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Enamait provides updates on how coronavirus has impacted SCC

During the Albemarle Rotary Club’s weekly Zoom meeting on Thursday, Stanly Community College President Dr. John Enamait gave an update about how the college has been operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Enamait mentioned the college recently donated four ventilators (totaling around $70,000 each) and personal protective equipment to Atrium Health Stanly.

“We are the only college that I know of in North Carolina that has donated ventilators,” Enamait said.

John Enamait

In addition, seven respiratory therapy students who are graduating in May have accepted positions at Atrium.

The college, which was recently ranked the 11th best online college in the country and second best community college in the state, should also be receiving money in the near future thanks to the CARE Act recently passed by Congress to help those affected by the pandemic.

He relayed to the Rotary members that SCC was “well-prepared” to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

Beginning on March 10, SCC banned travel from outside the county.

“We were the first community college in North Carolina to ban all travel,” Enamait said.

The college transitioned to remote learning on March 20. All but three classes were able to transition to an online environment. A few days later, Enamait said the college postponed graduation in the hopes of having a physical ceremony in early August.

Even with face-to-face instruction suspended, 12 students were able to graduate after completing the Electrical Line Worker Program in late March.

“They are our most recent graduates of Stanly Community College,” Enamait said.

The college has also donated food from its pantries to Stanly Community Christian Ministries, identified and communicated WiFi hotspots in parking lots on campus for people to access, held daily “Lunch and Chat” sessions for employees to socialize with each other via Zoom and spent more than $60,000 on additional server capacity to allow the college to support more students.

Unlike most community colleges in the state, SCC has four licensed counselors who are available to students who may have issues dealing with Covid-19.

SCC is registering students for the summer semester and Enamait said registration numbers are strong and “we are basically about the same point where we were this time last spring for our summer enrollment.”

Classes for the summer will be completely online, which will prevent the college from offering a number of classes and programs which rely on face-to-face interactions, such as cosmetology.

Enamait said the college is developing a normal fall semester schedule under the assumption that restrictions by then will be lifted, though contingency plans are in place if more online learning would be necessary.

“Unless things change dramatically for the worse, we do plan to begin face-to-face instruction at least at a skeleton level in the fall,” he said.

Enamait concluded his presentation by stressing that he still doesn’t know how the pandemic will ultimately impact the health of students and staff, future enrollment numbers and the college’s budget.

“It is too early for us to have an idea of when things can return to normal,” he said.

 

 

 

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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