Niagara County Community College will begin the spring 2021 semester on Jan. 19 at both the Sanborn campus and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Most classes will operate virtually through Feb. 1 while a limited number of SUNY approved high-contact labs will take place in-person throughout the semester.
As the pandemic continues, NCCC has elected to proceed with reduced in-person capacities in order to maintain a safe learning and working environment. The college will continue to follow all federal, state, SUNY and local guidelines. Several measures will be in place for the spring semester in order to reduce density on campus and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
NCCC said students can expect many of their courses to pivot to a flexible learning option.
There are several types of instructional modalities and they include: online, hybrid, blended and face-to-face courses.
The online courses are 100% virtual and flexible. Students can learn on their own schedule while also having access to their instructors and college resources. Hybrid courses combine online learning and in-person instruction. On-campus instruction or activity may be required for some of these courses. Blended courses are 100% online and require some or all of the online instruction to occur in real-time as scheduled.
Every in-person meeting will guarantee classroom sizes that can facilitate physical distancing. Masks will be required for all who enter the campus.
Before teaching in an online or hybrid modality, faculty are trained and provided with opportunities for professional growth in teaching in distance learning formats through NCCC’s departments of online learning and the Faculty Resource Center for Academic Excellence.
Returning to Campus
Returning residents of NCCC’s Student Housing Village will be required to bring a hard copy of their negative COVID-19 test results taken within 72 hours of moving into the dorms. New residents will be required to bring a hard copy of their negative COVID-19 results taken within five days of moving into the dorms. All students, whether commuting or residing on campus, should refer to the Guidelines for Students on NCCC’s COVID-19 webpage for a full list of instructions prior to returning to campus.
The college will continue the COVID-19 screening process for all who enter the premises. Individuals will be required to enter through the Learning Commons, have their temperature checked, and submit a health questionnaire upon arrival. Masks are required upon entering.
Student Services and Activities
Faculty, staff and student-centered departments will remain open and available from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. weekdays. Students are welcome to make appointments or visit various departments, including admissions, career and transitional services, cashier’s office, financial aid, the Henrietta G. Lewis Library, records and registration, student resource center, testing center, and the wellness center to fulfill any need they may have as it pertains to their experience at NCCC.
The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) will continue its tutoring services in both virtual and in-person sessions. Regardless of remote or on-campus learning, every NCCC student is welcome to utilize in-person ACE services. During the spring semester, ACE will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. In addition to tutoring services, students can utilize printers, computers and web cameras for their online coursework. ACE’s online tutoring will begin Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and will run weekdays. STAR-NY tutoring, also available through ACE, will begin Feb. 3, from 7 p.m. through midnight, operating Sunday through Thursday evenings.
Student activities will resume for the semester, though many will take place online. A limited number of in-person events for students will include cultural celebrations and awareness events, “Wolf Pack Wake Up” events, “Service with a Slice” community outreach, “Taco Tuesdays” and “Supermarket Sweep” games.
NCCC plans to resume intercollegiate athletic competition in February, beginning with its indoor sports of men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. Spring sports, including baseball, golf and softball, along with the traditional fall sports of men’s and women’s soccer, are on track to begin competition in March.
Academic Calendar Changes
NCCC has eliminated its traditional spring break recess. The semester will operate steadily through May, ending one week earlier than originally planned. This will mitigate the risk of travel and exposure to the COVID-19 virus. It will also move commencement to May 8.
NCCC will implement commencement plans in accordance with New York state, SUNY and Niagara County Health Department guidance. The college will adjust the method of the celebration based upon the conditions at that time.
A press release noted, “The faculty and staff of Niagara County Community College are looking forward to working with returning students and are excited to welcome the newest cohort of freshman, transfer, nonmatriculated and international students. The college will continue to communicate COVID-19-related news in a timely, transparent and understandable manner.”
NCCC campus safety monitor and Vice President of Administration Wayne Lynch said, “We are committed to exceeding safety standards just as we are committed to educational excellence.”