Cloud County Community College Board Meets to Discuss the Transition to Online Instruction for the Remainder of the Semester
The Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees met for its latest regular meeting on Tuesday, March 24th, which was conducted via Zoom video conferencing in response to the social distancing directives from federal and state authorities designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Effective this week, Cloud County Community College has transitioned from face-to-face courses to online instruction for the remainder of the semester to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
College President Dr. Adrian Douglas said the health of Cloud's students, employees, visitors, and the community are of critical importance.
She said they are making tough decisions based on thoughtful review of available information, in conjunction with the Cloud County Health Department, Emergency Management, and state and federal agencies to address this rapidly evolving public health issue.
Students at Cloud County Community College have been asked to check out permanently for the semester by Sunday, March 29th. Dr. Douglas said thirteen students who are currently living in on-campus housing have no other place to live, and will be allowed to remain in housing until the end of the semester.
The Cloud County Community College Children's Learning Center is also closed.
Vice President for Administrative Services Amber Knoettgen said they continue to reassess the situation, but the center has been closed since Spring Break in response to the social distancing directives they've received from federal and state authorities.
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Pedro Leite informed the board the college remains focused on preserving the learning opportunities of its students and several programs have transitioned successfully to distance learning while working to ensure everyone's safety.
Leite reported that no students have withdrawn from courses on the college's Concordia and Geary County Campuses because of the college's decision to halt face-to-face classes to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Cloud County Community College Soccer Program Suspended Indefinitely
The Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees voted 5-1 Tuesday night to suspend the college women's and men's soccer programs indefinitely, effective immediately. Trustee Patricia Owensby MacFarlane cast the lone opposing vote.
The decision came following a 40-minute Executive Session for Consultation with Legal Counsel with College Attorney Justin Ferrell, Douglas, Knoettgen, Leite and Director of Human Resources Chris Wilson.
No discussion was held following the Executive Session.
As KNCK News reported earlier this month, Dr. Douglas released a campuswide T-Bird Update this winter recommending the temporary suspension of the college women's and men's soccer programs while the college's administration works to restructure their recruitment and admissions processes and enforce English proficiency requirements for all international students.
Visiting with media on March 4th, Dr. Douglas said they've learned many of their students find Cloud County Community College through international recruiting agencies not affiliated with the college. According to Dr. Douglas, the recruiting agents help students navigate the process of preparing them to come to the United States. Students pay a lot of money to these companies for this assistance, sometimes up to $5,000.
Dr. Douglas said the federal government has recognized this as a problem and has issued a regulation that colleges and universities are not to issue I-20s to third parties.
Dr. Douglas told KNCK News these companies are often "soccer focused," so it is unclear to the college if the point of emphasis is being placed on coming to the United States to study or to play soccer.
Acknowledging that the decision to recommend temporary suspension of their soccer programs may have come as a surprise to many, Dr. Douglas said this month that by temporarily suspending the programs, it will allow the college to step back and address the issues in order to better serve their students.
Following approval of suspension by the Trustees on Tuesday, students who decide to transfer from Cloud County Community College will receive a full release from their letter of intent. Students who decide to remain at Cloud County will have their letter of intent honored for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The suspension of the soccer programs is expected to impact approximately 70 current members of the soccer teams.
The Board of Trustees also voted to renew the contracts for College Head Men's Basketball Coach Jordan Altman and Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Taylor Jones, as well as Assistant Women's Basketball Coach Josiah White.
The board also held a 10-minute Executive Session for Negotiations. No action was taken.