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Northeast extending spring break, Walters State shifting to online

Rick Wagner • Mar 12, 2020 at 6:55 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Blountville-based Northeast State Community College is extending its spring break an additional week for students and then moving to online learning until April 3, while Morristown-based Walters State Community College is shifting to all online instruction beginning Monday.

Both schools made announcements Thursday afternoon about the schedule changes, driven over concerns about coronavirus. So far, one confirmed case is self-quarantined in Sullivan County.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT NORTHEAST?

“Traditional and online classes are being canceled March 16-20 to give faculty time to prepare for two weeks of fully online learning from March 23-April 3,” Northeast State said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “Faculty will utilize the additional Spring Break week of March 16-20 to move all coursework online. Faculty will also prepare to continue with online instruction beyond April 3 in the event it becomes necessary.”

Northeast campuses at Blountville, Elizabethton, Gray, Johnson City and Kingsport will be closed March 16-20 for deep cleaning with hospital-grade products. Supervisors have identified essential employees and will inform them whether they are working on campus or remotely March 16-20.

Students should refrain from visiting campus and remain at home during the extended break and while classes are delivered remotely, the release said. Health Professions students doing clinical rotations are not required to attend their rotational sites during the extended break. Apprentices earning college credit at Northeast State through their jobs should follow the attendance policy set forth by their employers.

Dual enrollment courses are dependent on the schedules of respective high school systems. Federal work-study students will not be impacted for the time being.

A coronavirus webpage has been developed with information about the college's response and tips on how to stay healthy.

All on-campus extracurricular activities are suspended until further notice. All non-essential faculty, staff and student travel is suspended until further notice. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Northeast State will provide updates on plans and procedures as information becomes available. For more information, visit www.northeaststate.edu/health.

WHAT ABOUT WALTERS STATE?

Meanwhile, Walters State announced that “in response to the evolving situation of the coronavirus and to protect our students, employees and community, Walters State will transition all face-to-face classes to online instruction effective Monday, March 16. All instruction will continue online March 16-22. This means all Walters State classes will continue online.”

A news release said students should check eLEARN for information about course assignments and check Senators Mail and the college’s website for further updates. The school has various campuses, including one in Greeneville, and its designated service area includes Hawkins County.

Although classes will continue online, all Walters State campuses will be closed March 16-22. A decision on when to re-open the college and return to regularly scheduled face-to-face instruction will be made on Thursday, March 19. All college events scheduled for the week of March 16-22 are canceled. Events for this time period scheduled at the Walters State Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center are also canceled, the release said.

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