Maricopa County and the continued sense of social isolation of our community, it has been a challenge to map the schedule against student needs.

Fall Enrollment – thanks to the hard work of the student affairs team, the PVCC Contact Center, and leadership from the Tactical Strategic Enrollment Management (TSEM) team, we have made significant positive efforts to improve our overall enrollment numbers. Currently we are at -15.8% FTSE and -12.8% HC over fall 2019. Extra efforts will continue to enroll students in our multiple semester start times. PVCC continues to innovate with our Puma Power Up program (pre-advising Canvas based experience) and our live online new student orientation.

Fall 2020 Convocation – On Tuesday, August 18 at 9:00 a.m. we will officially “kick off” fall semester with Convocation. This year’s theme is Integrating the whole student experience – what’s my part? We are building off of last year’s theme that focused on the “why” of what we do at PVCC with a more in depth look at our respective parts in enhancing student learning and success.  We’ve had great success all summer in building community in the virtual space with the all-college meetings and I encourage you to join your colleagues as we set the tone for the 2020-2021 academic year. Add this link to your calendar.

PVCC Awards CARES Student Emergency Funds – through this federally funded program, PVCC has awarded $794,976 in CARES Act student grant funds to 1,905 students as a way to assist in any hardships attributed to the pandemic. Additional funds approximately $500,000 will be available throughout the fall semester. Thanks to the team in Financial Aid for moving this program forward.

Take care and stay safe.

Summer Update #4

As we move closer to the start of fall semester 2020 (just five weeks away), I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide you with several college updates.

Return to on-campus work –  Our guiding principles continue to focus on a) the highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff, and b) we strive to maintain continuity of instruction and operations with the highest level of quality possible. As we have previously communicated, on August 10 a very small team of staff will be back on campus to provide in-person registration related services. Additionally in support of the start of fall semester, on August 24, we will expand in-person services to provide access to computing technology for students. Watch for additional details soon.

In-person classes in the fall – Our guiding principles around in-person courses are: providing specific courses and programs that can only be offered with an in-person component in order to maintain quality or accreditation standards; and ensuring that the most vulnerable of our students who cannot be successful in a fully online setting are not left behind. In accordance with our guiding principles, recently a decision was made to convert prior planned hybrid science courses including Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Physics, Engineering and Astronomy (with an in-person lab component) to either an online or live online format. Our fall in-person, on-campus class offerings will be primarily in CTE and limited fine and performing arts courses.

Several special “shout outs” – PVCC Athletic Director, Christina Hundley for her excellent leadership at the system level as the nine Maricopa colleges with athletics navigated the postponement of fall NJCAA intercollegiate sports to the spring semester; all of the faculty and staff who successfully led the completion of the spring courses that required in-person class time this summer;  Ellen Hedlund and Dr. Keith Kelly for their continued leadership of the Futures work, and the staff who have been on campus these last nineteen weeks including: Bobby Garcia and Terri Siemer and the M&O/Grounds team, college safety, shipping and receiving/mailroom, and the IT team. Thank you.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, you might find these recent articles that have crossed my virtual desktop of interest: the importance of a college commitment to equity, draft criteria for reopening Arizona’s K-12 schools, transitioning from “emergency” online teaching to online learning and re-thinking the first-year experience for adult students.

Please know that college leadership is aware of and sensitive to the fact that many of you are also dealing with conversations regarding your own family’s return to school–high school/elementary school and/or work. I understand that this can also create additional anxiety and stress and we will do everything we can to be supportive as we move through this pandemic.