We know you have been eager to hear more detailed plans for the fall semester and what the coming months will bring as far as campus life is concerned. Our College, and each of us affiliated with it, has faced uncertainty and rapid change for most of this year. You have all done a phenomenal job of adapting to the major shifts required to keep our community safe. As we move forward, we are doing our utmost to serve the needs of our students, employees, and community while continuing to prioritize everyone’s health and safety.
Because these are uncertain times, we must remain flexible with our plans and expectations. However, we have developed a blueprint for what the coming months will look like at Aims and we wanted to give you a general idea of what to expect.
To begin, we want to reiterate that our institution prioritizes:
We value everyone who is affiliated with, and who visits, our campuses, and have invested heavily in making Aims a safe environment for our students, employees, and community members to thrive.
This includes top-notch instruction and resources for our students, and the technology and professional development needed for our faculty and staff to support this.
Equity and Inclusion
We work to create an equitable and inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, socio-economic status, or disabilities.
We also stand by our Aims Values and use them to guide all that we do as a College.
Summary of the Plan:
While there are many details to consider regarding our plan for fall, these are the three key elements:
What Fall Courses Will Look Like
As mentioned previously, Aims will offer Fall 2020 courses in various formats, including in-person, online, remote, and hybrid modalities. We are excited to be able to serve the needs of different students and programs. These different approaches help us ensure that learning outcomes for each type of class are met, and ultimately keeps students on track for their educational goals. This also allows for us to reduce the number of people on campus, making it easier to facilitate social distancing.
Our faculty have taken impressive measures to adapt their courses to the various formats. Since mid-March, many have been attending virtual workshops and completing online mini-courses to make sure they are prepared to create engaging online and remote learning experiences for students. This has resulted in faculty creating engaging courses that will likely be taught long after the pandemic necessitates remote and online learning.
Student Services and Activities
While maintaining safety protocols, our priority has been to provide students access to services. Over the summer, services with direct impact to enrollment, registration, and basic needs have been open for limited in-person hours. These include recruitment, advising, enrollment, financial aid, cashier, book store, testing, student IDs/Bus Pass, and Arty's Pantry. All other student services have been available remotely via phone, email and Zoom.
As we get closer to the fall semester, other student service departments will be reopening for in-person service. These include the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, counseling, disability access services, and the Transition Center. All services will continue to be accessible remotely as well.
Student events and activities during the fall semester will be offered mostly in a virtual environment. We are looking forward to hosting a welcome back drive-in movie night on August 21 for students, employees, and families. More information is forthcoming. Students are encouraged to check their Aims email regularly and visit Campus Connect for updates.
Working on Campus
To ensure our students and community have the support they need, we have brought back to campus a number of employees. As fall semester approaches, we will continue to bring back more employees. While all campus offices will be staffed, we will not have all employees working on campus at the same time for the remainder of the calendar year. We are adhering to current guidance that recommends having no more than 50 percent of the College’s population on campus at one time.
Decisions about who needs to be on campus and when they need to be there will be determined by supervisors. Employees receive a health questionnaire before returning to campus to determine if they are eligible to be on campus. See Employee Re-entry Guidelines for more information.
Aims Human Resources has been working diligently to solidify information and policies for employees. Extensive information from HR will be delivered to employees next week.
Health and Safety Protocols
Aims Campus Safety and Security continues to stay updated on the guidance of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and local county health departments recommendations.
More details about health and safety protocols can be found on the website. More details about cleaning, ventilation, and other safety measures will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Questions and the Looking Ahead
We understand you have many questions. We are working to answer as many as we can on our website and through announcements like this. If your questions aren’t completely answered in this communication, we want you to know that more information is coming as soon as it’s solidified. Please check your Aims email, our website and Tea with Dr. B often for the latest updates.
If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please reach contact one of the following:
Student Questions: email@example.com
Employee Questions: Contact your supervisor
Community Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your patience, understanding, questions and recommendations, as well as your kindness and support for one another.
Dr. Leah L. Bornstein