The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana will begin face-to-face classes on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, with safety protocols in place. All online courses are still scheduled to start on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The purpose of the protocols is to support higher education while minimizing the likelihood of person to person spread of COVID-19 on the campuses of UAHT. The protocols presented are designed to reduce the chances that visitors, staff, faculty, and students will come in close contact with others. Laura Clark, Interim Chancellor, said, “As with all procedures related to this matter, these protocols will be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in our community and schools. UAHT administration, faculty, and staff will work to be flexible and agile while responding to new information and guidelines from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and the University of Arkansas System. Updates to these guidelines will be provided to students, staff, and faculty directly.”
Below is a summary of the protocols UAHT has implemented to support a safe return to campus this fall. For a full list of protocols, visit the UAHT Coronavirus Information Campus Updates webpage at uaht.edu/coronavirus-information before returning to campus.
Fall Course Schedule
Academic deans and program directors have modified the typical schedule to move more classes online, move full classes to larger areas, and limit seating in smaller classrooms. Classes will be offered via distance learning in addition to in-person classes, and faculty are creating live streaming opportunities for students. Classes meeting on MWF will have a modified start time to allow fifteen minutes in between classes for cleaning and safe transition. The academic calendar has been modified to accommodate the public school start date for face-to-face classes, and holidays have been adjusted. Please check your classroom location, time, and the new academic calendar for changes.
Classroom Safety Protocols
Several safety protocols have been implemented to keep students, faculty, and staff safe in and transitioning to and from the classroom. Among the protocols are requirements for all persons to wear face masks while on campus and to maintain at least six feet distance from one another. For a full list of protocols, please visit the UAHT Coronavirus Information Campus Updates webpage at uaht.edu/coronavirus-information. Faculty will work with students who are sick, suspected of being sick, or quarantined. Students who question whether or not they should stay home due to a possible exposure should email questions to email@example.com. Students who are at high risk and need special accommodations should contact Steve Ogden, Disability Services Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students Health Kit
UAHT will provide a health kit to all on-campus students. Each kit will include a cloth face mask, hand sanitizer, a personal thermometer, and a COVID-19 information guide. The kits are designed to allow students to do a self-health assessment before coming to campus each day. Students should be able to pick up their kits before the first day of class. Further information will be provided.
Closure of Common Areas
Common areas will either be closed or have minimal seating to discourage individuals from congregating in enclosed spaces. Whenever possible, in-person meetings should be replaced with virtual meetings. Essential in-person meetings should be limited to one-to-one and wearing face coverings, and social distancing should be maintained.
Faculty Office Hours
Faculty will hold face-to-face and virtual office hours. Office hours will be visible on every faculty member’s door and in their syllabus. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty virtually. If this is not possible, faculty can meet with students face-to-face, but social distancing and face masks are required.
Library Use and Procedures
Students must wear a mask when entering the library. No more than thirteen students will be allowed in the library and nine in the computer lab at one time. Staff will clean computers and workstations after each use. Returned library books and returned textbooks will be held for thirty-six hours before disinfecting.
Food Services/ Breaks /Meals
The Brickhouse Express Cafe in the Student Center on the Hope campus will adhere to all requirements in the Arkansas Department of Health’s Directive on Resuming Restaurant Operations. The full text of the directive can be viewed at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/pdf/directive__restaurant_dine-in.pdf. Seating in the Student Center atrium will be arranged so that students are six feet apart, and chairs will be removed so that the dining capacity is 33% of standard capacity. In breakrooms, high touch devices such as microwave ovens must be cleaned after each use.
Business Office and Student Bills
The UAHT Business Office staff encourage employees and students to use electronic options as the preferred means of communication and interaction with the business office. If you need to make a cash payment on the Hope campus, ring the bell located at the service window in the Administration Building, and the business office staff will assist you. If you need to make a cash payment on the Texarkana campus, visit the front desk of the Texarkana Campus Center.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
To ensure you return to a safe campus environment, UAHT cleans and disinfects all campus buildings, including classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and other surfaces daily. The college has implemented specific cleaning protocols for all public spaces, including classrooms. Hand sanitizers have been placed in every building and classroom.
Students, faculty, and staff must notify UAHT if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has displayed symptoms. Contact tracing for those testing positive will be done in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Health, UAMS, or possibly your state agency if you reside elsewhere. UAHT will follow current ADH guidelines to determine the appropriate length of quarantine.
“Fall 2020 will look different from previous semesters at UAHT,” said Clark. “However, a healthy UAHT community is a shared responsibility. No policy or action can eliminate all risks, but all efforts and actions put forth are to make the likelihood of spread among our campus and surrounding communities minimal. We are asking and requiring some simple actions to make coming together this fall an educational success in a friendly and encouraging environment. Conditions will fluctuate, so our approach to the fall semester will take flexibility. Federal, state, or local regulations may cause us to alter our plans, and we understand that there will be questions. We ask that you recognize that not all answers are easy or clear, but we will strive to make this year successful, and with your help, we can.”
The protocols listed above are just a summary of the precautions UAHT is taking to keep you safe on campus this fall. For a full list of protocols, please visit the UAHT Coronavirus Information Campus Updates webpage at uaht.edu/coronavirus-information before returning to campus.
Remember, if you are sick, stay home, call your health care provider, and email your instructors. For more information or questions, contact us at email@example.com.