August 10, 2020 Marshall - Students attending Texas State Technical College's Marshall campus will see differences in how they learn and interact as they start the fall semester on Monday, August 31.
Nathan Cleveland, TSTC's associate provost, said students will notice lots of signage pertaining to campus health and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will also see directional signs for building entrances and exits.
Furniture has been removed from popular gathering spots for students in the Administration Building and South Building.
"It is hard to manage and watch over that to where they are minding their spacing," Cleveland said.
One of the biggest changes is how classes will be taught, which first began being modified in mid-March.
The college's first-semester college readiness class and academic courses will be taught online.
Programs that will be taught in an all-online format are Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, Business Management Technology, Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Computer Programming Technology and Cybersecurity.
"The instructors are actually holding virtual classrooms through Google Meet or Webex, so the students have a class they meet for," Cleveland said.
Programs that will be taught in a hybrid format are Automation and Controls Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology, Electrical Lineworker Technology, Industrial Systems, Precision Machining Technology, Process Operations and Welding Technology.
Tutoring will be available virtually. Students will need to go to TSTC's student portal and click on the tutoring icon to fill out a form requesting help. Tutoring staff will connect students virtually to statewide tutors in their subject area.
Cleveland said students can come to campus by appointment when needed to meet with instructors. Faculty members will also have virtual office hours. Campus visitors will only be allowed in the Administration Building.
The campus bookstore will be fully operational only for the campus community. Discussions continue about whether to open, even partially, the campus Learning Resource Center. Cleveland said students can use the campus Wi-Fi from their vehicles parked near the buildings.
Students will encounter a different campus residential experience this fall.
"Campus housing will be following statewide protocols, with social distancing and no visitation during COVID-19," said TSTC's Director II of Student Life Hubert Staten. "We plan to use email, texting and phone to communicate during this time. Online activities are planned also. We want to keep housing as safe as possible."
One thing that has not changed is the college's commitment to its students.
TSTC's Career Services will hold weekly online workshops for students to learn about a range of subjects, from resume writing to interview skills.
"The interview practicum and the Industry Job Fair for the fall semester will be virtual," said Hannah Luce, Career Services' director of planning and special events. "As of now, we will be on campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, and this is subject to change at any time, but we will still be available virtually anytime the students need assistance."
Registration for the fall semester continues.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.