Dear VCCCD Students, Faculty, Classified Professionals, and Administrators -
A lot has happened in one month. If we think back to where we were last month, we can see how tremendous the change in our lives has been. On March 13, in response to the threat of the COVID-19 virus, Governor Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order, closing most businesses and public places and moving as many people as possible to working remotely, with some exceptions for essential services. Education was identified as an essential service but clearly we were going to have to work differently.
The state went through a rapid process to limit public and student access to campuses and move all instruction, and nearly all other operations and services, to online/virtual/remote platforms. In 10 days, our VCCCD system moved more than 30,000 students and 1,700 VCCCD employed faculty, the majority of our classified professionals, and administrators to teaching and learning and providing services remotely. All locations offer no on-site services for students or members of the public. These conditions will now continue as long as directives from the state and county require them.
To our students and faculty: we will continue to do everything we can to facilitate learning as the world, nation, state, and county work through the impacts of COVID-19. Distance learning can provide expanded resources and unique learning experiences, as well as challenges. Please reach out to each other through email, phone, text, and social media. Share good news and successes. Check in with someone who might be struggling or need encouragement, and be open when you need help. The learning taking place during this time creates a unique and important part of a person’s educational experience, and I hope you are able to access the richness of these even if it takes more effort now. I wish you all the best for Spring Break as a time to catch your breath and prepare to finish the semester.
To our classified staff and administrators: I am acutely aware of how important everyone’s efforts every day are to ensure technology works, bills are paid, paychecks go out, materials flow, facilities and grounds are clean and secure, legal requirements are met, and accreditation standards are followed. This makes it possible for faculty to focus on supporting students and for teaching and learning to continue. Though we do not get time off for Spring break, hopefully this will be a less hectic time and we will also have a slower pace.
While a majority of our employees are able to work remotely, there are certain activities that require some people to be onsite in order for the colleges to provide essential services to our communities. We have identified “Designated Essential Personnel” who are authorized to be on campus in key areas such as maintenance and operations, information technology, police, administration, and other areas supporting operations. Efforts are made by everyone in this category to follow distancing and enhanced hygiene practices as directed by health authorities. I am very grateful to these individuals as they continue to conduct work that otherwise could not be accomplished remotely.
To everyone: some resources are emerging to help us through this difficult time. The Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act, passed by the federal government, should soon be available to provide financial support to eligible individuals. Please use this link to find out more information.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and health experts predict a surge in cases in the coming weeks. Some of these cases will be extremely serious, and some will most likely affect people we know. Please do everything you can to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe. It is up to all of us to do everything we can to flatten the curve by severely limiting movement outside of our homes and follow the now well-known distancing and hygiene practices that make an impact on how far and how fast the virus will spread. To stay informed about what is happening in our communities please visit vcemergency.org and VCCCD Alerts regularly.
Let us all keep in mind the struggles many of our students, community members, and our families as workers are laid off, businesses are temporary closed, bills cannot be paid, and so many struggle with the immeasurable impacts of the pandemic. We are all in this together.
Societies can learn a lot as they respond to crises like the one we are now facing. Our greatest accomplishments will emerge from what we are able to do for and with each other. We do our best work when we are thoughtful, strategic, collaborative, mutually kind and compassionate with each other. I am very thankful for your continued efforts.
Best regards and good health to you and your families.
Greg Gillespie, Ph.D., Chancellor
Students, Faculty, Classified Professionals, and Administrators;
We are working tirelessly to make it as easy as possible for you to stay enrolled during the COVID-19 crisis. Learning online may seem overwhelming, but we have MANY resources to help you transition AND succeed. These are challenging times, but your success is our top priority. Visit your college student services page for information and tips, and access the resources you need - we are waiting to help.
We will continue to keep you updated about COVID-19 and its impact on our college community. This page is where you will find current information about our colleges, learning and work environments, local, state, and federal information, and proactive steps we are taking to be responsible community members and keep you safe. We also use the following communication tools to inform you about important information and activities:
- Email (vcccd.edu; my.vcccd.edu; and personal accounts).
- Text messaging (students, faculty, classified professionals, administrators)
- BlackBoard Connect - Emergency Alerts (students, faculty, classified professionals, administrators). Check the portal under the "Personal Information" tab, Maintain Emergency Alert Information to verify we have your current information.
- Telephone Calls (students, faculty, classified professionals, administrators)
- Canvas (students and faculty)
If you need to communicate with us, here is the best way:
- Students - email your professor
- Employees - email your supervisor, department chair, or dean.
- Anyone - click on "Ask me a Question" on the websites to submit a question. We are reading and answering every question!
With everything going on, staying enrolled may seem challenging or even impossible, but by learning, growing and working together, we can make the impossible, possible.
Be safe and keep informed,
Greg Gillespie, Chancellor
Julius Sokenu, Moorpark College President
Luis Sanchez, Oxnard College President
Kim Hoffmans, Ventura College President