Dabney S. Lancaster Community College adapts to COVID
The fall semester at all colleges and universities will begin a new normal, and
is just one school working to make hands-on programs, like welding, safe and accessible.
"My expression is we're building this plane while we're flying it," said Dabney Lancaster President John Rainone. "So we've learned a lot."
Which means the normally busy campus in Clifton Forge is quiet now, a situation that is particularly unusual for some students, like those studying to get their Commercial Drivers' License, or forestry.
"Predominantly we will be online in fall," Rainone said. "And then those competency-based courses and the career and tech programs, we are working through the proper procedures to bring them back in a safe environment, such as welding, such as science courses, even forestry, even though they'll be outside, there are still social distance requirements and various requirements there."
It's a situation that is unique.
"They don't teach you this in president's school, as I've said," he joked.
But with remote learning covering a lot of the classroom work, they think that things will work well enough to start everything as scheduled.
"I am anticipating that we will have a solid fall, considering," he said.
And preparing for a solid year.
Rainone explained, "In Januray, we are looking back as coming back as best we can, you know, in that safe environment."