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03/24/2020

Letter to Students from EACC President 3/24/2020

Dear EACC Students,

Good afternoon. I hope you are having a safe Spring Break, and that you are putting your health first by adhering to travel and social distancing restrictions. Today, Arkansas announced its first 2 deaths from the COVID-19 virus. The majority of the 218 cases in Arkansas have occurred among those aged 19-64, per Governor Hutchinson's 1:30 p.m. update. The situation grows more serious and your health is paramount.

EACC is not closed during this event, but is engaging in only very limited essential campus operations in order serve students while following social distancing restrictions.  We are adapting daily as the Governor gives his updates.

This unprecedented health crisis has led EACC to engage in innovative, individualized, and creative methods of instructional delivery. Taking into account individual student needs has always been a hallmark of this College, and is even more important than ever to us.

Therefore, we have made the decision that alternative methods of instruction will continue through April 17. AMI may include such things as Blackboard, email, correspondence, tele- and videoconferencing. What is most suitable for each student varies based on student and programmatic needs. Please note that adjustments to plans are made as we receive directives from the State of Arkansas.

Although we are electing to continue AMI as much as possible, many students, courses, and programs have special needs. For example, at present we plan that next week, some labs for vocational, occupational, and technical courses will be open at limited times for a limited number of students. There may be other special situations as instructors work to accommodate students. Flexibility remains paramount to continue to provide the best education possible. Communication between faculty and students is essential.

The Computer Education Center is open this week, and will continue to remain open, for students who need help with technology or Wifi. Drive-up Wifi locations are noted on signs located throughout campus, and emails and social media posts regarding this access have been sent.

At present, we plan to reopen the Wynne Center and the Learning Resource Center (library) on Monday, March 30, to provide students with more access to technology. Again, this situation could change based on announcements from the Governor's office, and I appreciate your understanding and patience as the situation evolves. Our focus is on providing you, our students, with the access and resources you need.

Students, faculty, and staff wishing to come to campus will be screened for COVID-19. Anyone with positive indications will not be allowed on campus. No groups of more than 10 will be allowed in any one area.  At the present time, these guidelines fit the directives issued by Governor Hutchinson. We will make changes as changes to his directives are announced.

The fluidity of this situation is frustrating to me, and I know that it is difficult for you as well. Rest assured that we are working hard to best serve your educational needs while responding to a rapidly evolving situation in an unprecedented environment.

Our goal is for your learning to continue so your goals can be realized, even though at present, education requires an extraordinarily high level of flexibility, creativity, and adaptability.

All essential student services continue. If you have a need that is not being met, please email care@eacc.edu. We care about what you need and want to serve you.  I admire the determination and resilience you have shown in this situation, and by working together, we will ensure that you are able to finish strong (#FINISHSTRONGAR).

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