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Howard College San Angelo to start semester virtually

Because of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, San Angelo's Howard College will begin the spring semester online for most courses.
Credit: ESMERALDA PEREZ

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Howard College San Angelo campus will begin its spring semester temporarily moving to a virtual course delivery mode in some courses for the first two weeks of classes, because the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

The alternative course delivery will not affect select career technical education courses and health profession courses, which will remain in face-to-face mode.

Students should expect communication from their instructors within the next three days regarding any specific instructions for access to courses, a release from Howard College said. The college is asking all students to actively monitor student email accounts for additional information.

“I want to reiterate that we are ready to begin the spring semester, and this is a temporary measure,” Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, Howard College president, said in the release. “We are taking these operational steps to prioritize the health of our students, faculty, staff and communities and feel like the best way to do this right now, is to move to a virtual mode in some courses for the first two weeks of class.”

The college plans to re-evaluate the cases and trends in the community the week of Jan. 24 and move back to the original course delivery mode for all classes on Jan. 31.

Campuses are open and are strictly enforcing the amber status which can be reviewed on the college website.

“We are being mindful of federal, state, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 measures and are remaining on our Amber status at this time,” Sparks added. “We will be social distancing and asking employees to limit contact with others on a regular basis and utilizing electronic means as possible.”

Howard College on-campus services will be available during the virtual-only period, but students and staff should monitor the college website or call ahead as hours and/or availability may change because of public health or staffing changes.

The college will make additional online tools available for students who have questions about access, passwords, resources, etc. before classes start.

“Our focus right now is to start the semester as normal as possible with this temporary measure to safeguard the health of our students, employees, and communities we serve,” Sparks said. “We plan to return to face-to-face instruction for all courses as quickly as possible but will do so as illness subsides which will provide the best opportunity and environment for our students to be successful.”

For more information about Howard College's response to COVID-19, go to howardcollege.edu/special-notice.