Dr. Tonjua Williams, St. Petersburg College president
PINELLAS COUNTY — Starting Aug. 17, St. Petersburg College will hold a portion of classes on campus, including labs, healthcare, public safety, and other programs that require hands-on learning, as well as some general education courses where research shows students are more likely to succeed in a face-to-face environment.
The rest of SPC’s classes will be offered fully online or LIVE Online, which provides a virtual classroom experience where students can interact with faculty and peers in real-time through video conferencing.
The college will ask those coming to campuses to practice personal safety precautions such as wearing face coverings, which will be provided when social distancing cannot be maintained. Other precautions include:
- Adjusted seating patterns to ensure social distancing in classrooms and labs
- Increased sanitization, including electrostatic disinfecting of surfaces
- Availability of hand soap, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizing stations
- Wayfinding signs and floor markers to encourage one-way traffic flow and discourage overcrowding
- Faculty, staff, students and visitors will also be asked to complete a symptom checker self-assessment before coming to campus
“We realize that returning to campuses involves a bit of trepidation, but we’re taking every precaution we can to provide a safe and productive learning environment for all students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams, St. Petersburg College president. “With a full course schedule spread across three different learning modalities, we know we can offer students the classes they need to create a full schedule and stay on track toward degree completion.”
SPC’s Comeback Plan followed three principles: providing a safe and secure environment, addressing financial impacts, and advancing SPC’s mission of student success. It offers a phased approach to returning to campus, starting with facilities preparation and continued sanitation, followed by a slow return of employee functions to be ready in time for the August start date. It was created based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other local, state and federal guidelines.
“We want to remain flexible and responsive to the ever-changing situation,” adds Williams. “We will adjust as necessary should the pandemic escalate or improve over the next couple of months as we prepare to return.”