President Friedman _ Spring Semester 2022 Update to Students

January 5, 2022

Dear PVCC Students,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a safe and restful winter break. While we had hoped to start a traditional spring semester on Monday, January 10, the recent surge in the omicron variant of COVID-19 has led us to temporarily change the way we will offer in-person classes for the first two weeks of the spring semester starting Monday, January 10.

All credit classes and labs that begin the week of January 10 and are scheduled to meet in person (16-week and first 8-week sessions) will be held virtually between January 10 and January 23 (the first two weeks of classes). Starting on Monday, January 24 all in-person classes will return to meeting in person.

This means that there will be no in-person classes between January 10 and January 23. Instead, the classes scheduled to meet in person during that time will be shifted to an online scheduled time format (synchronous). This means that students and faculty will meet via Zoom during the regularly scheduled class time.

Online anytime classes (asynchronous) are not impacted and will be offered as normally scheduled. Off-campus health science clinicals will operate as originally scheduled by the clinical site and all clinical site policies will remain in effect.

We take this step as a precaution. The omicron variant is highly contagious and we do not want to risk a large-scale COVID outbreak among PVCC faculty and students. The experts predict that the omicron surge will end in a few weeks so it should be safe to resume in-person classes on January 24. Although PVCC does not require students to be vaccinated, the infectious disease experts have made it clear that the best thing you can do to keep yourself, your family and the PVCC community safe is to be fully vaccinated. I strongly encourage you to get vaccinated and I remind you that PVCC requires you to wear a face covering/mask when in any PVCC building.

I assure you that even with this two-week shift to online learning, all classes will achieve their learning objectives and you will get the high-quality education you expect from PVCC. Your credits will still transfer if you go on to pursue a bachelor's degree and you will still master the knowledge and skills you expect to apply to your current job or your future career.

NEXT STEPS

Preparing your computer:

  • Ensure that you have access to a computer or a mobile device that includes reliable access to the Internet.
  • Be sure your computer has the Chrome or Firefox web browser.
  • Be sure your computer has speakers, a microphone, and webcam. Most new computers include these already.
  • If you need a computer, visit the GOAL Program website to request a loaner: www.pvcc.edu/student-services/library/goal-program.

Accessing your course online:

  • Canvas is the system that will allow you to log in to your online course.
  • The Canvas system is located in the MyPVCC portal.
  • To access the MyPVCC portal:
    • 1. Go to www.pvcc.edu
    • 2. Click on MyPVCC located in the top right corner of the PVCC homepage
    • 3. Enter your username and password
    • 4. Click Login
    • 5. Click on Canvas
    • 6. Click on www.pvcc.edu/canvas-login-instructions for more details on logging in to Canvas.
  • For assistance with your username and password contact IT Support Services at help@pvcc.edu or 434.961.5261.

Communicating with your instructor(s):

  • Once you have logged on to Canvas, the first thing you will see is the “Dashboard” which displays a view of all the courses you are enrolled in for the semester.
  • Clicking on the course(s) displayed on the dashboard will take you to the home page for each course where you will find specific information, instructions, and assignments for that specific course.
  • Be sure to look over all the announcements and review your syllabus and course schedule. Specific information about the delivery of your course can be found here.
  • Information and the link required to log on to Zoom to attend your class will be on the homepage of your course(s). Remember, online class attendance is required for online scheduled time classes.
  • Check your PVCC email regularly for important communications from PVCC faculty, staff, and administration. For assistance with your PVCC email account contact IT Support Services at help@pvcc.edu or 434.961.5261.
  • If you have questions about your course(s), email your instructor directly from your PVCC email address.

PVCC is here to help you with all technical needs and questions. Do not hesitate to contact the Help Desk or your instructor. PVCC will even loan you a computer if you need one. We want you to succeed even if online learning is new to you. Thousands of PVCC students successfully shifted to online learning in 2020-21. You can too!

Between January 10 and January 21, PVCC’s campuses will remain open, including academic division offices and all academic and student support services, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Virtual services will also continue to be provided to students as previously scheduled. This means that the library, the writing center, the First Quadrant Math Center, admissions and advising, financial aid, and all other student support services will be available for you in-person and online. PVCC is here to serve you and help you succeed.

If you need to access the internet, you may do so on campus. As always, spaces will be available in the library, open computer lab, and designated computer classrooms to accommodate students who need to use the PVCC wireless network.

This was not the start to the semester we were anticipating. We believe that this temporary two-week shift to virtual learning will ultimately result in the least disruption to teaching and learning while keeping everyone as safe as possible during this COVID surge.

We will get through this together. Best wishes for a successful semester.

Frank Friedman
President
Piedmont Virginia Community College