My personal and professional life experiences have been guided by two irrevocable beliefs. A fidelity to learning and education is the solution to every problem. This all builds on the concept that learning is a vital life function. Everyone is capable of learning; however, we learn at different rates and levels. Education is embedded into all prospering cultures. In those cultures where education is discouraged or prohibited, we almost always see a third-world quality of life, dictatorial ruling, and a lack of social prosperity. Educating our youth has always been endemic to social progress. In recent years, we have embraced the expanded idea of educating the “non-traditional” learner, the adult learner, the senior citizen, and pre-school children. As a culture, we are saying education is essential.
We learn in many ways. “Book learning” is the most traditional, formal, and, over the past century, common methodology. Caution, this is not an exclusive learning methodology as we have expanded our delivery to engage those who learn in different manners. “Learning by doing,” also known as experiential learning, has grown in practice. On a personal level, we often learn by “trial and error” which, in some cases, is the only way we learn. In today’s modern technologically equipped world, we learn through Internet accesses such as YouTube. How we learn is important. That we learn is imperative.
With your learning and education, along with your safety, premier in our thinking, we are restarting at your Salem Community College. We learned a great deal in the Spring Semester when we went to remote/virtual leaning. Our remote/virtual delivery was successful for a vast majority of students in almost all courses. While I personally prefer in-person instructional experiences (both as a student and an instructor), we were able to succeed in this alternative approach. Additionally, we have sadly learned that there are individuals who are extremely susceptible to the complications caused by COVID-19. Often, without knowledge that one is carrying the disease, or vulnerable to it, the virus contagion continues.
With these factors in mind, your Salem Community College is conducting the Fall Semester virtually, with the exception of our Glass Education programs (primarily studio time), essential Nursing coursework and clinical experiences, Science Lab lessons requiring classroom equipment et al, and select Art classes needing the uniqueness of the Art studio.
These measures are to safeguard our students and staff. On campus wear a mask, maintain 6-foot social distance, and frequently wash your hands. Simple Rules – Mask, Distance, Wash. Don’t simply abide by the Mask, Distance, Wash mantra on campus, practice it off campus, everywhere you go. While some debate the value of these practices –Masking, Distancing, Washing – we lose nothing by following them, and likely, safeguard a lot of people.
Someday, in the not too distant future, we will return to a redefined normal, with on-campus, in-person, learning experiences. What we have gleaned from the COVID-inspired remote/virtual learning experiences will be integrated into our daily instructional approaches. Again, education is the solution to every problem, and learning is an essential life function.
We are all in this together. We are all responsible for one another. We are all going to make the best of the situation. We are all going to realize, we are much stronger than we realized.