Date: March 21, 2020
Media Contact: Marcus Rosano, 301-525-5283
FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE
COVID-19 Updates: Montgomery College Allocates Over $550,000 to Support Students; Announces Restricted Access to Campus Buildings and Extension of Remote Teaching and Working Plans
To protect the health and safety of the community and students, Montgomery College announced Friday that a complete restriction of access to its buildings will begin Tuesday, March 24.
In a memorandum sent to students and employees Friday morning, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard wrote that further information on the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Maryland altered the College’s plans for its use of facilities and remote working and teaching:
“In consideration of the guidance from Governor Hogan’s administration along with the MC Coronavirus Advisory Team (CAT), the College will now restrict access to its buildings beginning Tuesday, March 24, indefinitely. In addition, the College will also extend its remote teaching and working plans until further notice. MC will re-evaluate this status on April 15, 2020.”
“I know that Montgomery College is strong,” Pollard said. “We’re an organization that is resilient with phenomenal faculty that is dedicated to exceptional teaching in whatever modality they are doing it in.”
On Thursday, the College announced the allocation of over $550,000 to support students in need, including resources to help students get the technology needed in this largely uncharted environment. In a memorandum sent to students and employees, College senior vice presidents wrote:
“Given the hardships being experienced by our students in need, the College and the Montgomery College Foundation are allocating over $550,000 to student assistance during the pandemic. The College has reallocated funds from the cancellation of college-sponsored events, including commencement, to a scholarship and grants account within the College’s operating budget to assist students in need with tuition, fees, books, supplies and/or technology. The Montgomery College Foundation is also allocating restricted and unrestricted funds to provide assistance to students in need with food, technology, tuition, fees, books, supplies, and/or other needs during the pandemic.”
“The biggest challenge to moving to online is getting people online,” said Dr. Brad Stewart, Vice President and Provost, Takoma Park/Silver Spring (TP/SS) Campus. “Our IT folks have done an amazing job of distributing technology to our faculty and staff. Mike Mills, Vice President, Office of E-Learning, Innovation, and Teaching Excellence (ELITE) and his team have been equally as amazing in providing training and support for the move online.”
The College has also made web conferencing available to every MC employee for enhanced remote working and teaching. Over the course of about a week, the College provided more than 300 employees with laptops, mobile phones, and webcams to support instruction, student services and college operations.
Student logins to Blackboard surged to more than 70,000 in the first week of the transition to online instruction and advising; instructors logged in 6,550 times in the same period.
As the situation continues to evolve with coronavirus, the College has taken numerous steps to protect faculty, staff, and students and to slow the spread of the disease. A comprehensive collection of resources, guidance, and communications can be found at the College’s coronavirus webpage.
The College continues to closely monitor the guidance of the Montgomery County and Maryland State Departments of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding response to COVID-19 as well as the actions of other colleges and universities in the region.
Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.
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