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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Don’t think of going back to business as usual. That day has passed.

That was the message from Southwest Tennessee Community College during a virtual town hall meeting Monday.

The coronavirus is upending the academic year but looking ahead, leaders say, with the change comes new ways of thinking.

“It has given us the opportunity to re-imagine the schedule. Look at it in new ways. First I will be the first to admit it will be very difficult for all of our courses to be taught online. Many of our career and technical programs require them to be taught in person for our students to be successful,” said Dr. Kendricks Hooker, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Changes include rotating schedules, along with fall and spring breaks being removed. Hooker said he knew this would be “gut punch to many.”

“We plan to end all face-to-face or ground courses before Thanksgiving, and the reasoning behind that is because I know we tend to travel during those breaks so we want to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus in the event there is a move to remove to campus, so we felt removing the breaks were essential,” he said.

The Macon Cove and Union campuses will re-open July 8 in a limited capacity for summer classes.

Body temperature screening, social distancing, wearing a face covering, and a health questionnaire screening will be required for all visitors. 

Classroom and equipment sanitation is also set to happen every two hours.

Lecture-based classes and student support services will remain online… and the school will provide laptops based on student need.