Distance learning will continue for DelTech

DOVER — Delaware Technical Community College will continue its classes remotely for the fall semester, officials have announced.

However, the college will review and identify a limited number of “skills laboratory courses that will take place in person, on campus,” as well as allow clinical experience for nursing and allied health courses to continue at clinical sites.

“We know that this is disappointing for all of us who want to be back on campus, but our first responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our students, employees and community at large,” said the college’s president, Mark Brainard, in a letter to the campus community.

A virtual student services center — rolled out in March when campuses were just starting to feel the impact of COVID-19 — will offer access to support services, such as financial aid, advisement, tutoring and requests for access to food pantries.

In his letter, Mr. Brainard noted that math, computer and writing centers for tutoring will be open on campus to offer “supplemental in-person instruction.”

While all campuses are open and operational, employees are urged to telecommute and minimize in-person interactions at the college. Everyone will be screened upon entry and must wear a mask and social distance, Mr. Brainard said.

“We are committed to providing a meaningful academic experience for our students,” he said. “Our faculty and staff have spent the last few months working to enhance distance learning courses and developing innovative strategies for engaging with our students and providing the services they need. We will continue to offer high-quality academic programs, while putting our students at the center of everything we do.”

The community college is the latest to join Delaware’s other institutions in announcing plans for the fall semester. Last week, Delaware State University announced its intentions of opening, with robust testing in place. University of Delaware and Goldey-Beacom College will also welcome students back for the semester.

While Wesley College announced last week it will be acquired by Delaware State University no later than June 2021, the college will operate independently this year. It also plans on bringing its students back to campus for the fall. Protocols and policies include phased move-ins, prearrival screenings, classroom and dining facilities equipped for social distancing, and a hybrid educational model.