Owensboro Community & Technical College has named its public safety director, Jeff N. Hendricks, as the school’s healthy at work officer in an effort to ensure health and safety for students and staff as OCTC transitions to re-opening its campuses amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with his public safety director duties, Hendricks will also be responsible for ensuring masks be worn by everyone on campus, which is a new requirement. He will also ensure classrooms and labs are spaced according to social distance guidelines.
OCTC is also requiring all employees to receive safety training before returning to campus, and they will do online healthy check-ins daily before coming to the campus. Students also are asked to temperature self-checks as well before returning to campus, and some larger common areas will be closed to ensure large groups aren’t gathering. Surfaces will also be cleaned and sanitized often.
Hendricks said he is pleased with how students and staff have adapted to new healthy at work standards, and he reiterated that the “new normal” will bring a different look to campus to ensure safety for students, faculty and staff.
While all summer courses that begin June 10 will continue to be offered online, on-campus lab coursework can begin in July, according to information provided by OCTC officials.
Most OCTC faculty and staff have been working remotely since mid-March, and many will continue to do so as the school begins its stages of re-opening. However, some have come back to campus beginning this week, and OCTC President Scott Williams said those individuals are involved with student and business affairs.
“We will begin to take students who need to come to campus by appointment later in June,” Williams said. “We’ve found that a good number of folks can work from home and be highly productive working remotely and we will continue to serve students that way as well.”
The fall term is still slated to begin Aug. 17, but classes will continue to be offered in varying formats. Courses will be offered fully online, and face-to-face, or combinations or both. Face-to-face courses will have options that will make it easier to transition to online learning, if necessary, according to OCTC officials.
Williams said the on-campus experience will look different from this point forward, but “in order to try and ensure everyone is healthy and safe we will be doing things differently.”
“I expect that the protocols will change as we proceed through the stages of reopening, we just ask that everyone is patient and adhere to the guidelines,” he said. “We want to have a successful reopening in every stage of the plan so we can continue to serve the community.”
Current or prospective students who have questions can visit owensboro.kctcs.edu or call 270-686-4400 for more information.