McKINNEY, TX – Collin College will reopen its campuses this fall with a focus on safety, health, and a robust, full complement of classes ranging from face-to-face courses with enhanced social distancing to an expanded offering of hybrid/blended and fully online courses for students.
The college’s 2020 Fall Restart Plan requires extensive cleaning, social distancing, and face masks for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the college is piloting both a telehealth benefits program for students, adjunct faculty and part-time staff plus a paid sick leave plan for adjunct faculty. The college is also moving ahead with plans for new air handling technology for its facilities.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority,” said Dr. J. Robert Collins, current chair and founding member of the Collin College Board of Trustees. “Our goal at this time is to provide quality education at affordable prices for our students. All this while following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Office of the Governor, and local authorities.”
The college’s restart plan builds from experiences this spring and summer. Many students who needed skills-based coursework or labs have been attending classes on the college’s campuses. These students, faculty, and staff have followed the college’s comprehensive safety plan, which requires face masks/coverings on all public spaces on campuses as well as in classrooms and labs.
Collin College alumna Shelby Howell, currently a respiratory care practitioner at Parkland Hospital, completed her spring courses on the McKinney Campus and received a job offer before she graduated this May.
“I felt safe,” Howell said. “People were watching us wear masks and practice hand hygiene and social distancing. As health care students, we knew what to do, and we followed precautions and CDC guidelines. I thought the measures the college took were effective. I was very glad they allowed us to finish because otherwise we would have received incompletes and that would have prevented us from starting to work.”
The college’s Fall 2020 Restart Plan addresses academic continuity during the pandemic and includes details for students, faculty, and staff safety; return to campus information; as well as instructional delivery methods; and COVID-19 oversight and response.
“We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for student success at Collin College. Our detailed restart plan, telemedicine pilot for students, adjunct faculty and part-time staff, as well as a pilot paid sick leave plan for adjunct faculty all demonstrate our full commitment to protecting the health and safety of our dedicated faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Neil Matkin, district president.
The telehealth benefits pilot will provide students, adjunct faculty and part-time staff with access to health care via telemedicine. This pilot will ensure that individuals who attend or work for the college have access to necessary health insurance benefits.
The college employs approximately 885 adjunct faculty members each semester. The new pilot paid sick leave plan for adjunct faculty will provide pay continuity when an adjunct faculty member is ill.
In June, the Board of Trustees approved an engineering study for new air cleaning technology for air purification at 10 college facilities that will virtually eliminate airborne contaminants. This new air handling technology is designed to reduce the means by which viruses could spread and abates allergens, odors, bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus, or dust mites in treated air space either through Ultraviolet (UV) type light technology or Bi-Polar Ionizers. The systems will be incorporated into the college’s existing air handling systems. Upon approval by the Board this fall, this technology will be added to campuses in Frisco, McKinney, and Plano as well as the planned campuses in Celina and Farmersville. The new Technical Campus already offers bi-polar ionization, like those used in many hospitals, which can destroy airborne contaminants and viruses. The Wylie Campus already offers Merv-13 filters which screen out particles down to 0.3 microns.
For more information about the Fall 2020 Restart Plan, visit www.collin.edu and click on the “View the College Restart Plan” link at the top of the page.