DCCC plans for fall classes

Vincent Marshall

As classes return in the fall, Dodge City Community College will have measures in place in the event COVID-19 affects the semester.

Students who fall ill to COVID-19 will be isolated at either a section of the dorms or through partnerships with hotels in the area and will be able to continue with classes online along.

What will happen if a faculty member cannot continue to teach for a lengthy period of time due to illness was also discussed during the June DCCC board of trustees meeting, focused on getting a plan in place.

"We will find the structure," DCCC president Harold Nolte said. "Whether it online or other."

As recruiting continues, COVID-19 has changed the approach toward area high schools.

According to DCCC vice president of workforce development Clayton Tatro, meetings were setup with different high schools in the area as well as parent meetings and parent-teacher conferences. Those meeting schedules have changed.

"I have a couple meetings next week at some of our outreach schools and the difference is we've had ongoing conversations weekly with Dodge City High School," Tatro said. "We're working on getting those students in.

"In May I would have told you we would have some of the enrollment finalized. Because of COVID I think it's probably going to be August. I truly anticipate we'll have a full rush right before classes start."

Nolte added that during the past few months he had signed many scholarships with 90% of them coming from students from Dodge City.

However, the general consensus among the trustees and DCCC administration is that everything could change in an instant.

Classes in the fall are set to begin Aug. 12.

The board also unanimously approved the allowance of alcohol on campus grounds during special events but added it must be met with board approval.

According to DCCC Foundation director Christina Haselhorst, for the past two years the board has approved the alcohol allowance for the DCCC auction set for Nov. 14.

"That date could change obviously," Haselhorst said. "Our plan right now is to have the auction as normal, in-person, in the dome as we have the past couple of years but we are exploring the possibility of doing a hybrid auction where we have an online portion or maybe limit the number of people allowed in the building or if COVID happens in the fall, canceling the event entirely."

The auction is a scholarship funding event for the college from the foundation.

According to Haselhorst, regardless of the auction taking place, funding is still currently in place to be able to offer scholarships.

"We were able to keep funding from last year's event so that's still there to be able to push that forward to the college if it's something we need to do," Haselhorst said.