HomeNewsPandemic protection

Pandemic protection

5 ways TJC is responding to COVID-19

With Tyler Junior College beginning the fall semester, the school is working to ensure the safety of its staff and students throughout the semester. TJC has made a number of changes to its operations and physical layout to accommodate preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19.

1. TJC Your Way

Photo by Chris Swann

In response to COVID-19, TJC is offering three course modalities for the 2020-21 school year. These options for instruction, called TJC Your Way, allow students to tailor their academic experience to their comfort levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some courses are offered in-person with social distancing implemented in classrooms, while others are offered online, or through a hybrid of in-person and online instruction. Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations Rebecca Sanders shared more information about TJC’s course options.

“In the COVID-19 environment, we revised our mix of the three modalities this fall to reflect the need for physical distancing in the classroom and students’ feedback,” Sanders said. “We feel it is especially important to offer options for students so they may choose courses that are most conducive for their learning as well as where they feel the most comfortable.”

Sanders also stated TJC received feedback from students once the spring 2020 semester was moved online and also when students began registering for an increased number of online and hybrid courses for the fall semester. 

2. Mask Policies

Photo by Chris Swann

 In accordance with a July 2 executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, face coverings are required in all TJC buildings as well as outside when six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks must cover the mouth, nose and chin and will be provided by faculty to students who do not have them. 

Failure to comply with the campus mask requirement when informed of a violation may result in an individual being asked to leave the vicinity to protect the well-being of others in attendance. If the individual refuses to leave, campus police may be contacted as a last resort for assistance in escorting the individual off the premises. He or she may also face further disciplinary action for violating TJC’s student code of conduct.

Students with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings must obtain a waiver to continue in-person instruction. Students should visit Disability Services in Potter Hall, or contact Director Margaret Rapp at (903) 510-2878 or by email at mrap@tjc.edu to obtain a waiver. 

3. Changes on Campus

Photo by Chris Swann

Classrooms will operate at limited capacity with layouts changed to promote social distancing between students and professors. Additional personnel have been hired through TJC’s cleaning service, ABM, to conduct routine, thorough sanitation of TJC classrooms and facilities. 

“TJC has implemented policies and procedures that, if followed, should eliminate chances for exposure to COVID-19,” Sanders said. “Various departments have implemented policies specific to their environment such as residential housing, food service and others. All students and employees must take mandatory training to be sure everyone understands the policies and procedures established to keep us all safe.”

Photo by Chris Swann

4. Remote Learning

Students can view their course modalities online under the Registration tab on Apache Access. Online courses are indicated by an “I” next to the course number on Apache Access, while hybrid courses or indicated by an “H.” Hybrid classes are composed of 50% online instruction and 50% in-person instruction, with most meeting once a week in the classroom and once a week virtually. 

In preparation for the transition to online learning, TJC professors teaching online classes received additional training for Zoom and Canvas applications over the summer. 

5. Campus Community

All TJC students, staff and faculty are expected to abide by the college’s regulations. Some students have shared their opinions about returning to TJC this fall. 

“I feel as if TJC is doing the best they can to help prevent COVID-19,” said Jace Thomas, a third-year student. “COVID-19 is a horrible virus, and we need to implement every rule and regulation we can to make sure students are protected against the virus.”

As schools across the country return amid the pandemic, TJC and other educational communities have been able to foster a sense of togetherness under uncertain circumstances. 

“There is a feeling of unity as we realize we are all ‘in this together’ and must work in a cooperative manner to assure everyone’s safety and eventual end to the health crises,” Sanders said. “While we are united as a TJC community, the Ramey Tower continues to be lit in red, white and blue to show solidarity with our entire nation.”

Most Popular