On March 30, students and faculty at Sampson Community College returned to academics, though it was in a very different format. All classes returned in an online format, with a few exceptions, which was brand new territory for some students and faculty members at the College.
Over the past few weeks of preparation, faculty and staff across campus have stepped up in huge ways to make the transition as smooth as possible. Marion Pope, Director of Distance Learning, shared what the preparation process was like.
Pope stated, “This experience has been a challenge, but I must say, Sampson Community College has embraced this change. I know now, more than ever, that we are stronger together.”
To begin building online courses, SCC faculty did additional training on Moodle, the College’s learning management system. They also learned to utilize BigBlueButton and Zoom, web-conferencing and virtual meeting platforms that can be used for online advising, private meetings, and virtual class meetings. Pope and several others compiled a student manual for online learning to be used by students as a quick reference guide during this period.
Faculty feel hopeful in the preparations that have been made. Dr. Susan Baxter, Division Chair for Education, Business, and Human Services Technology says her team has reached out to students and implemented the resources offered by the College to properly transition its courses online.
“The faculty are so committed to working hard to help students meet their educational goals. They are a wonderful, caring, and committed group of educators. I am confident that the resources provided by SCC during this challenging time plus the amazing faculty and staff will make for a smooth transition and completion of the semester,” Baxter shared.
Baxter says collaboration and resourcefulness have been the key to transitioning courses online. She concluded, “We feel ready to assist students in a positive and successful completion of the Spring 2020 semester.”
Looking toward the rest of this week, instructors know some students may feel unsure about what to expect. Arts and Sciences Division Chair, Lew Gravis says in those moments students should feel confident in using their connections and resources.
Gravis stated, “There are many resources available in Moodle to assist students. If that seems overwhelming, students can always reach out to their classmates. If still in doubt, students should never hesitate to contact their instructors.”
Professors also began offering virtual office hours, which allows students to continue receiving one-on-one help during this time. In the same way, Student Services began offering electronic advising appointments to remain as accessible as possible.
Gravis remarked, “SCC faculty are there to assist students in every way possible.”
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.