Herkimer College’s first day of the fall 2020 semester started on September 8th. Prior to its opening, new methods of college life had to be implemented as a result of COVID. President Cathleen McColgin of Herkimer County Community College gave her personal view on how a college runs in order to function during a worldwide pandemic.
According to McColgin, “The most challenging change is related to behaviors that are intended to help keep decrease the transmission of the virus.” These include check-in points at main building entrances, where students and faculty are required to fill out a COVID symptoms checklist and get their temperature before being granted entrance.
Another challenge that the school has had to face is navigating new modes of course delivery. Students attending Herkimer have a blend of online, real-time remote, and on-campus classes. President McColgin believes that “designing the course work that facilitates dialogue between students” is the largest challenge the college has had to face while working to implement new delivery methods. With these new ways of learning are questions regarding whether or not students are receiving the same education as pre-COVID. According to President McColgin, students are receiving the same education.
“Despite the modality being different, faculty are committed to the same level of academic rigor and excellence,” said McColgin. She also mentioned how cooperative Herkimer’s faculty have been during this challenging time. “I believe our faculty have responded very positively to the new course delivery methodology.”
As of now, the president is satisfied with how the semester is going. As for the outlook for spring 2021, President McColgin believes that the upcoming semester will “Look very much like this semester, with the majority of classes being taught real-time remote.”