College Update Week Two Spring Re-Boot

As we enter our fourth week of virtual teaching, learning and working, I continue to wish all of you good health and wellness. As we all know, it is almost impossible to carry on our daily work and life functions without the ever-present veil of COVID-19. Today, the Arizona Department of Health Services released infection numbers by zip code and certainly PVCC’s service area is not immune to this invasive virus. My thoughts go out to our neighbors adversely impacted.

In this context, I wanted to provide you several updates. I am pleased to report that PVCC is a recipient of direct funding of $1.3m through the CARES Act that will provide significant funding to students in the form of Emergency Financial Grants. The process for awarding students will be completed as early as next week. In several weeks, an additional allocation of $1.3m from the CARES Act will be allocated to the college to be used either in support of additional emergency student financial grants or to fund institutional costs associated with the COVID-19 public health crisis.

We are pursuing two options for the 2019-2020 Commencement exercises. A virtual experience will be provided through Marching Orders in May as well as plans are being developed for an in-person event sometime this fall.

PVCC is open for business – teaching, learning and student success. I’ve asked the leadership team to ensure that when prospective students visit our website or see us on social media that we continue to tell the story of “bringing learning alive.” Keep in mind that new and returning students are making decisions about summer and fall enrollment and I want them to see us as a “college of first choice.”

Lastly, we are elevating conversation and action directed towards PVCC of the future, post COVID-19. As a primer, this recent article from the New Your Times challenges our thinking around the role of online and distance learning. The All-College virtual meeting on April 23 is focused on what our future might look like. Watch for details soon.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming All-College virtual meeting, Tuesday, April 14 at 12:00 noon where the focus will be internally on faculty and staff needs moving forward.

Take care and be well.


COVID-19 College Update #6

Today as we “re-start” our in-person courses in the virtual space positively impacting thousands of PVCC students, I am grateful for all of the dedicated faculty and staff who made this happen. For the last three weeks, it has been a “head’s down, all-in” approach that resulted in all courses (except for several CTE skill-based courses) moving to the online environment.

Beginning next week, the President’s Leadership Team will begin to shift our attention away from operational/implementation issues to a more strategic position. We will begin with questions such as “What do students want from PVCC in a post COVID-19 environment?” “What are the varied scenarios we can expect when students, faculty, and staff return to campus and in-person delivery of teaching and learning.?” What should we expect in terms of enrollment for summer and fall in 2020, as well as spring 2021?” and “How do we make decisions going forward with the high level of environmental unknowns?”  During this time, I will be inviting additional faculty and staff to join in this conversation.

Operational Updates: a) it is likely that system-level decisions around summer school (i.e. online or in-person) will be made this week to allow for thoughtful preparation; b) distribution of laptops continue and will result in approximately 100 machines loaned to students in need; and c) significant efforts are being made across the college to proactively reach out to students to proactively offer assistance and support.

Student Emergency Fund:  Please join me in supporting our students by making a donation to the PVCC Student Emergency Fund, which will aid students who may be experiencing an immediate, unexpected and critical financial hardship, such as recent unemployment or a reduction in work hours, unanticipated childcare expenses, a new need for technology access at home to keep up with studies online, or basic necessities like food or shelter.

PVCC’s Diversity Award Winner: Join me in congratulating the Foster Champion Program led by Dr. Anne Suzuki, Lori Espinoza, Christine Berry, Viviana Jacques and Sam Garmen (District Office)

Next All-College Meeting – WednesdayApril 8, 20202:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Please join your colleagues online or over the phone. We’ll kick off the meeting hearing from several of our students.

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 Please take care.