Sessions in April have been cancelled, but incoming students can still get a jump start on a fresh new year
NOTE: This article has been updated with new information since its original posting.
LIBERAL, Kan. (March 18, 2020) — Students enrolled in their final semester of high school might feel their world is in chaos, with Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision to close all K-12 school buildings for the remainder of the spring semester.
Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, many things are still true. Thanks to Seward County Community College in Liberal, one unchanged fact is that college is closer than you think.
“We were so excited to get an early start with our incoming freshman class for 2020-21, with All Saints Days starting in April,” said SCCC Director of Admissions Eric Volden. “These events have always given students an advantage by getting them enrolled, preparing their student IDs, and just familiarizing them with campus.”
Unfortunately, the All Saints Days originally scheduled for April have been cancelled due to government regulations limiting group activities and a call for social distancing.
“We are disappointed, but undaunted,” said Dean of Student Enrollment and Success Annette Hackbarth-Onson. As early as Monday, March 16, Onson and her team were exploring viable alternatives to the face-to-face All Saints Days.
“There are so many tools out there, from teleconferencing or FaceTime to online enrollment, which the college had already implemented,” she said. “Our goal is unchanged: work with the individual student to provide guidance that gets the student to the goal he or she has chosen.”
Volden added that many key elements of All Saints Days — sessions for parents, a chance to nail down final financial aid details, and an introduction to student services and clubs — can be reconfigured to provide access to the same information while honoring the need for social distancing.
“We are looking at ways to get all those resources online in a digital format, and we will continue to update the students who were scheduled to attend our April sessions,” he said.
As for May All Saints Days, “it’s too early to tell what the best course of action is,” said SCCC Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan. “We are handling this situation day to day, meeting weekly to assess our students’ needs, and focusing on taking care of them and each other.”
April 1, 8, 15 – Wednesday CANCELLED
May 13, 27 – Wednesday POSTPONED
Keep checking this site for official updates on SCCC news and events in this rapidly-changing environment.
Onson said that her perspective, too, is a broad view that considers the whole person.
“For our incoming Saints, and for the current students, the overwhelming feelings of fear and dismay are hard to navigate,” she said. “Frankly, we know that it’s quite early to be talking about next year. But we also know that having as much information as possible can also be comforting.”
During the summer months, SCCC campus offices normally remain open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, allowing ample time for class registration and paperwork completion. Because it is impossible to predict how things may look in even a month’s time, Onson, Volden, and Donovan recommend that students and their parents “check in” with scheduled conversations at home on a regular basis, and reach out by phone or email to college advisors and staff when questions arise.
“Of course, it’s a work in progress and we are all learning,” said Donovan. “But we are committed to being in this together, with students, parents, and each other. Give us a call and we will do our very best to help.”
SCCC Admissions Office, 620-417-1102
SCCC Financial Aid Office, 620-417-1113
SCCC Registrar (enrollment processes and transcripts), (620) 417-1061
SCCC Advising, (620) 417-1700