I usually welcome you to a new semester with encouragement to meet your faculty, engage with tutoring, get involved in student organizations and use the Advocacy and Resource Center for any financial barriers. As this fall begins, I am still encouraging you to do these things. Your faculty are central to your success and they care deeply about you. Using our tutoring centers is the greatest predictor of your graduation. Getting involved not only helps you build your network, it helps you succeed. And, Amarillo College is committed to removing any life barrier you may face. These are important choices to ensure your success.
Yet, this fall, these choices are complicated by additional COVID-19 pressures we all face. The pandemic doesn’t change the choices successful students make. It does complicate these choices though. As you navigate your college experiences this fall, you must do so wearing a mask and staying six feet apart. Our ability to follow these safety protocols (on campus and at home and work, too) will enable us to keep the college open for you. We care so deeply about your health and safety, that our board of regents passed a policy requiring masks be worn on our campuses – from parking lots to classrooms. We will ask you to wear them.
Our faculty are exceptional teachers and have engaged in additional training to become even better online instructors. If you are leery of learning online, our faculty will guide you through it with care. If you are leery of engaging in face-to-face classes, our college has proven safety protocols to protect you (and us).
This semester will be unusual. None of us have ever experienced a pandemic before – much less taught, advised, tutored, worked or learned within one. As we navigate this together, I ask for your grace. This is new to all of us and we are trying to figure it out together. I also ask that you share your needs and frustrations. We can’t improve and get better if we don’t know where you need us differently.
Amarillo College is a great institution – one of the best in the entire country. Our faculty and staff care deeply about you. We want you to learn, build your skills and prepare to transfer to your university or find your dream job. COVID-19 doesn’t change any of that. It will just require us to be more thoughtful in how we ensure your success. We are doing everything we can to help you, keep you safe and educate you.
Please join us in keeping the college open for everyone. Wear your masks without prompts (they are required) and stay at least six feet apart. With your brilliance, hard work and potential combined with AC’s deep commitment to your progress, we will navigate this pandemic like we do everything at the college – successfully.