Commissioner implores students, public to stay away from campus as much as possible
“We are facing an intensifying public health crisis in our country, in Montana, and on our campuses,” - Clayton Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – To limit the spread of COVID-19, as of Friday, March 20, 2020, Great Falls College MSU is limiting access to its campus. Every precaution is being taken in areas still open to maintain distance and sanitation.
Student Central (Admissions, Advising, Financial Aid, Records, and Student Accounts) will still be available through Friday, March 27, for in-person student assistance. Beginning March 30, operations in Student Central will be limited.
As of March 30, the only on-campus service available to the public will be the Testing Center.c
Since Great Falls College is beginning its second eight-week block of the spring semester Monday, March 23, we recognize that students will need to purchase books, use the library and conduct other business to prepare for classes. However, services will be limited to those deemed strictly essential. This will promote a safer environment for both the students who have to come to campus and the employees required to work on campus to serve them.
“We are facing an intensifying public health crisis in our country, in Montana, and on our campuses,” wrote Clayton Christian, Commissioner of Higher Education, in a letter to Gov. Steve Bullock, the Montana Board of Regents and Montana University System campus leaders late Wednesday evening. “As the Montana University System, we are totally committed to supporting the health and safety of our students and employees. This means that we must make every effort to implement effective social distancing and crisis management strategies that have been outlined by state and federal authorities.”
In line with the commissioner’s directive, almost all classes will be conducted remotely with a limited number of exceptions that require in-person instruction, such as a few trades classes and labs. Students should contact their instructors with specific questions about their classes.
“These are unprecedented times for our community, state, country and world. But during these rapidly changing parameters, our faculty and staff have quickly adjusted to providing quality learning and services using technologies,” said Dr. Susan J. Wolff, CEO/Dean of Great Falls College MSU.
Great Falls College is closing the Weaver Library to the public but students of any Montana State-affiliated campus, staff and faculty can access it. The library is checking out Chromebooks for students who don’t have computers at home so they can access online instruction. The computer terminals in the Weaver Library and computer labs (B127 and B128) on campus will remain open and will be monitored to ensure social distancing takes place and that the equipment is disinfected after each use.
The Native American Enrichment Center and the Veterans Center will be closed physically, but directors Kathy Meier and Kevin Lyons will explore ways to make sure that the camaraderie, teamwork and family atmosphere created in those spaces continues.
Kathy Meier will ensure that instructors receive students’ Disability Services paperwork, and she will be available to work with new students at 406-771-4311 and email@example.com.
The vital work of the Academic Success Center, which provides free tutoring for students, will continue normal operations for those seeking help with classes, but Director Charla Merja is exploring ways for some of that to move online and ensuring students are spread out when on campus and that spaces are disinfected after each use. Anatomical models still will be available and disinfected thoroughly after each use.
The Testing Center will remain open to students and the public but will move to online proctoring when possible for distance students and equipment will be disinfected after each use. Reach out to Charla Merja at 406-771-4301 or Charla.firstname.lastname@example.org or the Testing Center at 406-268-3711 or email@example.com with questions or to make an appointment.
Bookstore staff members are encouraging students to call ahead to request their materials be gathered for a quick pick-up. Mail delivery is also an option for students needing to stay home. Starting March 30, store hours will be limited so students are encouraged to call ahead before coming in.
The Lifelong Learning Center’s spring classes have been canceled or rescheduled and is closed to the public beginning Friday, March 20, but the Lifelong Learning team will remain available online and by phone. For more information, please visit the Lifelong Learning website at gfcmsu.edu/lifelonglearning or follow the Center’s Facebook page for updates.
The Career and College Readiness Center is closed to the public. It can be reached at 406-771-5108 and The Career and College Readiness Center is closed to the public. It can be reached at 406-771-5108 and firstname.lastname@example.org
“Clearly, these are extraordinary measures, but they are enacted in response to an extraordinary public health and safety crisis generated by the COVID-19 virus,” Christian wrote. “While the steps outlined above will undoubtedly generate a great deal of disruption and hardship for our students and campus communities, they are warranted given the severity of the health threat we face. As conditions continue to change, my office will be on standby to assist campuses with the implementation of these decisions and any additional actions that are required to make sure that the Montana University System continues to offer exemplary support to our students, employees, and communities during such difficult times.”
Great Falls College marketing and communications director,
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