Pearl River Community College has announced its plans to safely welcome back students to its Hattiesburg, Poplarville and Waveland locations Aug. 17 for the first day of school. To ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, PRCC has implemented a number of safety precautions and protocols in compliance with local and state regulations.
“We look forward to welcoming our faculty and students back to our campuses this fall,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood, said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of challenges, however our plan provides students a variety of options for instructional delivery while maintaining the safest environment possible.”
Employees and students on campus will be provided with a PRCC face mask. Individuals will be required to wear a face mask in all buildings and confined spaces if accompanied by anyone. Students and employees are encouraged to be aware of their environment and be considerate of others while moving throughout buildings and the campuses. To encourage individuals to remember the necessity of social distancing, stickers have been placed on floors in high-traffic areas such as: outside elevators, outside of offices where lines might form, and other areas where individuals typically gather in groups. There will be no crowding in small areas. Frequently touched surfaces throughout campuses will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Temperature kiosks and sanitization stations will be available at the entrances of high-traffic areas, as well as specific program entrances. Individuals will be encouraged to use these kiosks daily and self-monitor their own health. Individuals with a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees or above should leave campus immediately and seek medical attention.
“We are excited to welcome faculty, staff and students back to the Poplarville campus,” Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Student Services Jeff Long said. “We understand there are challenges we must face in the upcoming semester, but we plan to work diligently and in the safest, most responsible way for our employees, students and community.
“We continue to be dedicated to providing a safe, effective learning environment for our students.”
Pearl River realizes with a variety of class offerings including academic, career and technical, and allied health, the college will have to address the instruction of different classes in unique ways. Classes will allow for social distancing by utilizing a mix of in-class, hybrid, “Hyflex” and online instruction.
“The administration has made efforts to prepare the college for the return of instructors and students this fall,” PRCC Senior Vice President of Instruction/Provost Dr. Martha Smith said. “Currently, Pearl River is in the process of purchasing technology to incorporate the Hyflex pedagogy.
“This instructional method will afford flexibility in an ever-changing environment.”
Students will need to regularly check their PRCC student email prior to the first day of classes for specific instructions on how to approach the first week of coursework. Instructors will work with students during that first week to assign online, hybrid and in-class schedules specific to each group’s needs. Instructors and students will wear face coverings and maintain social distancing standards at all times in the classroom.
Students residing in dormitories for the fall semester will move in over the course of four days prior to the beginning of classes. Those students will be emailed and assigned a specific move-in time window to limit interactions. Students are allowed one person to help them move items into their dorms.
Prior to students moving in, all facilities will have been cleaned and disinfected. Upon moving in, students will be provided with a PRCC semester starter pack, which includes a face mask and hand sanitizer. Students will wear face masks in buildings and confined spaces if they are with at least one other person. Dorm lobbies will be closed to groups.
Instead of self-service and buffet style dining, the PRCC cafeteria staff will serve food where applicable. Tables, chairs and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected frequently between uses. Seating capacity in dining areas will be adjusted to allow at least 6 feet of space between tables. To enhance social distancing, a limit will be placed on the number of customers allowed in the dining hall at any given time. Once the capacity is reached, the customers will be able to accept a carry out. Any customers who do not wish to dine in will have access to prepackaged to-go boxes.
WILDCAT DEN BOOKSTORE
Following recommendations by the CDC, the maximum customer capacity will be 30 patrons in the Poplarville bookstore and 15 in the Forrest County Center bookstore. Commonly touched surfaces will be cleaned regularly. Dressing rooms will be closed and customers will not be permitted to try on clothing, hats or uniforms. The Wildcat Den is also offering alternative shopping options including curbside pick-up, shop by phone, online shopping,and social media shopping. Curbside pick-up can be arranged by calling 601-403-1360. Online ordering is available at bookstore.prcc.edu.
Students will have the opportunity to visit Pearl River’s Poplarville, Hattiesburg and Waveland locations and register for classes Aug. 12-14 for an open registration event. Registration will be held in the Technology Building on the Poplarville campus, Building 3 at the Forrest County Center and the main lobby of the Waveland Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Masks will be required. In order to reduce the amount of congestion within buildings students are not to bring guests with them to open registration.
This is open to both new and returning Wildcats.
Pearl River will be holding a Facebook Live Q&A session with Dr. Smith on Monday Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. on the college’s facebook page in order to field questions about plans for the fall. All questions can be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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