POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) - Pearl River Community College has announced its plans to welcome students back in a safe way for the fall semester to its Hattiesburg, Poplarville and Waveland locations.
The first day of classes will be Aug. 17.
PRCC has put in place many safety precautions and protocols in agreement with local and state regulations.
“We look forward to welcoming our faculty and students back to our campuses this fall,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood, said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of challenges, however our plan provides students a variety of options for instructional delivery while maintaining the safest environment possible.”
Employees and students on campus will be given a PRCC face mask as individuals will be required to wear masks in all buildings and confined spaces if anyone is there.
Students and employees are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and be considerate of others while moving around the campuses.
Stickers will be placed on floors in high-traffic areas as a reminder to social distance. These areas include outside elevators, outside of offices where lines might form and other areas where people typically gather in groups. Crowding in small places will not be allowed.
Frequently touched areas throughout the campuses will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Temperature kiosks and sanitization stations will be available at the entrances of high-traffic areas, along with specific program entrances. Students and staff are encouraged to use the kiosks daily and self-monitor their health. Those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above should leave campus as soon as possible and seek medical attention.
“We understand there are challenges we must face in the upcoming semester, but we plan to work diligently and in the safest, most responsible way for our employees, students and community,” said Vice President for the Poplarville Campus and Student Services Jeff Long. “We continue to be dedicated to providing a safe, effective learning environment for our students.”
Realizing many of class offerings will have to address the instruction of classes in different ways, classes at PRCC will utilize a mix of in-class, hybrid, “Hyflex” and online instruction to allow social distance among students.
“The administration has made efforts to prepare the college for the return of instructors and students this fall,” PRCC Senior Vice President of Instruction/Provost Dr. Martha Smith said. “Currently, Pearl River is in the process of purchasing technology to incorporate the Hyflex pedagogy. This instructional method will afford flexibility in an ever-changing environment.”
Students will need to regularly check their PRCC student email before the first day of classes for certain instructions on how to approach the first week of coursework, and instructors will work with students during that week to assign online, hybrid and in-class schedules specific to each group’s needs.
Students who will live in dormitories for the fall semester will move in over the course of four days before classes start. Those students will be emailed and assigned a specific move-in time window to control interactions.
One person will be allowed to help a student move items into their dorms.
All facilities will be cleaned and disinfected before students move in.
PRCC semester starter packs will be provided to students as they will include a face mask and hand sanitizer.
Students will wear face masks in buildings and confined spaces if another person is with them. Dorm lobbies will be closed to groups.
PRCC cafeteria staff will serve food where it will be necessary as an alternative to self-service and buffet-style dining.
Tables, chairs and other frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected regularly between uses.
Seating capacity in dining areas will be changed to let at least six feet of space between tables, and a limit will be placed on the number of customers allowed in the dining hall at any given time. Customers will not be able to accept a carry-out.
Any customers who do not want to dine in will be able to pick up a prepared to-go box.
Students who wish to attend one of PRCC’s campuses will have the opportunity to visit the Poplarville, Hattiesburg and Waveland locations and register for classes on Aug. 12-14 for an open registration event.
Registration will be held in the Technology Building on the Poplarville campus, Building 3 at the Forrest County Center and the main lobby at the Waveland Center from 8 p.m. - 4 p.m. each day.
Masks are required and students are not to bring any guest with them to the registration event. The event is open to new and returning Wildcats.