East Mississippi Community College President Scott Alsobrooks speaks to the Clay County Board of Supervisors Thursday. Alsobrooks said EMCC is expected to be open in-person learning this fall. Photo by: Garrick Hodge/Dispatch Staff
July 10, 2020 9:47:38 AM
WEST POINT -- East Mississippi Community College plans to hold in-person courses this fall, according to president Scott Alsobrooks.
"We're opening for business," Alsobrooks said at Thursday's Clay County Board of Supervisors meeting. "But it will be different."
EMCC will require both faculty and students to wear masks, and will make "plenty of hand sanitizer" available, Alsobrooks said.
"We're going to separate our desks and try and keep (students) separated as much as possible with the social distancing part," Alsobrooks said. "Our classrooms may look a little different."
Online classes will also be offered, Alsobrooks said.
"Some of the enrollment is lagging a little bit from where it was last year," Alsobrooks said. "I just think it's the fear factor. If we can share the word that we're open and we're going to do it safely, we have to get back to school."
According to Alsobrooks, EMCC received approximately $3.4 million from the federal government earlier this spring, which was distributed through the financial aid department to assist students. EMCC distributed a combined $1.7 million to students enrolled in the college at the spring who qualified for financial assistance, which amounted to around $900 per student.
Some of the remaining funds will go toward ensuring every classroom will be equipped with a camera this fall, giving classes the opportunity to livestream their lectures for students that don't feel safe attending in-person.
"We're making a healthy investment in technology," Alsobrooks said. "If students have access to broadband, they can watch that lecture live, wherever they may be.
Alsobrooks also shared enrollment data from the previous year as it pertains to Clay County, with 388 full time students (110 graduates) from the county attended EMCC in the 2019-20 school year, accounting for 10 percent of the college's total enrollment. Ninety-one Clay County students were part of a dual enrollment plan with EMCC, meaning they received college credit while still in high school.
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