LIBERAL – When the Seward County Community College campus was shut down in the spring semester because of the Covid-19 pandemic, classes turned to emergency remote learning. While there were bumps along the way, most classes were able to be completed.
However, there were some courses that could not finish because labs and clinicals required in-person participation and the circumstances surrounding the pandemic did not allow it.
The campus re-opened in July and faculty put together a plan to have students complete their classes.
According to Suzanne Campbell, SCCC Dean of Allied Health/Director of MLT, the allied health programs rely heavily on labs and clinicals to complete their classes, but managed to get the needed requirements fulfilled.
“We were able to make arrangements for a Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide class to actually finish on campus so our governing entities in the state of Kansas allowed that clinical component to be done in a simulated setting in the classroom versus in the long-term health facility,” Campbell said. “We have a group of phlebotomy students that still have some lab time to do so they’re scheduled for this month. Surgical technology students are still doing clinicals and it will probably be August before they finish but they’re back in the clinical setting as well as respiratory therapy students. The nursing students are already finished. So come August, we’ll be 99 percent finished – a little bit longer than normal – but finished.”
Campbell believes the students are appreciative that SCCC made the effort to give them the opportunity to finish.
“(I think the students are) appreciative of the time that faculty was willing to come in and get them checked off and get their course requirements finalized. Now this means that they can seek employment in the workforce and that’s what we’re all about.”
Another program that was delayed during the spring was the Truck Driving/Commercial Driver’s License class. Six students were in the program when the class was shut down, but all came back when it restarted.
“Six started and six graduated,” said Michael McCarthy, SCCC driving instructor. “They all finished. I was somewhat surprised (that they all came back) because of the time limits. From the time that elapsed when we first started to when we closed for COVID then started back again. But they all came back.”
Safety precautions were a priority since the class required close interaction.
“We asked them to wear gloves in the trucks then anything that they touched we sprayed (with a solution of bleach and water) to sanitize,” McCarthy said. “We made them wear facemasks in the trucks and in the classrooms.
“It was difficult at times because they didn’t want to wear facemasks, but we got it done,” he continued. “They did what they needed to and everyone’s healthy so we’re happy.”