It has been far too long since I’ve posted a President’s Blog, but since so much has changed at CCBC and in our daily lives, I felt it was the perfect time to give it a reboot.

At CCBC, we have been hard at work launching the new fully-remote learning environment. The work has not been easy, but I dare say we were up for the challenge. In record time, we trained all faculty for online or alternative instruction, developed processes for offering students support services remotely, and implemented new telework procedures to keep all employees productive and employed.

COVID-19 has definitely tested our resolve, but we have built a good operational model. We are staying mission-centric and are moving forward, proud to be an anchor institution for our students, each other and our community.

There is no doubt that this new learning environment will present challenges for some of our students. However, we are prepared to offer additional supports to complement what we have already done:

  • Extended the withdrawal deadline for spring classes until May 12.
  • Purchased laptops for distribution to students lacking technology resources.
  • Considered options for utilizing a pass/fail versus traditional grades.
  • Implemented CCBC Cares

I am most proud of our CCBC Cares initiative, an outreach effort offering students academic and emotional support, as well as connections to resources to help them meet basic needs. We are making direct phone calls to students, sending information through weekly newsletters, and sharing video messages as a way of staying connected.

We are also implementing a similar strategy with our employees, sending tips for successfully working from home, providing information to promote physical and emotional health, and sharing lighthearted messages to bring a smile to what might be a stressful day. One of our first in a series of videos is already posted online.

In the end, I keep reminding myself that we’ve been through hard times before: enrollment surges, enrollment declines, budgets cuts, H1N1 and more. COVID-19 is one of the harder challenges we face. My advice is to go easy on yourself and others. And as the Faith Hill song says, “just breathe.” And when Maryland Governor Hogan deems the time is right, we will be back on campus, together again.

In the meantime, stay healthy, stay connected and stay tuned.