Crowder begins fall semester

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Students, staff doing more online, glad to be back

The start of the school year is a big deal, from kindergarten to senior year, but there is still a lot of celebrating to do for the local college students who also started school this fall on Aug. 17.

Angela Seymour, director of Crowder Cassville campus, said there is a large number of students taking online where possible.

“A large number of those students weren’t comfortable taking online courses before,” she said. “But, due to COVID-19, they have become more comfortable.”

Crowder doesn’t have their official number as of just yet, but College-wide the enrollment numbers seem to be holding steady.

“I would say that the Cassville campus may be slightly down in numbers,” she said. “The Cassville campus has implemented new policies due to COVID-19.”

The campus students and staff must wear a mask when they are in session and maintaining a six-foot distance from one another is not possible.

“We have always offered online options,” Seymour said. “Over the summer, we went to a full 100 percent online instruction. Then, we opened the campus back up in July.”

Some staff members were working on campus and some were working remotely.

“On Aug. 3, we had everyone back,” she said. “Classes started for students on Aug. 17.”

Crowder’s top priority is to keep students and their communities safe above all else.

“But, there is more to the success of a college student than what is offered online,” Seymour said. “We have brought in more cleaning materials, sanitation stations and are all round being very cautious.”

Seymour said to be able to see a student’s face and understand when they need additional help with something is priceless.

“It is a way to hold everyone more accountable than is possible online,” she said. “Having a campus feel makes the college experience.”

Seymour said both students and staff were ready to be back.

“We have a COVID-19 link on our website so that students can report,” she said. “We are being more forgiving with those students who are needing to be in isolation or in quarantine.”

The campus instructors have prepared for that situation with online options.

“Additionally, there are options for people who have been out of work,” she said. “FAFSA takes information from two tax returns ago, but if you can prove that the situation has changed, you can petition that your income has changed and they can adjust that accordingly.”

Starting October throughout December, there are options for first-time college students to get a foot in the door.

“Then, they will be prepared to go regularly in the spring,” she said. “What our students and staff are going through and feeling at this time is important to us. We are being quicker about reaching out and offering resources to help.

“We are doing our best to slow the spread and help people with their goals and dreams.”

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