May 29, 2020 1:53 pm

For many Pierce College students (and employees, too!), home is now daycare, school, and sometimes workplace, all rolled into one. As we all continue adapting to these challenging times, Pierce College is working harder than ever to continue providing students with quality educational opportunities in a safe and healthy way.

With all of our classes meeting remotely for the duration of spring quarter, our professors are ready to do what they can to help students be successful. Faculty members have created unique online experiences to help students meet learning outcomes while staying on track to reach their educational goals.

Summer quarter will be completely online with the exception of certain high-priority labs and programs that cannot be effectively taught through online coursework.

For fall quarter, we will continue to be primarily online with a broader but still limited set of choices for face-to-face coursework, if conditions make it possible.

In all cases, face-to-face sessions will comply with any health authority or government restrictions, and use appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment for both students and staff.

The college has built a number of support systems in response to COVID-19, allowing students to connect with advisors, financial aid representatives, tutors and more, through Zoom teleconferencing, phone, email and more. Students without access to a computer or internet at home have been borrowing Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots from the college.

We also developed a comprehensive Student Support Center on the college’s website to provide students with a centralized resource center, where they can find information on how to contact our departments remotely, how to access their virtual classrooms, and even how to obtain assistance with basic needs such as housing, food, childcare and more.

A web page of Frequently Asked Questions is updated regularly to address common concerns and issues students may have.

As computer screens and other devices keep us connected during these times of social distancing, it’s more important than ever to find creative ways to stay engaged. The Offices of Student Life at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup have been developing fun, thought-provoking virtual events to strengthen our sense of community this quarter. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for details on virtual events and activities.

The Class of 2020 will be graduating this June under quite interesting circumstances, and we’re planning an equally memorable virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate these students. This ceremony will capture the traditional commencement experience with every graduate being recognized by name with a personalized photo. We’ll have the same speeches and awards, all enjoyed from our homes, with our families and friends watching in real time. These special grads will also have the option to walk in next year’s commencement ceremony, if they would like.

As we continue to move through these uncertain times, we remain more committed than ever to meeting our mission to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world.