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Jeff State supports students in online classes

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Jefferson State Community College, including the Chilton County campus, has moved to alternative methods of instruction for the rest of the school year in response to coronavirus social distancing recommendations and requirements.

“It is certainly a challenging time for, not only Jefferson State, but anyone in education, everyone in our state,” David Bobo, director of community and media relations, said.

The college is focused on “supporting our students” during the shift to mostly online classes. Physical campuses are closed, but Bobo said not all of the educational resources being used are strictly online.

“We have done several things to help our students along and support them in any way we can,” Bobo said.

Online classes have been offered through Jefferson state for several years, so many of the students are familiar with the platform. However, Bobo said some student who have only taken traditional in person courses may find it harder to adjust.

“That’s what we have focused on a lot, making sure those students (needs) are met,” Bobo said.

Explanations on how to use new platforms and internet-based resources such as tutoring or the college’s writing lab have been made available to students on the Jeff State website. IT resources are also available to the students to work through issues connecting to classes or other school resources.

Bobo said the college has communicated with students to remind them of the resources that are available.

Student clubs and organizations have also been able to meet via videoconferencing.

“This is challenging,” Bobo said. “This is disruptive to so many students and family … we are trying to help the best we can.”

While options are still being explored for a graduation ceremony at a later date, grades are still being processed as normal for students to complete their degrees.

The entire Alabama Community College System, of which JSCC is a part, has canceled graduation on the initial days. A later ceremony or a virtual ceremony may be held at a later date. Students have been given surveys to determine what their preferences would be.

Staff in enrollment services are also working and available for those wanting to enroll in summer classes.

“Enrollment services has been really working around the clock to help students,” Bobo said.

A COVID-19 updates page has also been added to the Jefferson State Facebook page.