I hope this note finds you and your family members healthy. The spring semester took a considerable effort by students, faculty and staff to successfully complete, and I am so proud of this community’s efforts to strive for a high-quality educational experience.
Anticipated Next Steps
As you know, New York City finally entered Phase One of the Governor’s New York Forward plan this past Monday with subsequent phases of re-opening planned about every two weeks. Right now, higher education is listed in Phase Four, and if the phases continue on track, we tentatively will be able to re-open the campus in mid-July. We also receive ongoing guidance from Governor Cuomo for how higher education institutions will re-open. As we plan for July, we are also determining what the fall semester may look like. Summer Session II will remain online only, and we hope to begin laboratory make-ups from the spring and summer later this summer once the Governor has declared that New York City is in Phase Four.
For our students who flight train at Heritage Flight Academy, flight training is also currently included in Phase Four by the Governor and, as a result, they are not able to train Vaughn students. Again, we tentatively anticipate entering Phase Four in mid-July and will alert students as soon as they are able to begin scheduling flight time.
Planning for the Fall Semester
Right now, we are planning for a flexible approach to the fall semester that gives students and faculty members some options and best matches student learning styles with the modality of instruction. Thank you to all of the faculty members who responded to the recent survey as that is greatly assisting us in building our plan. As a result, we are planning for four different types of instruction that include synchronous (at the same time) or asynchronous (self-paced) including:
Face-to-Face Synchronous: These courses are taught fully face-to-face in a traditional classroom. Should there be COVID-19 disruptions, the course will remain fully synchronous, at the originally scheduled time, but will be delivered through the Zoom platform. The institution may require Zoom to be an active secondary stream during on-campus, face-to-face sessions to accommodate social distancing rules or other issues that may prevent on-campus attendance. Students will be required to purchase a web-camera. This option is available to Academic and Aviation Training Institute students.
Online Synchronous: These courses will start online and remain fully online, regardless of COVID-19 disruptions. Content is expected to be fully synchronous, delivered via the Zoom platform. Students will be required to purchase a web-camera. This option is available to Academic and Aviation Training Institute students.
Hybrid: These courses are approximately 50 percent online and 50 percent on campus. Should there be COVID-19 disruptions, the in-person synchronous content will be delivered through the Zoom platform. The institution may require Zoom to be an active secondary stream during on-campus, face-to-face sessions to accommodate social distancing rules or other issues that prevent on-campus attendance. Students will be required to purchase a web-camera. This option is not currently available to Aviation Training Institute students due to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Online Asynchronous (Traditional Online): These courses operate fully online with all content delivered entirely asynchronously. This option is not currently available to Aviation Training Institute students due to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Office hours will be conducted in a combination of face-to-face and on Zoom, depending on the type of teaching modality you have registered for this fall. While we plan for the format of lectures and laboratories, we are also working to support additional training and support for the delivery of those courses including the use of key technology to supplement online courses.
Labs are also a critical component for many students, and we are exploring options that would allow students to schedule time in a lab, as well as options for the use of virtual laboratories. As the state’s guidelines become clearer, we will be able to put a structure in place that works well for us.
For those students who plan to reside in the residence hall, we are fortunate that each suite in our residence hall has a bathroom providing us with greater social distancing capability. For the Fall 2020 semester, students may request a single room, where this was not an option for the past academic year.
Returning to campus
We are planning for many scenarios for the fall and need the cooperation of everyone to make this work. I ask for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this this “new normal.” We are committed to maintaining a safe and high-quality educational environment for everyone and need your understanding to make it work as smoothly as possible.
We will provide more information as it becomes available. You may also view updates on the College’s website at www.vaughn.edu/coronavirus for updated information. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.