COVID-19 Information
The teams at Arizona Western College are dedicated to providing a healthy and safe environment.
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The teams at Arizona Western College are dedicated to providing a healthy and safe environment. We understand that you may be experiencing uncertainty given the rapidly evolving information on COVID-19 with the shift to online instruction, travel restrictions, and canceled or postponed events.

This web page is a place for us to post updated information and make sure you have links to helpful community resources.

We will continue to monitor the situation here in the counties we serve and across the region and beyond, and we'll use this web site, as well as college email, social media and online videos to keep you up to date.

The health of the Matador community is our top priority. This situation has raised many questions; we have tried to answer many of them on our FAQ. If you have an issue that is not addressed there, please email an address below:
COVID.Answers@azwestern.edu Disbursement@azwestern.edu Mandy.Heil@azwestern.edu Lori.Stofft@azwestern.edu
or call (928) 317-6000.

Announcements & Updates

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

FFCRA Information Sheet | FFCRA Leave of Absence Request

COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation Plans

As AWC prepares to welcome students, faculty and staff to the fall semester, we have collaborated with local leadership to develop these plans to keep our populations safe and reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation Plans

Phased AWC Back-To-Campus Plan, Fall 2020

In order to safely resume college operations for the Fall semester, the college is creating a phased plan, dependent on national, regional and local health officials. The plan will evolve over the next several weeks as departments organize team schedules, plans for physical distancing, and workload.

Phased AWC Back-To-Campus Plan, Fall 2020

AWC Plan for Fall Instruction 2020

After much consideration, we are finalizing plans to resume classes this fall. Many of you have been awaiting this information in order to make your fall course selections. We hope you find appropriate options for you to feel safe while pursuing your academic goals.

Fall 2020 Instruction Plan Announcement | Fall 2020 Instruction Plan FAQ

Updated on Wed, 09/02/2020 - 12:35pm

Barnes and Noble Bookstore Hours Update

The bookstore will be open at the start of Fall semester with new hours. Online ordering and rentals will still be available. Read more


Updated on Mon, 08/24/2020 - 12:44pm

Service Desk Change In Available Hours

Change in hours for the Service Desk. Not open to walk-in traffic, but appointments are available.  Read more


Updated on Wed, 08/12/2020 - 7:23am

AWC Plan for Fall Instruction 2020

Read more


Updated on Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:06pm

COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation Plans

Read more


Updated on Thu, 07/30/2020 - 3:08pm

Phased AWC Back-To-Campus Plan, Fall 2020

Read more


Video Updates - Facebook & The Corr Report

COVID-19 Campus Communication  

June 4, 2020

Hello Matadors, 

I wanted to take a moment to congratulate you all on getting across that spring semester finish line. Despite the unexpected changes due to COVID-19, you persevered and completed classes at record rates. You are resilient and dedicated to your educational goals, and I am proud of you. I’ve recorded a Corr Report: Student Edition, and I hope you’ll take a moment to hear my full message to you. 

We’ve made it to summer, and we have announced our plan for fall classes, so now what? Registration is open for fall classes, and our staff is ready and available to assist you in selecting the right courses and getting through the registration process. Please visit www.azwestern/support for information on how to reach our offices remotely.  

We are making plans for our safe return to campus, and will communicate those plans soon. Until then, there are several ways for you to stay updated:

  • Visit our COVID page
  • Follow us on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Tune in to our Facebook livestreams – our next one is Wednesday, June 17th at 2:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at covid.answers@azwestern.edu.

I look forward to seeing you again this fall. Have a fantastic summer!

Dr. Daniel Corr
President
Arizona Western College

June 1, 2020

Dear Matadors, 

After much consideration, we are finalizing plans to resume classes this fall. Many of you have been awaiting this information in order to make your fall course selections. We hope you find appropriate options for you to feel safe while pursuing your academic goals.

Our plan is informed by the CDC, our local health district, research and science, and was developed and will be implemented according to our two guiding principles of keeping people safe and helping you, our students, reach your educational goals.  

Our instructional plan allows students and faculty a wide range of choice in how they keep themselves safe.  

On-campus classes will be offered in one of three modalities

  • Blended Real-Time Classes - classes will offer in-person, face-to-face real-time instruction with Zoom connection to allow groups of 9 or fewer to meet on campus while the rest of the class participates via technology. This allows choice for both faculty and students to ensure the safest participation level while still providing faculty-student face time. Faculty will stagger when and how small groups attend face-to-face. Students can opt to attend the face-to-face remote using Zoom during their allotted in-person time for any reason, for any duration of the semester. *The vast majority of AWC Fall classes will fall in this category.  
  • Remote Real-Time Classes - classes will offer face-to-face real-time instruction at a distance leveraging technology. Students will not meet in-person with faculty or classmates. 
  • In-Person Real-Time Classes - Limited to specific Career-Tech, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Lab Science classes. These labs will allow groups of 9 or fewer to meet on campus with technology enhancements, as determined by faculty. 

Online/Web-based classes will not change

  • Online/Web-based – (no change to online, web-based courses) classes will offer online support for learning throughout the week and the semester with no scheduled face-to-face requirements beyond readings, homework and assignments. 

Later in June, our online schedule and Self-Service tool will reflect the new modalities, and classes will be designated by a special color and/or icon. This will help you build a schedule that is appropriate for you. For questions regarding registration, please contact Academic Advising at (928) 344-7624.  

Additionally, we have plans in place to make our campuses as healthy and safe as possible. Our facilities team has been working to thoroughly clean all spaces on our campuses, and will continue to do so. They will also be installing sneeze guards at public-serving desks during the summer.  

For students living on campus, we will be opening our residence halls at 50% capacity with one student in each room and two students sharing a bathroom. Common areas will not be in use. Students will only be charged the lower, double-occupancy rate.  

You can find FAQs on our COVID web page along with updates as our plans unfold, and you can send questions to covid.answers@azwestern.edu. Also, keep an eye out for our next Facebook Live where I will be sharing about our Fall 2020 plans and answering your questions.  

Thank you for your patience and perseverance. I’m looking forward to a fall semester full of engagement and innovation.  

Thank you, 

Dr. Daniel P. Corr 
President, Arizona Western College 

May 7, 2020

Hello Matadors, 

We have reached May, and you are almost to that finish line. I am so proud of all of you for staying the course during this time and remaining focused on your educational goals. I know it hasn’t been easy, but YOU CAN DO IT!

We have received $2.26M in CARES Act grant funding that will be sent directly to you, our students, based on the amount of in-person or hybrid credit hours you were enrolled in on March 13. You will get the money in your checking account if it’s link to Bank Mobile, in your Bank Mobile account, or mailed within three weeks to the home address we have on file. More information is available here, but you should know a current FAFSA is required, and international, undocumented, and high school/dual credit students are among those not eligible to receive funds. Students who are enrolled in 12 credit hours or more will receive $800; 9-11.5 credits, $500; 6-8.5 credits, $250; less than 6 credit hours, $100.

As you probably know by now, registration for fall and summer classes is open. I hope you choose to continue your journey with us. Please keep in mind that placement testing has been suspended for summer and fall classes. This may be a great opportunity for you to enroll in your required courses without a placement test. Of course, we want you to be successful in your classes, so please work with an advisor to choose the classes that are best for you. 

If you're continuing classes with us, I'm sure you have questions about our fall semester. We will be here for you this fall with a full schedule of classes, which will likely include a mixture of face-to-face, hybrid, online, and short-term sessions, and we'll continue to improve the way we leverage technology. We are developing a plan that will adhere to CDC guidelines and keep you and our faculty and staff safe. We'll be in touch when we have more details.

This time of year is always full of excitement, and although this year looks a bit different, there is still much to be excited about. Our Student Showcase is taking place virtually this year and is always a wonderful demonstration of the brilliant work of our students. I hope you’ll take some time between now and May 12th to view the student submissions on the student showcase web page, and cast your votes for scholarship recipients. 

Perhaps the most exciting time of each year is Commencement. Our commencement committee and TV Services crew are working hard to provide a great virtual experience for our graduates and the community who celebrates them. If you are graduating this month, I congratulate you, I am proud of you, and I hope you participate in our virtual commencement festivities. A commencement video celebrating this year’s graduates will be streamed on AWC’s Facebook page at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Students and their families can also watch via AWC TV on cable channel 74 in Yuma or at azwestern.edu/live. It is sure to be a time to remember.

As you approach the season of final exams, papers, and projects, know that we are here for you, and we are cheering you on. Resources are available to you to help you finish your semester strong. Please visit azwestern.edu/support to locate our staff and services.

Thank you for your commitment to your education. I am proud to be your president.

Dr. Daniel Corr
AWC President

April 21, 2020

AWC Students,

We are now in the midst of summer and fall registration, and we have an important update regarding placement testing. Given the current situation with closed campuses, online learning and remote services, we have made the decision to stop placement testing for most summer and fall courses.

What this means for students is that, for summer and fall only, you will not take a placement test before enrolling in most college-level courses such as Math, English, and other general education courses. Before enrolling in these courses, we highly recommend that you thoroughly read the course descriptions and consult with an academic advisor to select the most appropriate course. If you have taken the ACT or SAT exams, this chart may help you decide your placement. If you have already taken the placement test and would like to discuss your options, please reach out to an academic advisor.

This change does not override prerequisite classes. If a course has a prerequisite (such as a lower-level course) other than a placement test, you must still meet that prerequisite. Further, if you took a lower-level prerequisite course and did not pass, you will not be able to enroll in the next level. For example, if you did not pass BIO 201, you will not be able to enroll in BIO 202.

Of course, we want you to be successful in whatever courses you choose, so we are making plans to increase academic support to include things such as embedded tutoring. We are also extending the add/drop period for fall classes to two weeks instead of one to allow for changes to be made once classes start.

Once again, please reach out to an academic advisor at advisement.services@azwestern.edu, or schedule an appointment using our online booking form, if you would like assistance with your course selection, and please take advantage of the resources available to you.    

Thank you, 

Dr. Linda Elliott-Nelson
Vice President for Learning Services
Arizona Western College

April 13, 2020

Dear AWC Students,

We know that across our district, some of you may struggle with reliable access to the internet at home to study and complete your assignments. 

Although we ask that no students enter our campus, our technology team has extended outdoor Wi-Fi connectivity to the P1 parking lot (covered solar structure) outside the College Community Center (3C) on the Yuma Campus (see map below). Parking lots or external WiFi access is being planned for Parker and San Luis campuses in the next week.

 

This is an exception to President Corr's request for students to stay off campus, and we're asking that you follow the guidelines below to keep our communities safe. 

  1. Access is being promoted for AWC student access only (to include UA Yuma, NAU-Yuma and ASU@Yuma students)
  2. Arrive and stay in your car while using connection
  3. Park at least one parking spot away from other cars
  4. Use connection ONLY for classwork or important family business. **DO NOT use the connection for gaming or entertainment purposes as that may degrade the signal for other students
  5. Bathroom access for those using the outdoor WiFi will be available through the south doors to the College Community Center (first floor bathroom), provided you utilize 6 foot physical distancing, Monday - Thursday, 7am - 5pm.

We hope this provides many of you with much needed access during this time of remote learning.

Sincerely, 

Bob Walker
Vice President for Technology
bob.walker@azwestern.edu

April 2, 2020

Hello Matadors –

It’s Thursday, the end of Spring Break, and classes are set to resume on Monday. I hope most of you were able to get some rest this break, and are gearing up to finish strong. We’re here to help.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Facebook Live broadcast, we’ve arrived at the decision to take all Summer classes 100% online. This follows many of our Arizona higher education partners, and impacts all of our Summer sessions. I realize that some of you have already registered into existing Summer courses, and that there may be some adjustments to the schedule. Thank you for your patience as we adapt to this fluid situation.If the class you’re registered for changes, you will hear directly from either your faculty, or Enrollment Services, so please pay extra attention to your Student Email.

We’re doing this to help both students and faculty plan in an uncertain time. We cannot predict with certainty what guidance from the State of Arizona will be for regarding COVID-19 at this point in time, so we’re taking the cautious route to keep you and our faculty safe.

Our teams are already working hard to deliver our wrap-around services via digital application. We’ve created an Answer Center online to help you get the assistance you need, whether that’s academic advising, tutoring, transfer support, or help from the library.

Just a word about language. The college is notclosed – AWC is open, but in a virtual and online way. AWC Campuses are NOT OPEN to students, or to visitors. Commencement isn’t cancelled – we’re planning a virtual Commencement ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of all our grads in May in a new online format. Stay tuned!

I’m proud of the way our students are rising to the occasion. We know each of you are here for a specific purpose – What’s Your Why – and we’re dedicated to helping you find success in your Spring 2020 classes, and beyond. Don’t hesitate to reach out if our office or our teams can assist you in any way.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 24, 2020

AWC Students, 

Today I’m sharing with you the sobering news that a recently confirmed presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Yuma County is an AWC student.

We are in touch with the student and their faculty. The student is in good spirits and currently recovering at home. 

Based on the best information we have, the student was exposed to the virus after we transitioned to primarily online instruction. The student’s faculty and our campus technology log-in data all indicate that the student has not been on campus since March 12; the student’s presumed exposure date is March 14. The student is currently enrolled in classes that transitioned fully to online instruction and did not meet in person since March 12. The student did not live on campus.

Based on federal student privacy laws, we are not in a position to identify the student. I assure you that in any case of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 where classmates and faculty or staff had a risk of exposure, we will work to notify all parties with potential contact.

The health and safety of our community remains our top priority, and we are committed to responding to the COVID-19 situation with transparency and timeliness. You can learn more about AWC’s response at www.azwestern.edu/covid.

Please join me in wishing our student a speedy and full recovery.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 21, 2020

Hello Matadors!

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, and we are responding to the changes according to CDC recommendations and with the best interest of our students and staff in mind. We are doing our part to “flatten the curve” and limit exposure to as many students, faculty, and staff as possible.

The week of March 23-26 will be a transition week for our campus, faculty, and staff as we work to move all services and instruction to an online format. During this week, offices will remain open, but will be working to move to remote services starting the following week. Please visit www.azwestern.edu/covid for updated information.

The few faculty members who have been meeting in small groups (10 or fewer) may still meet this week as they prepare to transition to fully online instruction. Remember, the week of March 30-April 2 is still Spring Break. While there is a break in instruction, our student services will still be available.    

Some services are already available remotely:

  • The Academic Library is limiting access to the library facilities, but are still available to provide services. All online resources (databases, ebooks, online magazines) are available at www.azwestern.edu/library. Chat reference services are also available through the library website, and text reference services are available at 928-237-3650. You can reach the Library by phone at 928-344-7777 or by email at library@azwestern.edu.
  • Career and Advisement Services staff is available by email or Zoom chat at advisement.services@azwestern.edu. Staff is also preparing for virtual advising services through Self-Service. More information to come.

Faculty and staff are working hard to provide you the support you need to get across the finish line this semester. Your professors are finding creative ways to deliver course content and keep the learning going during this time. Please stay engaged in your education and do not hesitate to reach out (remotely, of course) to your professors and our staff members who are ready to support your success.

You can visit www.azwestern.edu/covid for updates. We will continue to update this page with helpful tips and resources for you as you work toward that finish line.

Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and persistence. You make us proud.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 17, 2020

Hello, Matadors!

The priorities and interests of our faculty and staff are to keep you safe while limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to help you complete your spring classes and make it across the finish line.  We continue to monitor directives from the CDC and the state of Arizona, and have a few updates to share.  

  • Classes will continue in an online format, through the remainder of Spring 2020 semester, to the greatest extent possible. 
  • We will adhere to CDC guidelines to limit groups to 10 or fewer people for the next 8 weeks
  • Starting Monday, March 23, the Yuma Campus will move to summer hours7 am - 5 pm. Services located in the 3C as well as the Academic Library, Student Success Center, and Fitness Center will still be available for students. Campus is still open.

You can find the latest updates regarding our response to COVID-19 at www.azwestern.edu/covid. We will be communicating changes as quickly and clearly as possible. Also, tune in to our Facebook Livestream Wednesday, March 18th at 12:15 pm to hear directly from my leadership team and me. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaWesternCollege/ to post your questions for us.

Once again, your safety and academic success are our top priorities. Our teams are working diligently to make sure you continue to receive the high-quality education you deserve.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 12, 2020

Dear AWC Students,  

Out of an abundance of precaution in regards to rapidly evolving news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), AWC WILL BE CANCELLING CLASSES MONDAY, MARCH 16th, and TUESDAY, MARCH 17th and will transition from IN-PERSON CLASSES TO ONLINE DELIVERY WHEREVER POSSIBLE STARTING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020. 

Your health and wellness is always our top priority. We have been closely monitoring information and recommendations surrounding the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus. Although there have been NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our campuses, we have been working with our internal teams to prepare for a transition to online course delivery where feasible to avoid a potential spread of COVID-19. 

  •  All in-person classes, where feasible, will transition to online instruction through March 27, 2020, during which time we will assess the situation and determine our next course of action. Note: Spring Break is March 30th – April 3rd
  • All campus locations will remain open and continue normal operations. All services for students including campus housing, food services, library services, tutoring services, and computer labs will remain available.  
  • Faculty will communicate with students directly regarding the delivery of course material. Distance Education staff will be available at 928-317-6137 for Blackboard technical support. 
  • All events at AWC during the semester will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Watch our social media and online calendar for updated information. 
  • Student field trips to and from campus have been canceled. 

Thank you for your patience. We realize this is a fluid situation, and we are in constant contact with partners here in our communities and around the state as we monitor the rapidly evolving situation. Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and based on precautions taken by our peer institutions, we feel this is the appropriate course of action.  

More information will follow from your professors with specific details on accessing your courses online.  

As always, we are committed to providing a high-quality education for you and your classmates. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as promptly and broadly as possible. Please visit azwestern.edu/news for the most up-to-date information.  

We encourage you to follow recommended preventative measures to keep yourself and others healthy as you remain dedicated to your education. Please reach out to staff and faculty if you find yourself in need of support. We care about your wellness and your academic success.  

Sincerely,  

Dr. Daniel P. Corr 

President, Arizona Western College 

October 22, 2020

Dear College Community,

You know I love sharing stories about our amazing students. Today, Culinary Arts students (Vanessa Alcazar & Manny Moreno) delivered the most delicious muffins (double chocolate, blueberry, apple pie and banana nut) across the Yuma campus, and they asked everyone who ate a muffin to fill out an online survey. I really appreciate the Professor Bob Gedeon and our CTE programs sharing their learning outcomes with the rest of us on campus (especially when they’re delicious!).

Today is a double-brag day. I received the coolest email from Dr. Valeria Bogorevich, Professor of ESL, who thought I might be interested in her students’ reflections on in-person and online classes this year. Indeed I am! I loved reading what they wrote. Here’s a little sample:

My classes now are all online. i wanted (to) take classes in person but when the COVID happened, I and my family got sick, and we were very sick, although this has passed for a long time, we try to take care of ourselves because my mother has a respiratory disease, and we choose to take classes online, and she does not leave the house in this time, in fact when we go on vacation she doesn't go. And on the other hand, I don't like being online because there is nothing like asking personally and having the teacher explain things to you well. I would also like to meet people in person. I think I was very lucky with my teachers this semester. I am very happy to (attend) school like this even if it is online because I know that many do not have the opportunity to study.

Thank you, Dr. Bogorevich, for all you do for our students, and for sharing their work with me. When I hear from students like this I get so excited about the work that all of us are doing to deliver an excellent student experience, even in the face of a pandemic. You are creating thriving communities and helping to eliminate poverty, and I appreciate all of your efforts. SEND ME STORIES ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS!

On Tuesday, Oct 27, our Residence Hall students are holding a family-style, socially distanced Halloween movie night in the quad area. Thanks to our folks in Housing, Campus Life and the Eatery for making adjustments so our on-campus students can have some (safe, spooky) fun.

Steve Eckert, our Director of Facilities shared with us the definition of a close contact, as it relates to preventing the spread of COVID-19. A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

The CDC clarifies the additional precautions a close contact would need to take:

  • Testing is recommended for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
  • Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be managed as a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Asymptomatic contacts testing negative should self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure (i.e., close encounter with confirmed or probable COVID-19 case)
  • If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be managed as a probable COVID-19 case.
  • Asymptomatic close contacts who are not tested should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure, with linkage to clinical care for those who develop symptoms.

HR tells me we’re still at 38 COVID-19 positive cases that have been self-reported. Thanks for keeping yourself and your friends and family safe!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College 

October 19, 2020

Dear Matadors,

Please mark your calendars for a great week of awesome virtual events for First-Generation College Celebration Week – we’d love to have you, your colleagues and our students participate- More Details Below!

Today, during the District Governing Board meeting, we honored an amazing dual credit student named Julia Gonzalez as our Student of the Month. She’s a senior at San Pasqual High School and a student in Dr. Ellen Riek’s English 101 class. Dr. Riek notes “not only is she an excellent student, she’s an incredible supporter of other students.” Julia is considering a future in Nursing, and with Dr. Riek’s mentorship, she’s well on her way.

I’d also like to send a shout out to Professor Michael Murphy who has been collaborating with folks from Toyota/Lexus to bring us the Toyota Education College Support’s eLearning modules to become a Toyota Maintenance Level Certified Technician. In addition, the Ford factory representative planned an October visit to campus to meet with automotive students. My deep appreciation to Professor Murphy for cultivating this type of collaboration.

This week we were lucky enough to host a hugely successful COVID-19 testing event this past Saturday put on in collaboration with the Yuma County Health District, US Army National Guard and ASU. I’m told they completed 671 free saliva-based tests in one day, far surpassing their original goal. My thanks to Ashley Macawile for coordinating all of our COVID-19 testing events thus far, and to our EMS Director and co-faculty: Joe Waterford, Jessie Aguirre, and Joemar McDonnell along with LETA Director Alfonso Zavala for coordinating 33 student volunteers from their two programs. Our partners were thrilled with our facilities, support from our team, and our student volunteers.

Human Resources tells me we are holding at 38 positive COVID-19 cases among our co-workers. Thank you for taking the threat seriously and taking care of yourself and your families.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College 

October 15, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors, and welcome to the downhill slope of Fall 2020!

We know the shift to new modalities this semester is making work challenging for our faculty, and for our students. We can tell from our 45th Day data that our withdrawal rate for this semester is much higher than in semesters past, in spite of incredible effort by faculty and support staff, and I worry that some of our students aren’t finding the supports they normally use to navigate the semester. As we watch Yuma numbers reduce, we will plan to offer more of our services in person, all the while staying safe, and working on the mix to best meet student need. Thanks to all of our teams who are working on these plans. If numbers continue in this trend, we will look to have a larger in-person staff presence in January.

We most certainly are not out of danger, and I am grateful for your vigilance to keep yourself safe. Thanks for taking advantage of testing, staying alert to local trends (click on Yuma County to see the “COVID-19 Cases by Day” trend), and thanks for following AWC COVID mitigation and notification plans.

Steve Eckert reminds us of how COVID spreads, courtesy of CDC:
How COVID-19 Spreads

  • COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person
  • COVID-19 most commonly spreads during close contact
  • COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission
  • COVID-19 rarely spreads between people and animals
  • COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces

I want to send a big shout out to Deltrina Grimes, Professor of Choral and Vocal Music, who has worked hard to make her choral classes possible. Her group sings outside whenever possible, rehearses with masks and at a distance of 6-8’, and takes frequent breaks. She’s incredibly appreciative to her Division Chair, Brad Pease, and to Facilities, Steve Eckert and Sharon Register, for working with her to make this possible. She’s working with TV Services to produce video performances to share online. The choirs have had zero cases of COVID, and she says “Even with all the constrictions, the lack of a resonant performance space, lack of a live audience and limitations on instrumentation we are making it work. I credit this to my students and their desire to sing.”  Please send me your stories of working with students to help them reach their dreams – every email I get from you is important to me.

HR informs me we are holding steady at 38 confirmed employee cases. We’ll host free saliva-based COVID testing here this Saturday, Oct 17, 11am-3pm, and nasal-swab testing on Wed, Dec 3, 7:30 – 11:30am. Registration is recommended with more details here!

Thanks for all that you do!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

October 12, 2020

Hi there, Matadors –

Let me start by saying that as much as I appreciate the thoughtful and agile work around our pandemic response, we are not out of the woods with COVID-19. We all need to stay vigilant by following the CDC guidelines. Our employee positive numbers have crept up to 38, and one person is hospitalized. I need you to follow the 3 C’s of Covid: Cover your Face (Mask Up Matadors), Clean your Hands, Contain Germs (stay home if you’re sick). For us to have a chance to return to more in-person classes and events, we need to do our part to control the spread and keep people safe.

We’re hosting saliva COVID-19 testing this Saturday, Oct 17, 11am-3pm, in our P1 Parking lot in front of 3C. This is just spitting in a test tube – no nasal swab. Please take advantage of that.

Even though we don’t have any in-person events happening on our campuses, the college calendar has several transfer events coming up soon. Thanks for reminding our students about these great events, and thanks to Martha Cordova in our Transfer Services office for coordinating these.

Winter registration is currently open, and Spring registration opens November 9th. Stay safe, Matadors!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College
 

October 8, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors –

As we end week 8, I’m happy to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Maybe you noticed the traditional Chalk Murals around Yuma Campus this week – or on our Instagram & Twitter accounts. In the recent 2020 Strategic Vision report, AWC continues to lead the state in Hispanic students as a percent of the student population.

Speaking of students, my appreciation goes to Nursing Professor Barbara Deol who let me know about Wyatt D., a star student this semester. She sees him as not only a top achiever (95+ on two recent tests) but also a calm, collaborative leader who frequently helps his classmates learn difficult concepts. During his clinicals, he has had positive RN feedback from every YRMC nurse he has worked with in Obstetrics and Neo Natal Intensive Care. Our amazing faculty are equipping and empowering the leaders of tomorrow, and I’m very grateful to Professor Deol and all of our AWC faculty. If you have a good news story about how your students are adapting and excelling this semester, please let me know.

Even though COVID-19 numbers have improved for our two counties we must remain vigilant about the pandemic. Thanks for all of the agility and adaptation you have shown to date. Remember as we roll into midterms that students may need options for how to plan their schedule, take an exam, or engage with you. Thank you for protecting their health and your own.

We had 52 folks attend COVID-19 testing this past Tuesday. We’ll have saliva-based testing here (P1) Saturday, Oct 17, 11am – 3pm, open to the entire community, courtesy of ASU and Yuma County Health District. Please plan to come and take advantage of this free testing opportunity. We’ll also host a post-Thanksgiving test on Thursday, Dec 3. Here is a reminder of our protocols and the Student self-notification form.

I’m really excited to let you know that even in an era of COVID, when travel and conferences are limited, we have three excellent CAMP students who are participating later this month in the virtual ¡Adelante! Leadership Institute for the HACU 34th Annual Conference: Fostering Excellence and Social Justice. Please help me in congratulating students Patricia C., Sonia R. and Jesus S along with CAMP Director Rosalia Delgado. I hope they have a memorable experience.

The team in HR has let me know we are holding steady at 35 confirmed cases within our work teams. Thanks for keeping yourself and your family safe.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

October 5, 2020

Happy Monday, Matadors!

Today we used our Common Hour for a district-wide President’s Town Hall, and we had about 165 employees join us to talk about budget, COVID-19 response, facilities, plans for Winter and Spring. Thank you for the questions and concerns – feel free to email or call me at any time.
That recording is right here, housed inside of Workplace in Microsoft Office 365. A copy of the Presentation is also included within the “President’s Office” folder.

Here’s the great story about several of our inspiring CAMP students. I’ve said it before, but I’m always inspired and truly moved by the sacrifices our students and their families make to pursue their dreams of a brighter future. Read on if you’d like a little shot in the arm today! (the video from our Town Hall is also included)

What’s working for you this semester, and your students? It’s really important that we’re agile in how we serve our students, and I’m interested in hearing directly from you about your experience as we make plans for Winter and Spring.

Today I heard a story of a calculus student of Dr. Aman Ghebremicael who sang his praises. Dianna Z. works at Dutch Brothers, and wants to be a Psychiatrist. She went on at length about how Dr. G makes the digital divide manageable by offering online office hours and teaching outside of class time, and always seems so eager to help. My thanks to Aman, and all of our hard-working faculty for all you do to make a difference for our students.

We’re hosting COVID-19 testing on the Yuma campus again tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, from 7:30-11:30 in the P1 parking lot courtesy of Regional Center for Border Health. We have two more dates on the calendar. Oct 17, Saturday, will bring saliva testing courtesy of ASU and Yuma County Health Dept. Here is a reminder of our protocols and the Student self-notification form.

We’ll also offering testing Dec 3 via Regional Center for Border Health.  HR tells me we are holding steady at 35 confirmed cases within our workforce. Thanks for keeping yourselves safe.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College
 

October 1, 2020

Happy October, Matadors!

Today we held a Zoom Call to give people a chance to understand more about the AWC Facilities Task Force work that’s coming to a close. That call was recorded and is housed on Workplace, along with all of the source documents and current work of that team. The District Governing Board will consider this work at their October meeting, and the committee will be back before the College Governance Council on October 28.

This Monday, I’m hosting a President’s Town Hall. We’ll talk about the current state of affairs at the college district, what to expect this Spring, and some of our success metrics. Please plan to join us, during Common Hour, Monday, October 5, at 3:00pm.

I’d like to thank Professor Sonja Greiner for sending along a note about her work this semester. She shares that she’s really impressed with her students’ level of achievement this fall. Her expectations are still high, but she’s observing that some like the simplicity of “going” to class from wherever they are. My appreciation to Sonja, and all of our amazing faculty for the care and concern you have for our students.

Next week we’ll host another COVID-19 testing on the Yuma Campus, Tues, Oct 6, 7:30-11:30am  in the P1 Parking Lot.  As we continue focus on the health and safety of our students, employees and community, I encourage you to remind our students to self-report if they have been either exposed to Covid-19 or tested positive for it.  Here is a reminder of our protocols and the Student self-notification form.

HR tells me we are sitting at 35 faculty/staff who have self-identified as COVID-19 positive, an increase of one. Thank you for keeping yourselves and your families safe.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

September 28, 2020

Happy Monday, Matadors!

I am coming to you a little early to remind you of today’s College Convening at 3 pm during Common Hour.

Please take the chance to dial in today to our college convening regarding our Strategic Plan (we’re about at the mid-point): AWC 2025: Jump Start, 3pm today, https://azwestern.zoom.us/j/4273506428. Liz Murphy from CampusWorks will lead us through a discussion about where we are and how we got here. Here’s a link to the latest Strategic Planning status report.

This Thursday, you’ll get a chance to hear from our Facilities Task Force team, in a college-wide Zoom event (Thurs, Oct 1, 2:00pm). The work they’re engaged in can be viewed here at Workplace with Event details in the Workplace Calendar.

Last Monday at the District Governing Board meeting, we honored Maria Garcia Vargas as our student of the month, from the Automotive Technologies program. Maria is being nominated because of her strength, passion, and perseverance to overcome any challenge placed in her path to obtain a degree in automotive technology and work in the automotive industry. Her passion began at a very young age, helping her father and uncle in their work. She was nominated by Professor Mike Murphy.

We’ll have COVID-19 again on Tues, Oct 6, 7:30 – 11:30 am on the Yuma Campus, under the covered parking in front of the 3C. All faculty, staff and students from AWC and our partner universities are welcome to attend.   
The HR team tells me we are holding at 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thank you for keeping yourself and your colleagues and family safe.

Be well and ‘see’ you today at 3!
Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

September 24, 2020

Hello, Matadors!

It’s hard to believe that we’re finishing the 6th week of the Fall semester. And you know fall as arrived in Yuma when talk turns to midterms and cooler weather. Bring it on!

Professor Chuck Smalley (Choral and Vocal Professor Emeritus) sent me an awesome email about a non-traditional student in his music appreciation class. She’s in her mid 20’s, she works full-time in agriculture, and she’s taking 4 remote/online AWC classes. English is not her first language. Due to fires in the region where she lives, they’ve been threatened with terrible smoke, and periods of time with no water and no electricity. In spite of that, she does well on exams and completes all assigned work. What really moved me was how this student’s grit and determination, in the face of huge obstacles, is honored and nurtured by her faculty with care and compassion. I know there are stories like this among all of our amazing faculty, and from our support teams, as well. Send me your good stories!

Please join us on Monday, September 20, 3:00 pm, for a college convening called AWC 2025: Restart - https://azwestern.zoom.us/j/4273506428

to talk about the status of our Strategic Plan. We’ll focus on the work already moved into execution, the remaining work, and how what we’ve learned in 2020 about our students and the communities we serve impact that work. There’s lots to celebrate, and much work still to be done. Thank you for your dedication to our mission, vision, and the larger plan.

Yesterday, the first meeting of the College Governance Council came off without a hitch. I was delighted to be joined by about 30 folks from around the district – approximately 14 of those were sitting members, and the rest were observing. I’m glad to say that the group elected Professor Terry Williams (Administration of Justice) to be our Vice-Chair and Professor Dubia Zaragoza (Family Studies) to be our Secretary. You’ll find agendas and minutes for the CGC here on Workplace . If you’d like an item on the agenda, please send it to Dubia at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend any CGC meetings.

Speaking of the College Governance Council, the kickoff of our Shared Governance work requires that all new and sitting committees and task forces create a charter. If you chair a group, please create a charter for your group within the next 30 days (by Oct 26.)

One of the first groups to charter is the Facilities Task Force, which presented to the CGC yesterday. Please mark your calendar for a livestream event on Thurs, Oct 1 at 2:00pm so faculty, staff, and students can hear about the work of this group and ask questions. The final authority for this current work on facilities rests with our elected District Governing Board.

I’d like to congratulate the AWC Communications & Marketing team for two national awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. The gorgeous What’s Your Why campaign brought in a silver medal (that’s second best out of 2,000+ colleges) for their print ad featuring our students. The brochure for our LGBTQ+ Resource Center also won a silver medal. Congrats to the entire team for your work all year long on strategic communications, and for telling our stories!

HR confirms that to date we’re holding at 34 employees who have self-identified as COVID-19 positive. We’ll have testing on campus again on Oct 6 and Dec 2.

Have a great weekend, and stay safe!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

September 21, 2020

Dear College Campus –

It’s no secret my favorite part of the job is talking to students. I had the chance to travel to San Luis Learning Center last week, and had an amazing time visiting classes (thanks, Professor Paul Huggins!) and chatting with colleagues. Wanted to highlight the work of Professor Jennie Bouy, who is having her classes work on a project reflecting on the points of pride they feel about AWC, along with disappointments, or what they’d like to see changed. I’ve been invited in November to visit her classes to hear the results of this work, and I can’t wait to go! Susie Zambrano and Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez will both join me.

I want to take a moment to recognize Gladys Anaya, who serves as AWC Foundation Coordinator of Development and Alumni Relations. She recently completed Project Centrl, a year-long program to equip and empower leaders to meet the needs of rural Arizona. Thanks, Gladys, for representing Yuma at the state level!

Please mark your calendars for a few KEY Events:

1. First College Governance Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept 23, at 3:00 pm, If you are asking “What is the College Governance Council? The College Governance Council (CGC) was born of the Strategic Plan, within Strategic Objective within Agility which exists to ensure district-wide representation in larger matters impacting the college by establishing and maintaining consistent communication, transparency, and accountability standards in order to focus efforts on our College mission for student success. Join the meeting at 3pm, details within Workplace!

2. A week from today for a campus convening around the Strategic Plan. On Monday, Sept 28, at 3:00 pm, Liz Murphy, who has coached us through this process for several years, will lead us in a conversation called AWC 2025: Re-Start to help us take stock of what we’ve accomplished (spoiler: it’s pretty remarkable), what we have left to do together, and to help us consider how the current environment impacts the remaining 9 objectives. Please join us!

HR informs me our self-report COVID-19 numbers have gone up slightly, to 34 positive cases. Thank you for availing yourself of community testing when it’s available, if you feel you need it (back on Yuma campus Oct 6.) Thanks for masking up when you’re on campus. Thanks for staying home if you don’t feel well.

That’s it for Monday!

Stay safe, Matadors.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

September 17, 2020

Dear Matadors,

This is Thursday, and we’re at the end of our fifth week of the fall semester.

Today we hosted COVID-19 testing on the Yuma campus, in partnership with UA-Yuma, ASU @Yuma and NAU-Yuma, and we had 38 folks participate. We’ll offer testing again on Oct 6, and one more time the week after Thanksgiving.

Our triage team that handles our COVID-19 Student Notification plan stepped in to support a housing student last week who notified us of a possible exposure. The team put our plans into place so the student could connect with opportunities for testing and to isolate. Thanks to our leaders like Latoya Howell, Dr. Nikki Hage and Christine Rouff for your collaboration, quick action, and compassion for our students.

I’d like to also send a shout out to Claudia Orozco, who leads our Student Counseling office, who led a Stress Management workshop that had over 70 students in attendance. Everywhere I look, I see examples of people reaching out to care for each other, and for our students, as we all navigate our COVID-19 response. Thank you, Claudia! Please send me examples you see of people taking care of each other, or of our students’ amazing work. Thank you.

Monday’s Common Hour training is focused on Professional Development and will be hosted by our own, Andrew Ustaszewski, Veteran Student Support Specialist and who has his Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement.  Meeting details and Zoom Link are on Workplace and linked here: https://awcitss.sharepoint.com/sites/Workplace/_layouts/15/Event.aspx?ListGuid=4e023fec-b736-4472-a933-d046b46ae193&ItemId=45

I mentioned a new Facilities Task Force that has formed to synthesize all the work around facilities planning over the last several years, including the Resources Management Implementation Team from the Strategic Plan. That group met this past Monday, and now has a folder on Workplace where you can see their work. They’ll get a chance soon to present information to the District Governing Board, the College Governance Council, and on Facebook Live. Stay tuned. Members on that team include Jana Moore, Rosalia Delgado, Bryan Doak, Reetika Dhawan, Fatima Covarrubias Rios, Susie Zambrano and Shahrooz Roohparvar.

HR informs me that for self-reports from faculty and staff of positive COVID-19 tests, we are holding at 33. Thanks for keeping yourself, your family and your team safe.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

September 14, 2020

Happy Monday, Matadors -

In light of our internet outage on Thursday, September 3, I’d like to remind you all to keep up-to-date on your virtual cybersecurity training at Know Be4. This is required of all employees, and an important component to keeping our critical systems safe.

We’ll host COVID-19 testing again this Thursday, September 17, 7:30-11:30am , on the Yuma Campus in parking lot P1 in front of 3C, by Regional Center for Border Health (future date: Tues, Oct 6).
Our University partners are invited to join us. RCBH takes all insurance, I’m told your deductible will not be impacted, and no student will be turned away for lack of insurance.

I know this semester is a strange one, and it’s easy to feel a little bit disconnected. If you have a student success story to share, or something cool that’s happening in your team, or in your class, I’d love to hear about it. Please send it my way.

Our Human Resources department has notified us that we’re still holding at 33 faculty/staff that have reported positive for COVID-19. Thanks for keeping yourself, your teams and your family safe!

Thanks for all you are doing for our students and the community.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

September 10, 2020

Dear Matadors,

Welcome to the end of week #4 of the Fall semester. On Monday, we start our 12-week session. Our enrollment continues to show slight improvement – as of today, we’re down 12% (at our worst we were down in the mid-to-high 20’s).

I know that in part is due to the flexibility of our faculty and academic leadership as we pivoted to add classes and support students. It’s also due to the High School Summer Melt team that worked in about 7 weeks to improve high school capture numbers from 17.5% to 38% (we are normally in the low 40’s). My gratitude to Shara Skinner, Cristina Gonzales, Biri Martinez and Mandy Heil for this work.

Today, we hosted a press conference at the Parker Learning Center where we connected the dots between our partnership with regional law enforcement agencies and funding from Arizona @ Work to enroll cadets in our full-time Law Enforcement Training Academy, which creates a pipeline of skilled officers at a fraction of the cost.

If you haven’t already utilized the Common Hour to stay engaged with the work of the College, don’t forget to visit Workplace to check out upcoming meetings and topics for professional development. The calendar has upcoming meetings like Faculty Senate Monthly meeting (September 14), Best Practices for Online Teaching (September 16) and Six Sigma Training for Professional Development (September 21) to name a few.

Later this month, we’ll kick off a new effort to provide modern technology tools to students across the district through a laptop rental program. My thanks to the technology team that’s working on this effort.

Human Resources tells me we remain at 33 employees who have identified as positive for COVID-19 to date. Thanks for keeping yourself and your colleagues safe.

I hope you have a nice weekend. Get out and enjoy this weather!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

September 3, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors!

I had a chance this week to meet with a group of Student Ambassadors; it’s always the best part of my job when I get to talk to students about how they’re doing in class.

Here’s what I learned: they are so grateful for your innovation and agility!

Many talked about how convenient their Blended RealTime and Remote RealTime classes are. One student is helping his little brother with elementary school lessons at home, so he joins his class via Zoom. Our efforts to keep him engaged is helping him persevere, and It’s helping his little brother accomplish his schooling, as well. I’m so grateful for all the work, sweat and tears that has gone into creating and implementing these digital tools. I know it’s difficult. I know you’re all in. I appreciate it.

Enrollment is still down significantly. This week, I released a Corr Report about the impact of decreased enrollment and increased expenses. Short story: it’s not good. Please help out by watching the report and understanding the context, and then by talking with your team about possible cost-saving measures. Our goal is to retain all of our full-time staff and maintain our current services to the district. It will be not be easy, but I know we’re in this together.

After years of work on a Facilities Master plan, including cabinet and District Governing Board workshops, and now 2 years of Implementation team work around this topic, I’ve asked Shahrooz Roohparvar and Susanna Zambrano to lead a task force this fall that will identify a short list of priorities and funding options. They’ve written a charter, have recruited a small team to help, and will get on the agenda of the new College Governance Council. We’ll also work this into a Corr Report and a Facebook Live. Stay tuned for details, and my thanks to Susie and Shahrooz.

I was delighted to join in yesterday to the Master Council Onboarding session. My deep appreciation to the Agility team for their unwavering focus and dedication to launching this effort.  You can always learn more about on Workplace.

You probably know that at this exact moment we have an ISP-based internet outage on the Yuma campus. Spectrum engineers are in touch with our Infrastructure Services team. We don’t currently have an ETA but we’ll keep you updated.

That’s what I know! Also - its a long weekend. Keep each other safe, and I hope you have some fun.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

August 31, 2020

Well, Matadors, we’ve reached the end of August together, and we’re entering our third week of fall classes.

We remain focused on our two primary interests: keeping people safe, and helping our students reach their educational goals. I know you share this commitment and I’m grateful for your dedication to our students and their goals.

Our Human Resources team tells me we are still sitting at 33 co-workers who have self-identified as COVID-19 positive since the beginning of the pandemic. Thanks for keeping yourself safe.

We are coming down to the wire on the Census, and the communities we serve stand to lose in a big way if our counts aren’t accurate. Please, stop what you’re doing today and complete the Census if you have not done it yet. It only happens once a decade – make sure you and your family are counted.  

We continue to be in touch with both Yuma County Health District and Yuma Regional Medical Center. Two weeks ago, an AWC team participated in a virtual conference with YRMC leadership about COVID-19 and education. Just today, YCHD reached out to touch base on recent contact tracing efforts. We continue to work our Mitigation Plan for Students to Self-Notify with this online form, and for Faculty & Staff to Self-Notify to HR. Our triage teams follow a flow chart to make sure we’re bringing in the appropriate teams to sanitize, notify and take any other necessary measures.

Remember our Shared Governance kicks off this month, with 9/2 and 9/9 onboarding for Master Council members, and our first College Governance Council on Sept 23. More information is below the signature line.

Thank you for all you are doing for our students, and to support each other.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events) 

August 27, 2020

Greetings, Matadors!

As we finish out the second week of our Fall Semester, and our first in our blended real-time capacity, I’d like to once again send my deep appreciation for your agility and your tenacity. Our students deserve it, and I’m grateful for your focus.

We know from a few of our faculty that they’re hearing our students are coming to grips with the challenges of this strange fall semester. We know that student success is directly linked to student-faculty connection and engagement, and I appreciate all you’re doing to reassure, support, and help our students gain knowledge.

This week we had 53 participants at our first COVID-19 testing event on the Yuma campus, with help from the Regional Center for Border Health. We’ll do it again on Thursday, September 17 and Tuesday, October 6. My thanks to Ashley Macawile for planning and coordinating this important and well-attended event.

We’ve had a few more students submit a COVID-19 self-notification form for a positive test, exposure, or symptoms; many take the notification responsibility very seriously even if they haven’t been on campus in months. The triage team continues to follow the guidelines and flowchart in case faculty / facilities / students need to be notified. We are working the plan.

Speaking of working our plans, I’d like to highlight the work of Sharon Register and her team, who have spent countless hours this summer preparing to welcome people back to our campuses in a thoughtful manner that mitigates risk and promotes service to the district. From the Phase 1 Quick Stop, to sneeze guards, to Clean Kits, I’d like to publicly send thanks to Sharon for staying on top of the information, procuring hard-to-find supplies, and distributing them across the district. It’s greatly appreciated. If your department needs a Clean Kit or a refill, the Administrative Assistant in your area is the contact to fulfill that request.

In a few weeks (September 9 & 16) we’ll begin Master Council onboarding as part of our Shared Governance, which I’m really looking forward to. See the footer below for more Shared Governance (SG) information.

Our HR team tells me we’re now at 33 colleagues who have tested positive for COVID-19. Thanks for keeping them in your thoughts, and yourself safe. #MaskupMatadors

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
Workplace Events (quick link to Common Hour events)

August 24, 2020

Dear Matadors –

We have the first week of Learning under our belts. Students are “in the classroom” for the first time since March and our campus locations are buzzing with activity.

Technology has been the biggest tool used to support our employees and students.  I received the report from Bob Walker, Vice President of Technology this morning and he reported:
61 of the new classroom webcams are installed and tested at the Yuma campus; 35 of the new classroom webcams are installed and tested at all other campus locations in total.
An instruction sheet for camera operation has been placed in each classroom with Service Desk Technicians available to support any troubleshooting needed through the week.

For those Faculty supporting student needs, 57 of the 69 offices now have Webcams for faculty offices with more arriving this week. 

As the COVID-19 numbers in our communities begin to decline, the attention and awareness of this pandemic is not lost.  On Wednesday, through partnership with Regional Center for Border Health,  COVID-19 Testing will be available at the Yuma Campus for students and employees.  More details can be found here

If you haven’t become familiar with our AWC COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation plan - The highlights include our plans to support faculty, staff and students who Self-Report a positive COVID-19 test. Employees self-report to Patty Jimenez or Karen Johnson in HR, and students use this online COVID-19 Student Self-Notification form. We have an internal triage team that will implement notification for Facilities, Learning Services (to notify faculty and students), and other areas as needed. We will keep this information private. The plan also includes our requirement for Face masks AWC campuses, a desire for students to adopt a Car-to-Classroom practice, our Cleaning and Sanitizing plans and our general approach to Layering and Stacking protections.

I was informed about the drastically low census count we have thus far across our county and was asked to spread the word to other education leaders to assist with distributing information.   The 2020 Census is an important civic duty that impacts the direct resources provided within our community.  Please join me and our educational partners across our Districts in completing the census.  https://my2020census.gov/

As we have continued to commit to serving students the best way we can, I wanted to share the positive trend we are seeing with our enrollment.  Last week in my Town Hall, I shared that our enrollment was down-19% from Fall 2019.  We are slowly moving in the right direct and have improved 5 points resting at -14%.  This steady increase continues to be tracked and monitored. 

Human Resources shares with me that we are still sitting at 31 employees so far with a positive COVID diagnosis. Thank you for taking care of yourselves, your team, and your family.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)

August 20, 2020

Dear Colleagues –

I am incredibly proud of you. We have come to the end of the first week of the strangest fall semester I’ve ever seen, and everywhere I turn I hear stories of people being pleasantly surprised, with students showing up for Remote Real-Time, people coming on campus with their masks, employees greeting people in 105F+ heat, and people excited to be back in college.

I send a huge THANK YOU for the work you’re engaged in to help our students thrive.

I’m told our classroom cameras have been/are being installed. Jana Moore has worked on a training session, and IT has a printed instruction sheet in each classroom. Next week we’ll see more of our Blended Real-Time classes come online. Thank you to our faculty for your flexibility, and thanks to the entire Technology team for your work to install these new tools.

I’ve mentioned our AWC COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation plan a few times, and this week we put our plan into place, and within a day had a student self-report. This gave our teams the chance to run through the steps (beyond initial testing) and demonstrated to all participating how the tool works, and what could be better. In this first case, a student showed up to a lab class on Monday in spite of receiving a positive COVID test result the Friday before. Here’s what happened: our Triage team followed the flow chart and pulled in all necessary partners, in this case, Facilities, Learning Services, and Chief of Staff. Chief of Staff jumped on the phone with our contact at the Yuma County Health District (YCHD) to evaluate the need for Rapid Response testing. The triage team also reached out to the student to make sure they knew to stay home after a positive test. Learning Services was able to determine the small group of students and the faculty, and communicated the situation with them. Based on all of this information YCHD did not recommend Rapid Results testing – fewer than 9 students spaced out in a room, wearing masks, following cleaning protocols. Our Facilities department wiped down surfaces in the room.  A standard email was sent to each of the students and the faculty (beyond the initial communication) that were in attendance with instructions on monitoring symptoms. I’d like to send my appreciation to Christine Rouff for leading the triage team and to all parties who collaborated on this effort.

Stay tuned for opportunities to participate in our Shared Governance, which commences in September, with lots of pre-work. If you lead an existing workgroup, team or regular meeting, please check with Agility@azwestern.edu about re-chartering your team so it fits within the new system.  

Human Resources shares with me that we are still sitting at 31 employees so far with a positive COVID diagnosis. Thank you for taking care of yourselves, your team, and your family.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

August 17, 2020

Welcome to Fall 2020!

Look, guys, we made it!

We’ve faced setbacks and delays, and more details are on the way, but between CANVAS training, COVID-19 response, communication efforts and technology support, it has never been more clear to me that our teams are focused on supporting the Student Experience.

My thanks to Shara Skinner who put together a roster of colleagues to welcome students at points around campus today and all this week as we shifted to a mostly-remote first week experience.  You can still join in the support by signing up now: Sign Up Sheet! My thanks to Bob Walker and Ihab Saleh and the technology team who worked around the clock this weekend to install late-arriving web cams in offices and classrooms around our campuses. These are not the tracking cameras – those are due to arrive today or tomorrow.

Today we hosted a (mostly virtual) District Governing Board meeting and I want to share with you their sentiments of deep appreciation for your diligent work, your agility and focus serving our students, especially after I shared student success metrics showing record-tying success for Spring outcomes, and Summer English / Math and lab science outcomes. That’s due to your hard work!

Reminder – We recently posted our AWC COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation plan. The highlights include our plans to support faculty, staff and students who Self-Report a positive COVID-19 test (there’s a flow chart and posted guidelines). Employees self-report to Patty Jimenez or Karen Johnson in HR, and students use this online COVID-19 Student Self-Notification form. We have an internal triage team that will implement notification for Facilities, Learning Services (to notify faculty and students), and other areas as needed. We will keep this information private. The plan also includes our requirement for Face coverings for all AWC campuses, a desire for students to adopt a Car-to-Classroom practice, our Cleaning and Sanitizing plans, our partnership to bring COVID-19 Testing to campus, and our general approach to Layering and Stacking protections.

A few other video assets that might be of use to you:

Today kicked off our Common Hour schedule with robust trainings about Health, Wellness, & Counseling Services for Students, hosted by Christine Rouff; Intro to Open Educational Resources, hosted by Scott Donnelly and the Agility Leadership hosting the Group Rechartering session. You can learn about more upcoming sessions on Workplace: https://awcitss.sharepoint.com/sites/Workplace.  You can even join the Wednesday Refresher Course session at 3pm.

Human Resources says we’re still sitting at 31 positive COVID-19 cases in our faculty and staff. Thanks for keeping yourselves and each other safe.

Have a great week, Matadors!

Daniel

PS.  Did you check out the newly renovated Starbucks coffee shop? WOW!

***Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan***

Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)

August 14, 2020

Dear Matadors –

We have arrived at the end of Start-Up Week, and that means that Fall is upon us!

Our biggest jobs on Monday, as we welcome back students, in whatever manner they engage with us is to:

  1. Stay safe
  2. Stay agile
  3. Welcome the first day of a brand new academic year!

I know through our incredible support staff and our highly-qualified, engaged faculty, we’ll deliver on our commitment to an amazing Student Experience this year, no matter the challenges we face. The reason I know this is together, we’ve developed a plan, and together we’re going to work that plan. If you’d like to join a Strategic Planning team - which has already delivered amazing results in OER, Centralized Scheduling, Prior Learning, Guided Pathways and Shared Governance, please reach out to Lori Stofft in Advancement.

We’re united around our Mission and Vision, we’re united by our commitment to our First Generation students, and we’re united by our BHAG of doubling the baccalaureate attainment rate in Yuma and La Paz Counties.

Serving our Students is what we each do every day. This week alone, our campus locations across the District have supported nearly 700 students in-person – that is 700 more students who needed hands-on support in their educational journey with AWC.  That hands on support doesn’t stop this week - Through the leadership of Shara Skinner, you can participate in the personal welcome and assistance as our students arrive to the Yuma campus next week; help them locate their classroom, know where to get their CampusID and utilize all the tremendous on-campus resources – Sign Up Sheet!

We’re a partner in the Census effort here in Yuma and La Paz counties, and you need to know that all local infrastructure, and much of the work we do – including the federal funding colleges like ours relies on – is based on accurate census numbers. If you haven’t yet filled out your Census form, it takes mere minutes, and it has a huge impact. Make it a priority this weekend to answer the Census 2020.

A few reminders:
This fall our collaborative efforts gets a huge lift by the kickoff of our new Common Hour every Monday & Wednesday, 3:00-4:30. Our Agility Team is looking for folks to participate in the new Council structure – details at the bottom of this email.

Last week we posted our AWC COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation plan. The highlights include how to Self-Report a positive COVID-19 test, the requirement for Face masks on all AWC campuses, the Car-to-Classroom practice for students to avoid congregating, our Cleaning and Sanitizing plans, our partnership to bring COVID-19 Testing to campus, and our general approach to Layering and Stacking protections.

Speaking of testing, the City and County are still offering Free COVID-19 testing blitz Friday and Saturday, August 14-15, 6:30am – 12:30pm, at the Yuma Civic Center – pre-register here (registration preferred but not required).

Human Resources tells me that we sit at 31 confirmed COVID-19 cases among our employees to date. Thanks for doing everything you can to keep yourselves, your families and your colleagues safe.

I am so excited to start the Fall Semester with you!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

***** Welcome to the new AWC Common Hour Plan*****
Monday & Wednesday, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Common Hour Allocation Plan (calendar)
Shared Governance Common Hour Use 2020 (running schedule)
Shared Governance Handbook (description of structure, councils, work)
 

August 11, 2020

Dear Matadors –

Fall is upon us! I know it’s still 110F outside, and I know this semester doesn’t feel quite like last year, with new modalities and technology and fewer people on campus, but gosh darn it, I’m excited for classes to start in one week.

And we know our students are excited – as of 5pm Today, we helped 175 students in person – 118  at the Yuma campus; 18 at the Parker campus; 4 at the Downtown Center and 30 in San Luis and 5 in Somerton in South Yuma County.

Please join me Wednesday for a virtual AWC Town Hall to kick off the year. There will be something for everyone, including a celebration of some of the things we’ve already accomplished and an update about some of the challenges facing us. On Friday afternoon, Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez will welcome faculty in a virtual All Faculty General Meeting.

I have been incredibly inspired by the collaborative efforts I have seen as it relates to our COVID response, and our desire to serve our students, from new protocols for placement testing, to piloting a new Success Course for our Promise students, to the detailed plans to re-open the 3C, to communicating and marketing our class types. Our teams are demonstrating agility and empowerment in all of this work, and I’m proud to witness it. This fall our collaborative efforts get a huge lift by the kickoff of our new Common Hour – details at the bottom of this email.

Last week we posted our AWC COVID-19 Notification and Mitigation plan. The highlights include our plans to support faculty, staff and students who Self-Report a positive COVID-19 test. Employees self-report to Patty Jimenez or Karen Johnson in HR, and students use this online COVID-19 Student Self-Notification form. We have an internal triage team that will implement notification for Facilities, Learning Services (to notify faculty and students), and other areas as needed. We will keep this information private. The plan also includes our requirement for Face masks AWC campuses, a desire for students to adopt a Car-to-Classroom practice, our Cleaning and Sanitizing plans, our partnership to bring COVID-19 Testing to campus, and our general approach to Layering and Stacking protections.

Speaking of testing, the City and County are collaborating for Free COVID-19 testing blitz this week, August 11-15, 6:30am – 12:30pm, at the Yuma Civic Center – pre-register here.

Human Resources tells me that we sit at 31 confirmed COVID-19 cases among our employees to date. Thanks for doing everything you can to keep yourselves, your families and your colleagues safe.

I’m proud to serve you.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

August 6, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors –

This is the end of our first week of Phase 2, and I’m delighted to report brisk activity on all the campuses. We’ve served 24 students this week at the Downtown Center, 56 at Parker, 314 at Yuma, and 145 at our South County locations. My thanks to these teams for your planning, your effort to keep people safe, and your desire to adapting to our students’ needs.

Besides Commencement, Fall Startup is my favorite time of the year. And even though this year is different, and somewhat complicated, I’m just as excited as I have been in years past. On Monday we welcome our amazing faculty back to work. On Wednesday we’ll host a virtual College Town Hall at 12 pm (please mark your calendar and join us, more details on Workplace!). On Friday, Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez, Vice President of Learning Services, will host her first Fall Faculty Meeting. And the following Monday, August 17, we’ll all welcome back our students. I’m so happy to watch this semester get underway with you. Thank you for your service to our students.

This week, we posted our COVID Notification and Mitigation Plan on the college COVID web page and we’re training our internal Notification Triage team this Monday. My thanks to Dr. Nikki Hage and Christine Rouff, who are overseeing this effort, with cross-functional help from Facilities, HR, Advancement, and Learning Services. This fall, we will continue to ask employees to self-disclose (COVID-19 positive test results) to HR, and students to self-disclose in an online form, so we can assess risk, and step in with cleaning and notification where needed. As we do with other HR and health information, we will keep this data private. We will leave full-blown contact tracing to the Yuma County Health District. More information will come out in an email next week.

We will bring Regional Center for Border Health to Yuma campus several times in the fall semester for COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff and students. We will bring the Yuma County Health District to campus for flu shots again this year. And we have expanded our relationship with YCHD to include rapid results COVID testing in case one of our close cohort programs has a positive case – like our hands-on CTE labs, performing or fine arts, or lab sciences.

The folks in Human Resources tell me that our COVID-19 positive count for employees remains at 31 this week, and that’s very good news. Thanks for keeping yourself and your co-workers safe. Mask up, Matadors!

Have a great weekend.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

August 3, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to Phase 2 of our Back to Campus plan! I’m so excited that most of our teams are starting to rotate back to our campus locations today. Our students also seem to be happy – all of our sites are very busy with remote assistance, and today, in person, we served 10 students in Somerton, 29 students in San Luis, 27 students in Parker, and 96 students in Yuma. Now, I’m looking forward to welcome faculty on August 10, and students on August 17.

Today is also the beginning of our new service hours, for student-facing teams. The new hours are Monday – Thursday, 8am-6pm, and Friday (remote), 9am-3pm.

As we start to come back to campus and / or remote collaboration with each other, I’d like to remind you of a few of the fundamentals –

  • Human Resources has a great training on Return to Campus, the subject of a recent Lunch & Learn, posted here
  • Shared Governance and the Agility team have created a new calendar for how we can optimize our new 3:00 – 4:30 pm Common Hour, posted here
  • Masks will be required on campus, unless you are in an office by yourself, or walking across campus by yourself
  • Zoom will remain the primary way all group work is conducted

Our Human Resources reports that our employees that have tested positive for COVID-19 is holding steady at 31. Glad to hear it!

Thanks for all you do for our students and our community.

It’s a great day to be a Matador!

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 30, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors!

As we near the end of the summer, let me say I appreciate your grit, and your agility, and the unity I see in our teams to help us reach our two overarching goals: to keep the communities we serve safe, and to help our students reach their educational goals. Each one of us have a role to play in these two endeavors, and our purpose-driven Mission and Vision will continue to guide all of our work together.

I know that many of you are off enjoying your summer breaks, and many of you are finalizing your plans for Fall semester.

We remain focused on  our plans to welcome students back August 17 in four class types this Fall: Blended Realtime, Remote Realtime, In Person Realtime and Online. We have deepened our partnership with folks at the Yuma County Health District through a series of meetings, who have been happy to review our plans, and we commit to seeking advice from them throughout the semester to make sure we’re layering and stacking our protections and modifying our plans in the smartest way possible. I’m told the YCHD leadership gave our Plan for Fall Instruction and our Return to Campus Plan high marks, calling the work “very conservative” and a model for other institutions. I’ve said it before – in the leadership of our Facilities and Risk Management, Steve Eckert and Sharon Register continue to do great work cross-departmentally in their research, planning and guiding our response. I’m grateful for their leadership.

This Monday, August 3, is Phase 2 of Return to Campus, when most teams will begin to rotate back to campus locations. If anybody has a COVID-related reason to delay this return, please work through our Human Resources team (Patty Jimenez). Some teams will adopt the 4-10 concept to cut their team density in half; some teams will continue to have folks work remotely when that makes sense for the team, our students, and service to the district. Also beginning this Monday is our new service hours for student-serving teams: 8am-6pm Mon – Thurs, and 9am-3pm (remote) Fridays.

We’re celebrating in-person service to students with special circumstances. This week, as part of Phase 1, our teams helped 54 students in Parker, 65 in San Luis, and 170 in Yuma. We maintain our priority for remote service whenever possible.  In total, Phase 1 served 501 students in Yuma, 127 in Parker and 116 in South Yuma County.

Speaking of our work with the Yuma County Health District, we are working on our own AWC COVID Notification & Mitigation Plan, which we’ll release on Monday, so faculty and staff will know what steps to take if a student self-identifies as COVID-19 positive, and what steps the college will take. Stay tuned.

We continue to hear from you that clear and frequent communication is important to navigating the high rate change and disruption we are all facing. I commit to emails like this, Facebook Live events (like the one we hosted this past Wednesday), along with more frequent Town Halls (watch for a schedule soon). Keep the comments and questions coming. As we work to deliver on our Student Experience Statement, and our Mission and Vision, we are all in this together!

Our Human Resources team tells me we have one additional positive COVID-19 result among our employees, which brings our total to date to 31. Thank you for your efforts to keep yourself and your families and teams safe.

Have a great weekend.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 27, 2020

Happy Monday, Matadors!

We’ve made it to the end of our Summer session. I’d like to send my thanks to the faculty who taught during our all-remote Summer Session so our students could continue their classes.

We’re one week away from Phase 2 of our Back to Campus Plan. On Monday, August 3, most departments and teams will start rotating back onto our campus locations. Thanks to all of the teams who have been meeting to plan this return, and thanks for being creative and flexible in your plans to safely serve each other, the district, and our students. We have received our branded bandanas, which will be available to all employees and students (video here on how to fold it into a mask.) We have “Clean Kits” that our Administrative Assistants across the district will help keep stocked up in classrooms, offices and meeting rooms.

I’m really excited for our first ever Faculty Leadership Academy that will happen August 5 & 6 to support 20 co-instructors who will bring our Success Course to life for students in a pilot this fall. This is our Strategic Plan in action, and a step in our journey to create Guided Pathways that will improve the retention and success of all of our students, but especially the 68% that are First Generation. My deep appreciation to the team that has been stewarding this project, and thanks to Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jacquez, who jumped in quickly with her own expertise to assist the team.

We’re working on plans for our start-up week – expect some elements to look differently than they have in the past. Please plan to join us for a College Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, August 12 at 12 pm. You can also join us this Wednesday, July 29, at **1pm** for another Facebook Live to talk about plans for Fall from a facilities and learning services perspective. Please send any questions in advances to Ashley Herrington.

Human Resources tells me we are still holding at 30 positive COVID-19 cases; no increase for more than a week. Glad to hear it.

All my best for a great week.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 23, 2020

Happy Thursday, Matadors –

We have come to the end of the week and we are looking forward to the beginning of the Fall semester, and welcoming back our students in whatever manner they choose to take classes with us.

Most of you know that August 3 is our Phase 2 of our Back to Campus plan, and teams have been working around the district to be ready to serve our faculty and students for Phase 3, which is August 17, the first day of classes.

Enrollment is tracking down for fall, as it is almost everywhere around the state and the country, as students decide if this is the right time for them to come to college. Our message is that with our flexibility and class types, our highly qualified faculty and our low cost, this is a great time to pursue higher education at AWC. Our teams are focused on spreading the word about the four class types we’re offering so students feel comfortable registering. We also have a cross-functional team, led by Shara Skinner, Biri Martinez, Mandy Heil, and Cristina Gonzales focused on our recent high school grads, to make sure they have the support and information they need to register for classes. My thanks to this team for their leadership.

I’d also like to commend our four Quick Stop efforts: Parker and Yuma opened last week, and San Luis and Somerton opened this past Monday to help students with special circumstances with things like registration, advisement, financial aid and technology. For this week, Parker has helped 35 students, Somerton has helped 12, San Luis assisted 39, and Yuma served 117 students, for a total of 203.

The Human Resources team tells me that our self-reported positive COVID-19 case count to date for employees holds steady at 30 – this number has not changed this week, and that’s something to be grateful for.

This next Wednesday, Dr. Corr will again host a Facebook Live (Wed, July 29 at 2:00pm) so our students and community members can engage with the college and hear about our plans to prepare for the fall semester. Please send your questions in advance to Ashley.Herrington@azwestern.edu.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for all you do for our students!

Sincerely,

Bryan Doak
Vice President for Student Services

July 20, 2020

Dear Matadors,

I’m sending out the campus email today on behalf of Dr. Corr, who is enjoying some time with his family this week.

We’re excited that our South County locations, San Luis Learning Center and the Somerton Center, opened a Quick Stop experience today (9am-1pm) to serve students with special circumstances in-person. Today the South County Quick Stops served 8 students, and the Yuma Quick Stop served 21 students. The Parker Quick Stop served 4 students.

While we are supporting students in person, our teams continue with virtual support in all student services department. My thanks to Cristina Gonzalez and the Academic Advising team for their innovative work on our virtual New Student Orientations – Every Wednesday originating from the Yuma campus, every other Thursday at 3pm from the San Luis campus, and every other Tuesday at 3pm from the Somerton campus. All of these orientations are done on Zoom or Canvas.

Today we had two major stories in the Yuma Sun that featured our Career and Technical Education team. Here’s a story about CTE plans to develop programs that will boost regional workforce development, in partnership with industry. We also are featured in a story about an exciting international industry certification that will be the first of its kind in our state and even in our region.

Our Human Resources team shares with me that we’ve had 30 co-workers report a positive test for COVID-19. Thanks for doing all you can to keep yourself and each other safe.

Sincerely

Bryan Doak
Vice President for Student Services

July 16, 2020

Dear Matadors,

It’s the end of the week, and we are half way through July. Our human resources team confirms for me we have had 29 employees report to us they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 to date. Thank you for keeping them in your thoughts.

My deep gratitude to the AWC Cares Call team for their work in retention, FAFSA completion, and now de-registration work. This team called 900 students over about 3 weeks, and the end result was a 30% reduction in the number of students we normally have to de-register for non-payment. Now, the team is reaching out after the fact to the 228 dropped students to help them get back into classes and complete payment. My thanks to Biri Martinez, Shara Skinner and Desiree Gunderman for leading this team, and to all those who have helped.

San Luis Learning Center will open to the public this Monday, July 20, as part of Phase 1 to offer limited services to students in-person with special circumstances. Thanks to Susie Zambrano for her leadership and a thoughtful approach to serving South County residents.

The Quick Stop on the Yuma Campus served 97 students this week, for a total of 201 students since it opened on July 6.  The Quick Stop on the Parker Campus served 28 students this week, for a total of 38 students since it opened on July 6.  Thanks to this team for their work developing the solution and their commitment to keeping each other and our students safe.

We are working on plans for a virtual college town hall in early August, a Facebook Live the last week of July, and I’ll join VPLS Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez and Karen Johnson for a faculty meeting the second week of August to answer questions about plans for the Fall semester.

Thank you for all that you do for our students, and to support each other.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 13, 2020

Dear Matadors -

We have two weeks remaining in our summer session, and our teams are busy preparing for Fall classes.

Today we start our second week of Phase 1. We served 31 students today at the Yuma campus Quick Stop, and another 5 students in Parker, who were seeking assistance with registration, admissions and financial aid.  To date, we have supported over 140 students through the Quick Stop at the Yuma and Parker Campuses. 

We received notification today from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) that all fall sports have been delayed to a spring start date. Our Athletics team is busy preparing plans for running all of our teams during the spring semester. Thank you for any help you can give that group as they innovate to provide a great experience for our student-athletes.

Today’s Lunch and Learn about Returning to Campus-COVID-19, hosted by AWC Chief Human Resources Officer Karen Johnson is now available on Workplace.

Our Human Resources team shares that we have had 29 employees confirm a positive COVID-19 test to date. Thanks for keeping them in your thoughts and keeping yourselves and your families safe.

Please continue to wear your face coverings when you go out; please stay home if you can; please practice social distancing, and take good care of each other.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 9, 2020

Dear Matadors,

We are wrapping up the first week of Phase 1 of our Back to Campus plan. I'm happy to report that we've served 106 students who needed some sort of in-person assistance on the Yuma campus ‘Quick Stop’ Shop. The Parker Learning Center team also assisted students in-person this week. My thanks to all who made this possible, especially Deb Vega, Marco Diaz, Ana English, Sharon Register, Steve Eckert and Kathy Ocampo. 

I'd also like to thank the team putting together the Phase 2 plan, led by Bryan Doak. Phase 2 has most departments returning to our campuses on August 3, with distancing, sneeze guards, face masks, rotating schedules and flexibility. Thanks to all who are working on this effort.

Our team in Human Resources tells me we now have had 27 employees self-identify as COVID-19 positive cases. Our thoughts and support go out to all those who are dealing with this illness either personally or within their family.  Karen Johnson is hosting the “Returning to Campus with Covid-19” Lunch & Learn Monday, July 13 at 12 pm.  All employees are welcome to attend via Zoom. Zoom Meeting Link: https://azwestern.zoom.us/j/97386933393

Just today we had a refrigerant leak in our central plant on Yuma Campus which has impacted A/C to the entire campus - all essential teams were sent home earlier this afternoon. We do not yet have a time frame on repairs but I know Steve and the facilities team will update us. 

I'll close with some happy news - this week I have broadened the scope of responsibility for Reetika Dhawan, who you know brings great energy and innovation to the work she does. Her new job description includes responsibility for Continuing Education, which has great alignment with her Career & Technical Education experience, and the many partnerships she's been able to forge across our district. I know she is eager to collaborate with the hard-working team at the Downtown Center. Her new title, effective this week, is Associate Vice President for Workforce Development, Career & Technical Education. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay cool. Stay safe. Look out for each other!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 6, 2020

Happy new (fiscal) year, Matadors!

We are six weeks away from the start of Fall classes. Today marked the opening of Phase 1 Quick Stop here on the Yuma and La Paz campuses. We had a steady trickle of students checking in today to get help with payments, registration, IDs, technology questions, and to return books; early counts are about 40 people total that came in for service. My deep thanks to those who worked to plan this coordinated effort, and the team members who worked the event today. I’m also told we had great compliance to our requirement to wear a face mask to be on campus – all people who arrived today for service came with their own facemask.

After careful analysis, we will shift our public-facing customer service operating hours this fall to reflect the heaviest customer service demand. You might remember that last year we extended to cover 12 hours Monday – Thursday. We know from experience the majority of service requirements fall between 8am – 6pm, so we’re going to trim that time frame up a little bit. I know our teams will be able to handle this coverage, because they did a great job supporting each other when we first extended our service. More details will follow in the next week.

  • Expanded 2019-20 Service Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Current Hours (during remote COVID response): 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • New Service Hours (effective 8/3/2020): 8:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday – Thursday, plus specialized front-facing remote services Friday 9am – 3pm

Thanks for working with your team to support this mission.

As we prepare for Phase 2 of our Back-to-Campus plan, remember that our Human Resources team is here to help you if you have questions or concerns about your own health concerns, about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act benefits like paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, or to notify the college about a positive COVID-19 test. The reason disclosing a positive test to HR is important (it is also confidential) is because it allows HR to help notify any co-workers you have been in contact with that they might have been exposed. It’s a critical step in limiting the spread. Thank you for your help with this.

I know from our HR team that to date we have had 23 co-workers test positive for COVID-19 in our employee group since the beginning of the pandemic. The vast majority have been cleared to return to work; those still recuperating or awaiting test results are in our thoughts.

Today we posted a new Corr Report, about our four fall modalities, the work of our Academic leadership team, and introducing our new Vice President for Learning Services, Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez.

Thank you for your care and concern for our students, and each other. Stay safe.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

July 2, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues -

We are entering July, and while many of you are on to your summer endeavors, many others are preparing for the fall semester.

First off, every Thursday here I will share our internal COVID-19 numbers with you. You deserve to know; our co-workers deserve to be acknowledged; and when we are armed with facts we can do a better job of keeping ourselves and each other safe. 

The team in Human Resources tells me that to date, we've had 18 employees disclose a positive COVID-19 test. Ten of those folks have returned to work. Seven additional employees are awaiting test results. Employees work with HR to develop a plan to return to work, and it is driven by the CDC guidelines for symptom- or time-based strategy for disposition of non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19. HR and Facilities coordinate to make sure work space is sterilized per CDC guidelines. We have seen small outbreaks in our Facilities and KAWC teams. We send our best wishes to all of our essential workers, but especially those dealing with the virus. 

We've also had multiple reports of our colleagues who have had family or friends seriously impacted by COVID-19, including death. This is an incredibly sad and stressful time for many of our co-workers. Thank you for your compassion and care for each other. 

This Monday, July 6, marks our Phase 1 Back-to-Campus reopening. This is designed to serve students with special circumstances for whom online services do not suffice. We will continue all online services for the foreseeable future to limit in-person interaction whenever possible. 

Quick Stop Services - opens July 6
Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm 
Yuma Campus, 3C, first floor, Schoening Conference Center
Parker Learning Center

Services will include:

  • Admissions and Registration 
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Cashier (cash payments) 
  • Campus Life (student photo ID)
  • Technology support  

Students will be asked to follow these guidelines: 

  • Face coverings will be required  
  • Come alone, if possible 
  • Maintain social distance of six feet or more 
  • Wait in the 3C front hallway until your turn for services

We are planning on Phase 2 (most departments back on campus) on August 3, with layered and stacked protections like distancing, rotating schedules, masks and sneeze guards. Phase 3 is the start of Fall classes on August 17.

Finally, today marks the end of full-time employment for a tireless advocate for higher education here. Our own Dr. Linda Elliott-Nelson officially retires today. She has been a part of helping AWC grow and prosper for 26 years, and I'm sure, like me, you have been immensely better off for having known and worked with her. Don't worry - she's not (yet) riding off into the sunset. Linda will be working part-time as a liaison with our partners in Mexico. Although she'll be working from home, she is still available via AWC email. Thank you, Linda, for leading with integrity and compassion. The example you've set will serve all of us well.

I hope wherever you are this 4th of July, you have a very happy weekend.

Stay safe, and take care of each other.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

June 29, 2020

Dear AWC faculty and staff,

This is Monday, seven weeks before the start of our Fall semester.

You probably are watching the same news I am and you know that the COVID-19 rate of infection in Yuma County, and Arizona, is skyrocketing. We continue to monitor numbers and we will remain agile over the next several weeks regarding all of our current plans. Thank you for staying agile with us.  

Today, the Governor of Arizona announced that K-12 school start date will be delayed until August 17th, to help families get past this current surge. That date lines up with our Fall start date. We will continue to coordinate with our local K-12 partners to be as aligned as possible for the sake of our students and employees.

We are focused on keeping our students, employees and community members safe, and offering higher educational options to students across our district. When we return in the fall, we’ll focus on educating our communities about our face covering requirement, social distancing, and we will adjust our plans as necessary, based on science and guidance from our local and state officials.

Please continue to wear your face coverings when you go out; please stay home if you can; please practice social distancing, and take good care of each other.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

June 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues -

We are coming to the end of the week, and I just wanted to reach out and update you on a few items.

We are in the final stretch of having our college locations closed to visitors and non-essential staff.

The AWC Emergency Response Team has been meeting weekly since we initiated our response to COVID-19. This group includes leaders from across the district, and our university partners, with an emphasis on Facilities, Public Safety, and Instruction. I appreciate this group staying engaged and supporting each other through the response; this group continues to meet and plan the Phase I return to campus planning for the Quick Stop at the Yuma campus.

Here is a quick reminder of what Our July 6 Back to Campus Phase 1:

  • 3C Schoening Conference Center “Quick Stop” will have face-to-face stations to assist students who cannot complete their enrollment and need assistance Monday to Thursday from 9 to 1pm. This plan is very targeted and limited, to help students with special circumstances complete their transactions for fall semester. You will see the “back to campus” imagery online and throughout social media.
  • The Parker Learning Center is also offering Quick Stop Services from 9 to 1pm. 
  • We will embrace and promote a “Wear a Mask” practice (Mask Up, Matadors!) If you’re in an office alone, or walking across a campus alone, no need to wear one. Please wear one in all other circumstances. AWC branded bandanas arrive early July.
  • Virtual (online) support remains the desired way for students to complete their Enrollment and support. 

While you prepare for your return to Campus, Please remember to complete the KnowB4 2-minute video training regarding COVID-19 and the workplace by August 1. Additional training is planned into July.

Finally, to leave you with some happy news for your week: All seven Arizona Western Matador Athletic Teams made NJCAA All-Academic Honors. That means it is the second straight year all seven Matador teams achieved a combined GPA above 3.0, hitting 3.2 in 2019-2020. Individually, 79 different student-athletes landed on the Dean’s List this year with 45 total accomplishing the academic feat despite adjusting to the shift in the spring. 38 Matadors qualified for NJCAA All-Academic lists with 8 landing on the first-team, maintaining a cumulative 4.0 GPA for the Academic year. 17 more Matadors landed on the second team with 13 on the third team. 19 different Matadors had a perfect 4.0 this spring in the midst of the pandemic and the move to online classes.

The work you all do makes a huge difference in the lives of our students. It's an honor to be your president.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

June 22, 2020

Dear Matadors –

It’s Monday, and we’re two weeks away from our phase 1 Back to Campus plan, 6 weeks away from phase 2, and 8 weeks away from the start of the fall semester and phase 3!

I’m delighted with the detailed plans each area is creating to serve our communities and students this fall. Here are some updates:

  • Parker Learning Center will also resume in-person assistance for those who need it on July 6, 9am-1pm
  • San Luis Learning Center will resume in-person assistance on July 22
  • Downtown Center is planning to resume in-person assistance on August 3 

In addition, Vice President for Learning Services Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez, working with faculty and the Division Chairs, has created a plan for creative ways we can better serve rotating groups of students in our Blended Real-Time classes, including class caps of 18 for that modality as necessary. I appreciate the collaboration on this!

Athletic Director Jerry Smith reports that the NJCAA has announced that Fall Sports will be back in full swing and we look forward to supporting our matadors as the conference firms the schedules later this month.

Finally, to leave you with some happy news to start your week: we received notification June 10 that one of our biggest First Gen efforts, the CAMP Grant, has been funded for another five years. This is an incredibly competitive grant process, and our first big win under the leadership of our new Director of Grants Rainier Dischinger. My deep appreciation to Rainier, CAMP Director Rosalia Delgado, and the entire team. The students of Yuma and La Paz Counties are lucky to have robust grant-funded opportunities like CAMP.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

June 18, 2020

Dear College Community –

First, I want to tell you that another member of our essential team has tested positive for COVID-19, this time from our KAWC team. All work has been pushed remote as that team isolates, avails themselves of testing, and we wait for the work space to be cleaned. Thanks for supporting that team and keeping them in your thoughts.

We’ve come to the end of the week, and as we watch shifts in Arizona and the rest of the country in relation to COVID-19 response, I want to reiterate a few things:

  • Our July 6 Back to Campus Phase 1 plan is very targeted and limited, to help students with special circumstances complete their transactions for fall semester. Virtual (online) support remains the desired way for students to complete these functions.
  • We will embrace and promote a “Wear a Mask” practice (Mask Up, Matadors!) If you’re in an office alone, or walking across a campus alone, no need to wear one. Please wear one in all other circumstances. AWC branded bandanas arrive early July.
  • Please complete the 2-minute video training regarding COVID-19 and the workplace by Aug 1. Watch for additional training soon.
  • Cleaning and sanitation has been the #1 priority for our facilities team. They’re developing a cleaning plan that will includes frequent cleanings of high-touch areas, wipes for all classrooms and meeting rooms, hand sanitizer, signage to remind employees to follow the big three (Wash Hands, Maintain Distance, Wear Mask) and a call for everyone to be responsible for the cleanliness of their work space.
  • Safety and Choice remain key components in our Fall Instruction plan. Students have a choice between 4 modalities; even if they select Blended Real-time, they can opt to stay home and attend via Zoom for the entire semester. Likewise, faculty have a choice about their formerly on-campus classes: teach them as Blended Real-time, or Remote Real-time, by coordinating with their Division Chairs.

We feel the same urgency that people across the state and around the country feel about moving forward in a safe and smart manner. We know the spread of COVID-19 remains with us, and we know what science has informed us what we can do to combat it, and that our health and well-being is a shared responsibility.  We are mutually dependent.

I believe students, faculty and staff want to take care of each other. I’m calling on each of you to be part of that in a productive, compassionate manner.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

Best,

Daniel
President, Arizona Western College

June 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Today we’re announcing our Back-to-Campus plan. The details are available on the web site, but the main points are summarized below. Thanks for your compassion and consideration for others, as we continue to navigate our community response to COVID-19.  

These plans will serve two overarching goals: keeping people safe and helping our students reach their educational goals. 

These plans will also be supported by four concepts:  

  1. Administrative and Engineering solutions to keep people safe, like limited class sizes, limited group meetings, sneeze shields, distancing 
  2. Required face coverings or face masks for all faculty, staff, students. This is not optional. Masks are not required when you are in an office by yourself, or walking across campus by yourself. 
  3. Reducing population density on campuses 
    1. One plan is 4 Days Here / 10 Days Remote. This is optional per department leadership, as a method to reduce the number of people on campus, and create opportunities to isolate. 
    2. Establishing a Car-to-Classroom plan for students for Fall 2020 – no events, no gather, no hanging out in Game Room, student lounges, Eatery, Starbucks, or other student spaces. 
  4. Heavy reliance on Remote Services

Back-to-Campus Phased plan 

Phase 1 - Monday, July 6 - Quick Stop Services opens on Yuma Campus 

Services will be available in the Schoening Conference Center (1st floor of the 3C) 

Phase 2 - Monday, August 3 – Back to Campus for Most College Services  

Phase 3 - Monday, August 17 - Fall Semester starts 

Other Considerations 

  • Starbucks and Eatery are planned as Grab & Go 
  • The college will make limited free face coverings available to faculty, staff, and students on all AWC campuses 
  • Student gathering space will be closed for the Fall semester, and students will be encouraged to follow a Car-to-Classroom plan  

 We have worked with leaders across the district to create the plan. Additional details for our sister campus openings will be shared this week as their details are finalized.  

 I sound like a broken record, but I deeply appreciate the work of Steve Eckert and Sharon Register for keeping us up-to-date and working hard to plan protective measures for all of us. 

As we work to make these decisions with the best research available, I’d also love to highlight the amazing work of KAWC (about to celebrate their 50th year of service!) and especially Lou Gum’s Arizona Edition weekly show, which recently featured focused in-depth interviews with community partners and local experts from YRMC (Dr. Trenschel on preparing for a COVID-19 surge, Dr. Mark Stephan on telemedicine, and Dr. Abbinav Chandra on COVID-19 plasma therapy study) along with other area leaders, including federal and state elected officials. 

Please join me this Wednesday, at 2 pm for a Facebook Live forum to talk about both our Fall Instruction Plan and our Back to Campus plan. You are welcome to send questions in advance to Ashley Herrington at ashley.herrington@azwestern.edu

I’m excited for the Fall Semester. The work you all do makes a huge difference in the lives of our students. 

Have a great rest of your Monday. 

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr 

President, Arizona Western College 

 

June 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues -

It's the end of the third week of summer classes.

Teams are working on implementing our Fall Instruction Plan, designed to keep people safe and to help students meet their educational goals. Thank you for the agility and phenomenal effort that is going into coordinating that work.

On Monday, June 15, we'll announce our staggered Back to Campus plan, and this Wednesday, June 17 we'll host a Facebook Live to discuss both of these plans. Feel free to send questions to ashley.herrington@azwestern.edu in advance, or chime in on Facebook at 2 pm, Wednesday, June 17.

The Technology Team, under the leadership of Bob Walker and Ihab Saleh, are busy outfitting classrooms across the campus with cameras so faculty can teach our Blended Real-time format. Our Cares Call Team, led by Desiree Gunderman, Biri Martinez, and Shara Skinner, are calling FAFSA completion lists to connect students with federal stimulus money, and our pre-deregistration list, to keep students in their Fall classes. Thanks to all of you for your work in these areas.

I hope you have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

 

June 8, 2020

Hello Colleagues  - 

It's Monday afternoon, and I owe you an update on a few items.

We had one more member of our essential team test positive for COVID-19, for a current total of 9. All are resting comfortably at home; Steve reports the first four are well on the road to recovery. About half of that team was back on campus today, and Steve and Sharon had good meetings with the crew as they prepared to resume work and to strictly follow outlined departmental safety protocols. Again, my thanks to all of our essential workers for their efforts to keep our facilities and other departments moving along. 

We're planning an announcement in the next week about our Return-to-Campus plan, and we're also planning a Facebook Live next Wednesday, June 17, at 2 pm, to take questions about that along with our Fall Instruction Plan

Next Monday, we'll welcome our new Vice President for Learning Services, Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez, to the Matador family, and I know she plans to quickly reach out and meet our team. Thank you in advance for making her feel welcome.

Stay safe out there, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all sometime soon, either in person or virtually.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

June 4, 2020

Hello Matadors -

We're coming to the end of our second week of Summer classes.

First off, I need to update you on our essential team that was hit hard with COVID-19. We now have 8 confirmed employees test positive from this team (we notified campus about four of them in last week's emails.) So this week we had 4 more cases confirmed. We also had 18 people that tested negative. All 8 of our employees are resting and recuperating at home, and we're sending them our best wishes for good health. My thanks to Steve Eckert and Sharon Register for their continued leadership with this team, and for Karen Johnson for meeting last week with the team and encouraging the members to get tested. This team really cares about each other, and about not spreading this illness to co-workers or the community.

As you know, because of this situation, last Friday we shuttered our campuses in Yuma County for one week, even to our essential teams. That lifts this Monday, June 8, but if you are coming out to campus, I strongly urge you to limit contact with others, maintain distance, and consider using a face covering if you are going to be in the proximity of other people. We need to take care of each other. Thank you for your consideration for others.

On Monday, we announced our Fall Instruction plan, designed to keep people safe AND help students reach their goals, and the details are here. We are watching our local health data as we contemplate our tiered Back-to-Campus plan, which has been pushed into July. We're planning a Facebook live on Wednesday, June 17 at 2pm for more information on both plans, and of course we'll send the detailed information out in an email, as well as posting all updates and emails on the azwestern.edu/covid webpage.

I'll close with some great news - I've received word from our Institutional Effectiveness and Research department that our student success rates this Spring very closely align with last Spring (A, B, C, credit, pass), and in fact, once our students who took an Incomplete have a chance to finish their coursework, it is very possible we will match or exceed the highest success rate we've ever had. This is due to the creativity and tenacity of our faculty, the passion of our support teams, and the resiliency of our students.

What we did was incredibly hard; this success speaks volumes for our ability to adapt, pull together and serve our students. I could not be more proud of you.

Stay healthy and take care of each other.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

June 1, 2020

Dear AWC Matadors –

Today is June 1, and we are finalizing plans to resume classes this fall

The plan relies on science, what we are learning from the CDC, information from the Yuma County Health District, and research by our own Facilities leadership team. 

We will lead with two guiding principles: keeping people safe, and helping our students reach their educational goals.  

We have developed plans with our Academic leadership team, leveraging technology, that allows, with coordination, students and faculty a wide range of choice in how they keep themselves safe. That includes: 

On-campus classes will be offered in one of three modalities

  • Blended Real-Time Classes - classes will offer in-person, face-to-face real-time instruction with Zoom connection to allow groups of 9 or fewer to meet on campus while the rest of the class participates via technology. This allows choice for both faculty and students to ensure the safest participation level while still providing faculty-student face time. Faculty will stagger when and how small groups attend face-to-face. Students can opt to attend the face-to-face remote using Zoom during their allotted in-person time for any reason, for any duration of the semester. *The vast majority of AWC Fall classes will fall in this category.  
  • Remote Real-Time Classes - classes will offer face-to-face real-time instruction at a distance leveraging technology. Students will not meet in-person with faculty or classmates. 
  • In-Person Real-Time Classes - Limited to specific Career-Tech, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Lab Science classes. These labs will allow groups of 9 or fewer to meet on campus with technology enhancements, as determined by faculty. 

Online / Web-based classes will not change

  • Online / Web-based – (no change to online, web-based courses) classes will offer online support for learning throughout the week and the semester with no scheduled face-to-face requirements beyond readings, homework and assignments. 

There is more information available at the AzWestern.edu/COVID page under Plan for Fall Instruction, and an FAQ here as well. https://www.azwestern.edu/COVID

Faculty can coordinate with Division Chairs, the Associate Dean of Scheduling and Vice President for Learning Services to ensure a safe, robust instructional mix that serves our student needs. If faculty have an on-campus class that would default to a Blended Real-Time class but feel the need to change that to a Remote Real-Time class, please coordinate that with your Division Chair to make that happen.   

Our technology team is working this summer to outfit all campus classrooms across the district with the cameras and microphones needed to handle the Blended Real-Time class described above. Thanks to that team for their service to the district. 

There are a few other points to make: 

  • Residence Life will return in 50% capacity, with one student in each room and two students sharing a bathroom. Common areas will not be in use. Students will be charged the lower double-occupancy rate.  
  • Facilities is sourcing local sneeze guards and installing them around the district at public-facing desks and work spaces this summer. Once all essential teams are back on campus on June 8, Facilities will resume their thorough cleaning of all spaces, and work on their plan to cover high-touch areas once we welcome students and employees back to our campus locations. 
  • International and Athletics are both still working on their Fall 2020 plan. We’ll release those as soon as we have them. 

As we work through this week of no staff on campus, we hold our co-workers who have become ill in our thoughts, and we prepare ourselves to return better and smarter that we were before this pandemic. Thanks for your compassion for each other and your service to our students. 

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr 
President, Arizona Western College 

Glossary of Terms  

Asynchronous class – class activities not taking place at a specific time  
Drop/Add – the period of time a student can change their classes without penalty (being charged or being responsible for a grade that will appear on their transcript)  
Face-to-Face class – students and faculty will be able to see each other in real-time, either in the same physical location or using technology, like Zoom.   
In-Person class or meetings – students and faculty will meet in the same physical location  
Online Class – class taking place entirely in a digital space without a specific designated lecture / learning time; most Online class do require course materials and homework to be submitted periodically (even weekly) so there is a specific-time aspect to Online Classes.  (Also known as Web-based)  
Real-Time Class – Class activity, like lecture and demonstration taking place at the same time (synchronous)  
Synchronous Class – See Real-Time class  
Web-based Class – See Online Class 

May 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I'm writing today to share more sad news - our essential teams had a fourth employee test positive for COVID-19 this week. This fourth person, a teammate of the three employees mentioned in Tuesday's email, is hospitalized, here in Yuma, in stable condition. The first three team members continue to show mild to moderate symptoms and are recuperating at home. Thank you for keeping them in your thoughts and for supporting all of our essential teams, and each other. 

In light of these events, today I'm announcing a complete Yuma County campus closure until June 8 (with continuation of remote work). I've worked with Steve Eckert, Director of Facilities Management, and Karen Johnson, our Chief Human Resources Officer, to develop this plan. This will give our teams the chance to isolate, recover, and hopefully limit the spread. This includes Facilities and Trades - no restroom cleaning, no garbage service, no classroom summer work. It also includes Purchasing, which will stay active remotely. It also includes Print Shop, and the Mailroom, which will not be open for sending or receiving mail (we'll work with USPS, FedEx and others to hold packages). The only exception is Campus Police and KAWC. Those team will modify as they see fit to keep our campuses safe, and to keep the 24-7 news operation going.

Please stay home next week. Please don't pop into your office, or onto campus next week. This article on 4/10 work cycle includes interesting information on why isolating for 10 days after working for 4 can keep teams safe. 

This temporary district closure is about people, not our buildings, or offices. Our campus locations have been on a rigid schedule of meticulous sanitizing and cleaning. When we do return to campus, our facilities will be ready for us.

This Monday, June 1, we'll announce our Fall Instruction plan. I appreciate the help of our Academic Division Chairs, Dean of Career and Technology Education Reetika Dhawan, and Vice Presidents Bob Walker (Technology) and Dr.  Linda Elliott-Nelson (Learning Services) for your leadership in this area.

Have a safe and healthy weekend. 

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

May 26, 2020

Dear AWC Faculty and Staff,

Today, I'm sending you the sobering news that in the past 24 hours, three (3) members of our essential teams who have been working at the Yuma Campus, have tested positive for COVID-19.

All three are resting at home, recuperating, and we send our best wishes to them and their families. We're grateful for their rapid response to taking their symptoms seriously and self-isolating as soon they felt symptoms, going in for testing, and sharing the results with Human Resources.

As you know, we have made remote work for the vast majority of employees a priority since about mid-March, which greatly limits the chance for spread. Two of these employees have been off campus since May 14, the third employee since May 18. The Human Resources team has been working to determine which co-workers these employees had contact with immediately prior to becoming symptomatic so those co-workers can be notified and seek testing.

Any employee who thinks they've been exposed can find testing information at the Yuma County Health Department daily update here. All employees who need time off due to COVID-19 illness (themselves or their family) are entitled to time off with pay per Families First (FFCRA) Act.

All questions and concerns about requesting these benefits can be directed to Human.Resources@azwestern.edu or Patty Jimenez, Benefits Manager, Patricia.Jimenez@azwestern.edu.  

Thank you for keeping these colleagues in your thoughts, thank you for your support of all of our essential teams, and thanks for keeping yourself safe and healthy.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

May 21, 2020

Hi there, Matadors!

We are coming to the end of the week, and I just wanted to reach out and update you on a few items.

We will spend next week finalizing our plans for instruction for the Fall Semester, with the goal of communicating the plan on June 1, to faculty and staff, to students, and to the public. I really appreciate all of the feedback I've received, your survey responses and the meeting with Faculty Senate. All of it helped us and I know you are also concerned about the health of our students, our colleagues and our community.

We will handle a Return-to-Campus communication separately; expect to see that released via email in the next few weeks. I know many of you have been popping into our campus locations intermittently to work; thank you for maintaining social distancing while you're there, and thanks to our essential crews who have been keeping themselves safe while continuing to serve the district. If you'd like to review that Return-to-Campus survey, which garnered a whopping (nearly) 80% response rate from 367 people, here are those results linked in Workplace.

The AWC Emergency Response Team has been meeting weekly since we initiated our response to COVID-19. This group includes leaders from across the district, and our university partners, with an emphasis on Facilities, Public Safety, and Instruction. I appreciate this group staying engaged and supporting each other through the response; returning to campus and launching Fall instruction is the next big task. 

I know there are questions about many aspects of the fall semester. Here's what I know about two of them. 

  • Our Residence Life team has prepared contingency plans for housing this fall. I appreciate the leadership of Dr. Nikki Hage and LaToya Howell in this regard. You might already know that we will not be repairing the DeAnza residence hall. It is structurally compromised and the cost to repair it are too high. This puts us in a deficit even without potential distancing for COVID-19. You'll see some activity as we prepare to demolish this building and as we develop plans to take care of the many populations that normally call campus home, like CAMP, International, Athletics and others. Thank you for supporting this team as they work through this issue.
  • Regarding Fall athletics, we are awaiting word from the NJCAA, who has said they're delaying a response until June. This group is also working on multiple contingencies, and it isn't prudent for us to make plans regarding our teams until we know what the NJCAA is planning. Thank you for your patience. 

This week, our Technology team hosted two trainings on Zoom for faculty and staff that were well-attended. I'm told these resources were recorded and will be available on Workplace (Trainings for Zoom 101,102 are here). My thanks to Robert Schroeder, Marybel Garcia and Javier Penaloza for your dedication to this project. 

Finally, about 20 employees delivered approximately 800 congratulatory yard signs to high school seniors all around our district early this week. My thanks to the cross-departmental team that made this unique celebration happen for our potential future students. 

I hope you have a nice long weekend. Summer classes start Tuesday! 

Be well.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

May 18, 2020

Dear Matadors,

You did it! As I reflect this morning on the semester, I'm struck by how monumental the task was to keep our students, faculty, staff, and community safe, and to get our students across the finish line. We got this work completed because of your focus and dedication to our mission. I'm so grateful.

After celebrating a unique and beautiful virtual Commencement Friday (amazing work to the entire committee, and to TV Services!) and faculty working to get final grades in this weekend and today, we really have arrived at a successful conclusion to the semester. 

I know it was difficult and stressful. I know you probably learned new things about yourself, and our students. I bet you created an innovative collaboration with a colleague or two. And you probably stopped a few functions or tasks that were less important to achieving the most important goals of safety and success. 

As we rethink the work we do and how to create seismic change to serve students, I'd like to call your attention to the materials from our May 7 Stop to Reinvent Convening held over Zoom and hosted by Liz Murphy of CampusWorks. The video, transcript, and PowerPoint is available here, housed on our new district collaboration tool, Workplace, which is part of the Microsoft Office suite. Let me know if you have thoughts or suggestions on how we can accelerate this work. 

We have a one-week reprieve before Summer starts on May 26, but faculty are still working diligently moving their summer classes from Blackboard to Canvas. My thanks to you for your agility in making this happen. Thanks also to Jana Moore, Dean for Academic Resources and Campus Locations, the faculty committee that worked to identify Canvas as our new solution, and the technology teams that have been working to make the switch to Canvas possible to better serve our students. 

We have gathered all the Corr Reports from this semester in a playlist on the AWCTV YouTube channel, including the most recent installment, our Year in Review. You also have access to all 9 of our Facebook Live videos regarding response to COVID-19. Thanks to all the guests who helped me get the word out, and thanks to the many folks who watched, sent in or posted questions, or just sent along supportive comments.

I'm looking forward to a strong and productive summer here at AWC. If you're off for the break, please enjoy, stay healthy and safe, and we'll see you in the fall.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

May 14, 2020

Hi Matadors!

I'm so happy - We have just about made it to the end of this memorable Spring 2020 semester, one filled with challenges, stress, opportunities, and success!

Today, our elected District Governing Board passed the 2020-21 AWC Budget, so the plans we've discussed can be implemented. We are grateful for their leadership.

Of course, please don your favorite hat, grab a cool beverage, and join me for a most unique Commencement tomorrow night, May 15, at 7 pm! You can find it live on Facebook (even without a FB account you can view it there), you can watch it live online at azwestern.edu/live, or you can watch on local cable at AWC TV Channel 74. We know from Travis Mitchell that not only do we have several hundred AWC participants, but we also have many from NAU, UA, and ASU, so the multi-school party continues! My great thanks to the TV Services and Communications departments, along with the Commencement Committee, who have worked to produce this one-of-a-kind virtual Commencement.

In this season, we're celebrating not just our own grads, but the grads of our high school partners. Our Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator, Biri Martinez, is working with Marketing for a special mailer to all of our high school seniors in the district to let them know we're thinking about them. We also have a team distributing nearly 700-yard signs to High School seniors across the districts welcoming them to the "Arena" as they hopefully consider AWC as their next step. 

As we prepare for Summer, which starts Monday, May 26, enrollment is down a little. Our Fall semester is trending at about 24% down as of yesterday. Please be patient as we develop plans, based on CDC guidelines, to bring faculty and staff back to campuses and as we roll out classes for fall. I appreciated the chance to meet with faculty senate last week, to read over 360 responses to the Return-to-Campus survey this week, and to talk to students and employees via Facebook, chat, phone, and email over the past few weeks. I am most eager to return, and we will do it safely, and leverage technology while doing so.

We've released the latest Corr Report - A Year in Review. We also have a gorgeous new President's Report up online, thanks to Creative Director Leah McKeogh, that captures the past 18 months or so. Thanks to Travis Mitchell, Sherry Needham and Troy Baughtman for constant good-humor producing not only a slew of Corr Reports, but 9 weekly Facebook Live events, and our huge virtual Commencement celebration.

Another point of pride: the college has already distributed $1.3M of the $2.25M we need to disburse directly to Spring 2020 students to help with the disruption to income, work, and school this year as part of the CARES Act grant federal stimulus dollars. The work to make these funds available has been huge and I appreciate Ana English and her team in Financial Aid, and Shahrooz Roohparvar and his team in the Business Office, working to make this possible.

I also continue to be impressed with the AWC Cares Call team, under the leadership of Biri Martinez, Desiree Gunderman, and Shara Skinner, with 21 members, who report they've completed their first set of calls to graduating students, new Fall 2019 students, and new Spring 2020 students. They're now working on reaching out to students who have started the FAFSA but not completed, and they're helping enrollment services by calling students who are enrolled but not registered for classes, to see if they can offer help or suggestions on services.

Finally, you know that one of our Strategic Objectives is Technology Audit Remediation. Today, our VP for Technology, Bob Walker, shared this brief summary video during the District Governing Board meeting, and it's a great summary of their work to remediate all audit findings. I'm grateful for his leadership and the great work of the entire team.

Hope you have a great weekend, and if you're heading off for some R & R, have a great summer, as well.

It's an honor to be your president.

 

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

May 11, 2020

Dear Matadors - 

Happy Finals Week to you! I'm delighted to say that our two major aims for the Spring 2020 semester in the midst of COVID-19 were to keep our folks safe, and to get our students across the finish line, and with your focused, diligent efforts, we are almost there!

I hope you can join us this Friday for our first-of-its kind (for us) Virtual Commencement ceremony. Tune in to AWC’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Students and their families can also watch via AWC TV on cable channel 74 in Yuma or at azwestern.edu/live. My deep appreciation goes to the Commencement Committee and Television Services for their many, many hours of planning and production time to make this possible.

There is still time to vote for scholarship prizes for our amazing Student Showcase entries - nearly 20 projects, representing the work of nearly 30 students - are available for your viewing. I'm so impressed with this new digital format, and the report is engagement from our employees and the public is off the charts, so great work to everyone, and much appreciation to the Gowan Corporation for their sponsorship of the scholarship funds.

I also want to send my appreciation to Laura Campbell and Gladys Anaya from the AWC Foundation who are supporting employees and community members in the final days to evaluate hundreds of applications for student scholarships. The Foundation, through leadership from their Board of Directors, and partnerships with many generous donors, makes a real and measurable impact on the lives of our students, their families and our communities. Thank you for what you do!

Remember, that Summer classes, all online, will begin Monday, May 26. We're still registering students for Summer, and for the upcoming Fall semester. It is our desire to return to some form of face-to-face classes in the fall, leveraging technology and strictly following CDC guidelines. I've had great feedback from across the district on a return-to-campus plan. Stay tuned as those plans develop.

Finally, please join me for the last in our Spring semester series of Facebook Live broadcasts, this Wednesday, 2pm. 

I appreciate you, and all that you do to support our students.

Be well!

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

May 7, 2020

Hello, Faculty and Staff!

I am grateful to come to the end of another productive week working with all of you to secure the futures of our students and create thriving communities.

Today we taped portions of next week’s Commencement ceremony. Tune in to AWC’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Students and their families can also watch via AWC TV on cable channel 74 in Yuma or at azwestern.edu/live.

Today, I also met with 40+ members of the faculty senate to discuss how we’ll prepare for the fall semester. That, along with the 125+ employees who filled out the AWC Return to Work Following Covid-19 survey (still available for you to respond) is deeply appreciated as our teams develop plans to keep students, faculty, staff, and the community safe while offering classes to our students.

Also, today, we hosted a virtual convening with Liz Murphy of CampusWorks to help us tap into the rare conditions that have forced us to strip back some of the work we were engaged in to focus on the heart of what we do: serving students. Today’s Reinvention Stop-Doing Convening included participation by 120+ colleagues and was a beautiful start as most of us try to wrap our heads around the unique opportunity we have for significant transformation to serve the Strategic Plan. You can access the recording of the Session and the PowerPoint Presentation within Workplace > Strategic Planning Folder.

We have received $2.26M in CARES Act grant funding that will be sent directly to our students, based on the amount of in-person or hybrid credit hours enrolled in on March 13. The money will be disbursed to linked checking or Bank Mobile accounts or mailed within three weeks to home addresses. More detailed information is available here, and it’s important that students have a current FAFSA completed. The US Department of Education excludes some students, such as international, undocumented, and high school / dual-credit students. Students who are enrolled in 12 credit hours or more will receive $800; students enrolled in 9-11.5, $500; 6-8.5 credits, $250; less than 6 credits, $100.

It might delight you to know (it does me) that our Child Development Learning Lab (CDLL) will host their very own virtual promotion on May 14 for the 20 children moving on to Kindergarten. It probably won’t surprise you to know that even our CDLL teachers are leveraging technology to connected to their students, through Zoom and Class Dojo! All-day, every day, I run into stories like this about the amazing work of our colleagues on behalf of our students, even our youngest students.

I hope you have a restful and healthy weekend.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

 

May 4, 2020

Happy Monday, Matadors! 

As I write this, I am most happy to report that in regard to the possible case of COVID-19 from a mailroom employee, the test came back negative. I know you join me in wishing this employee a swift return to good health; we are grateful to the entire team that has remained working on campus in essential capacities, and those of you monitoring the mail periodically for your department. 

Please know that we are working on what a return-to-campus looks like for our students, our faculty, and our teams. Thank you for your patience and thank you for staying curious and engaged with us through the summer as we finalize plans for Fall 2020 classes and beyond. I mentioned in an earlier email that we'd like to make a definitive announcement by June 1. If we arrive at a plan before that, you'll hear it here first! If you have your own thoughts and suggestions on what a return-to-campus should or could look like, I recommend you take a few minutes and complete this simple AWC Return to Work Following Covid-19 survey.

Speaking of a return-to-campus, I want you to know that one of the things I've been focused on during this remote work is our momentum with the Strategic Plan, and how to streamline that work for the benefit of the 11,000 students we serve every year. I don't think we can or will return to the same work habits and patterns of a pre-COVID-19 world, and I invite you to join me and Liz Murphy from CampusWorks this Thursday, May 7 for the first in a series of virtual town halls on AWC Reinvention. This one is on Stop-Doing / Start-Doing lists: how we create them, advocate for them, and how we imagine a work-life more closely aligned with the plan we created together back in 2018. If you currently have examples of the way the COVID-19 disruption has reshaped your or your team's work, please fill out this survey here. And join us on Thursday, May 7, at 3 pm for a moderated discussion on AWC Reinvention.  

AWC Reinvention Convening: Stop-Doing
This Thursday, May 7, 3:00-4:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting https://azwestern.zoom.us/j/4273506428
Meeting ID: 427 350 6428
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,4273506428# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,4273506428# US (San Jose)

I want to send a big shout out to all of our amazing faculty who are nearing the end of this Spring semester. I know the care and attention you're giving your students - which probably seems like 10x the effort of a normal semester - is a huge factor in keeping them engaged and connected.  

My deep appreciation also continues to go to the men and women of our facilities department who are sourcing the materials we need to keep campus safe moving forward, and who have been accelerating their summer cleaning and maintenance schedule. Thank you for what you do.

 Please join me for our 8th week of Facebook live, this Wednesday, at 2pm co-hosted with Steve Eckert, Director of Facilities and Christine Rouff, Student Health and Wellness Coordinator PLUS our Student Commencement speaker will be Introduced! 

 Have a great week - 

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

 

April 30, 2020

Dear Matadors - 

We are at the end of April, and we are reaching the finish line for the Spring semester. I feel grateful for the work each of you have engaged in to keep our students safe and focused. 

First of all, for the few of you working in essential roles on the Yuma campus or the few who have still been coming to campus periodically, I need to report that an employee in the Mailroom has been asked by their doctor to self-quarantine and test today due to COVID-like symptoms. We send our best to that employee and their family as they focus on recovery. If you have visited the Mailroom in the past two weeks, we recommend you monitor your symptoms and limit contact with others. We will share the results of the test as soon as they are available. 

In about 6 days we'll be able to check out the work of our students in the new virtual edition of the much-beloved Student Showcase. We'll share the web site when it's live.  

This week we announced the great news that Yuma has been selected as the host city for the NJCAA Softball Championshipfor 2021 and 2022. My thanks to Tim Slack and Jerry Smith for their hard work to make this possible, and my great enthusiasm and good energy to Coach Nikki Bethurum for your team's continued success - Matadors All the Way!

We are just two weeks away from my favorite time of the year, Commencement! TV Services and the Commencement Committee are putting together all of the elements for a historic, if different and virtual, ceremony. You can keep up with the group through their special Facebook group, and you can tune in at 7 pm on Friday, May 15, through azwestern.edu/live, Facebook, or AWC TV channel 74. 

Today I'm extending the priority for remote work from May 15 to June 1. We are closely watching the plans of the Governor of Arizona, as well as the CDC and other public health officials, to determine a time when it is prudent to return to work on our campuses. Thank you for your agility and your patience as we work through these changes together. Your team should start discussions on how you would stage a return-to-campus. We will make sure the college plan is clear in advance so you have two weeks to plan for a return to campus. 

In case you want to reference my most recent Corr Report videos on topics such as Common Hour, the plans to onboard our new VPLS, or other topics, check here.  

Best,

Please continue to take care of yourself and your family during this difficult time. Good health to all of you, and enjoy your weekend.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

April 23, 2020

Hi Matadors -  

I wanted to send a quick update as we close the week out together.

We are just a few weeks away from both our public budget hearing with the District Governing Board (May 14), and our Commencement (May 15). Many folks are working long hours to create something truly special for our Virtual Commencement 2020. I appreciate all of the creativity and care that has gone into this work and I can't wait to don my cap and gown, record some comments on video, and then sit on my couch and watch the faces of the graduates that have sent in their own photos or videos on my TV at home. I hope you join us!

Summer Registration is open, and we have a comparable number of sections this year to last year, and students continue to enroll. Fall Registration is also open, and we continue to monitor those numbers as well. It's early days yet but anecdotally we see good traffic in fall classes thus far. 

The AWC Cares team has been calling groups of students just to check in and see how they've made the switch to all-online learning, and if they can help with connections to virtual support services. The feedback they're getting is nothing short of remarkable, including lots of appreciation for the personal touch and confirmation that their faculty, tutors, and advisors are going to great lengths to help them out.

Shara Skinner, Biri Martinez, and Desiree Gunderman are leading this cross-functional team and I send my appreciation out to all of you. Here are two comments they shared with us from team members:

“Thank you so much for developing this project! I am grateful to be able to participate. The students I was able to speak with seemed pleasant and grateful for the call. Almost all are doing fairly well.”
“My first year students answered their phones at a much higher percentage and had more questions. These calls are so much more than making institutional and student connections. Students are sharing personal details about family adjustments, life challenges and having a deep appreciation knowing that have someone voice them too, it’s clear these CARE Calls are not just student connections, but human to human connection. Thanks for including me in the team”

I hope you saw the latest Corr Report about the completion of our search for a new Vice President for Learning Services. More information is here. We're excited to welcome Dr. Diane Carrasco-Jaquez to campus sometime around June 15. Thanks to all who participated in the screening committee or in a college forum to meet the candidates. We had an excellent pool of applicants.

 We are close to the finish line, you guys, and our students have benefited from your focus, your passion and your dedication to them.

Please stay safe. I really hope to see you all soon.

Best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

April 20, 2020

Hello Matadors  - 

Checking in to see how you're doing this Monday afternoon.

You may have seen recent news that the University of Arizona is furloughing 15,000 employees across the state, amounting to temporary pay cuts of between 5-20% based on position. I've had nearly a dozen direct or indirect questions about this. Please refer to my budget presentation: At this point, AWC has no plans to furlough full-time faculty or staff. It is true that there are dark skies on the economic forecast horizon as a state, and in higher education. We feel we've prepared a budget that is nimble enough to handle what we are seeing for the next fiscal year. (You can view the Budget Town Hall HERE)

Having said that, I have a growing sense of urgency about our budget, changes to funding, and our need to serve the communities in our district. Watch for a call soon for an opportunity to come together in a series of virtual meetings to talk about Stop Doing Lists, Organizational Shifts, and AWC in 2020. Details to come. 

I also mentioned a team has recommended suspending ACCUPLACER testing for all 2020 Summer and Fall classes. This does not replace the need for prerequisite work or program-specific testing needs. What this accomplishes is it removes the huge burden to find a way to proctor nearly 20,000 1:1 placement tests online to get people into classes. My thanks to Holly Banes, Dr. Eric Lee and Miguel Sanchez for collaborating on this solution. 

If you have any questions or concerns for me, please send them my way. 

Stay healthy, Matadors!

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

April 16, 2020

Hi AWC Colleagues,

Just a brief note to check in with you and see how you're doing. I hope you're hanging in there, and finding your rhythm in the new conditions we find ourselves in.

This week we presented our budget to the District Governing Board, and then today we hosted a Budget Town Hall and took questions. That content and the recorded session is available here on Workplace.  If you have comments on the budget for me, send them my way. If you have comments on the budget for the Governing Board, please send those to the inbox for public comment. E-mail here. You may also join the Board Budget Hearing on Thursday, May 14 on Zoom and participate during that time. The Public Notice will be posted next week.

Commencement plans are forming around a virtual celebration that Vanessa Weaver, Nicole Harral and their committee are busy planning. Expect some surprises and extra care for our special AWC Class of 2020. And thank you for helping these students complete this extraordinary semester. 

We've had a few questions about student access for the Wi-Fi at the Yuma campus in P1, and let me clear up a few things regarding that: bathrooms are available in the south wing of the 3C, but we're asking students to not sit inside the 3C to use Wi-Fi. We need people distancing within their own cars in the covered parking lot.  Outdoor Wifi at the San Luis Learning Center and Parker Learning Center is LIVE today.

We'll have more communication to share next week around the status of the suspension of placement tests, and about federal stimulus funds.

If there is something my office or the team could be doing to support you through this time, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask. 

Be well.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

April 13, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues,

We know that across our district, some of our students struggle with reliable access to the internet at home to study and complete assignments.

Our technology team has been analyzing the Wi-Fi footprint on our campuses and has adjusted some hardware to add outdoor connectivity in the P1 parking lot (covered solar structure) outside the College Community Center (3C) on the Yuma Campus.

Parking lot or external WiFi access is being planned for Parker and San Luis campuses in the next week.

 

This is an exception to Dr. Daniel Corr's request for students to stay off campus, and we're asking students to follow the guidelines below to keep our communities safe.

  1. Access is being promoted for AWC student access only (to include UA Yuma, NAU-Yuma and ASU@Yuma students)
  2. Students are asked to arrive and stay in their car while using connection
  3. Students are asked to park at least one parking spot away from other cars
  4. Bathroom access for students using the outdoor WiFi will be available through the south doors to the College Community Center (first floor bathroom), provided students utilize 6 foot physical distancing from each other, Monday - Thursday, 7am - 5pm.
  5. Students are asked to use connection ONLY for their classwork or important family business
    1. Please don't use the connection for gaming or entertainment purposes as that may degrade the signal for other students

Please share this with our students as needed .

We will also send this message out to the Student Email list.

Sincerely, 

Bob Walker
Vice President for Technology
bob.walker@azwestern.edu

April 9, 2020

Hello Matadors -

It's Thursday afternoon and we are about 6 weeks into our coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and about 4 weeks into moving classes online. For some of us, we're finally getting the hang of the new normal. Others of us are still adapting, maybe even struggling. I want you to know I understand that this is hard. I appreciate your effort, and your desire to serve our students, and our district, even in this uncertain time.

Our teams continue to do amazing things to be able to get our most important work done. Our technology team has loaned out over 150 laptop computers, to students, faculty and staff. They remain available to support you throughout this event so please reach out if you have any concerns. You can also email helpdesk@azwestern.edu.

A team from Academics, Testing and Technology has researched and procured a remote testing solution, and Jan Jacobson sent an email yesterday with detailed instructions. Thanks for the collaboration to get this done. You can find those details on our COVID-19 web page under Campus Communication: Faculty & Staff (this accordion).

Our Mail Room team continues to receive mail and other shipments and make that available to designated folks from each team. Thanks for their ongoing work to process mail for the district.

Today wraps up a pretty intense set of Zoom meetings to introduce the five finalists for Vice President for Learning Services to our district. Thank you to the screening committee for their work, and to all of you for participating in different forums and meetings and online surveys to help me get a clear picture of what the college community needs in our next academic leader. I really appreciate the support.

I hope whatever you do this weekend, you get a chance to enjoy it and unwind a bit. I appreciate the work you do for the college.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College

April 8, 2020

Matadors,

With so few people on campus, it’s time to streamline the facilities operations to be more efficient.  Starting on Monday, April 13th, facilities will no longer be emptying the trash bins in any offices or classrooms.  Please continue to use your recycling bins in your offices as normal but take all of your trash to a break room trash can and we will dispose of it from there.  We’ll be checking trash cans in the public areas but we might miss some on any given day so we would prefer if you use a break room trash can if one is available.  If you do have trash in your office or classroom can and do not have a convenient break room available, please leave it outside your door in the hallway and we will empty it from there.  We will still be cleaning and maintaining the buildings Monday through Thursday so if you see an issue we need to address please email facilities@azwestern.edu.  We just won’t be checking the offices or classrooms at this time.

The NAU areas of the 3C, AC and SR buildings will still be maintained and cleaned Monday through Thursday as long as NAU has open services on campus.

If we inadvertently increased the temperature in your area and you need to work and are uncomfortable, please email facilities@azwestern.edu and we can make a temperature adjustment.

As we are sealing up classrooms, I have received several emails requesting continued access to some areas.  Not a problem at all.  We have a lot of buildings to maintain and we have several months to get through all of them.  We can wait on any area that is still being utilized.  Please email facilities@azwestern.edu with any exceptions we need to be aware of.

And as a side note:  Face coverings are starting to be worn on campus so don’t feel shy if you want to wear one or be offended because we are wearing one.  We’re all trying to protect each other.

Take care and stay safe,

Steve Eckert
Director of Facilities Management
Arizona Western College
928-314-9475
Steve.eckert@azwestern.edu

April 8, 2020

Dear AWC Community,

In an effort to assist instructors in sustaining the integrity of course testing in the online format,  Arizona Western College has integrated the Respondus Software LockDown Browser® and Monitor.  This is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard.  While we understand that not all instructors will have the need for this tool, we do want to make sure that you are aware of the option to utilize these features as a way to administer secure exams online.    Here is some additional information:

What does Lockdown Browser do?

  • Tests/quizzes are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
  • Browser menu and toolbar options are removed, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Prevents access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops
  • Printing and screen capture functions are disabled
  • Copying and pasting anything to or from an tests/quizzes is prevented
  • Right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and task switching are disabled
  • A test/quiz cannot be exited until the student submits it for grading
  • Test/quizzes that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers

How do I learn how to use these features?

Attached you will find the Quick Start Guide for utilizing Respondus for instructors and for your students.  There are also additional resources are available at https://web.respondus.com/he/lockdownbrowser/resources/.  Instructors can also find these same training resources within the application itself.  Please be aware that students are required to download the software in order to use Respondus Lockdown and if you are using Monitor, your students will need a webcam. 

What do my students need to do?

If you are administering an exam in which you require the use of Respondus Lockdown and/or Monitor,  the following information should be shared with your students.  The  students should complete steps 1 through 3 before the first examination is administered.   Note:  This is a communication template that requires faculty modification as highlighted in bold below.   Note 2:  It is recommended that you create a practice quiz that allows each student to verify the features are working.

Using LockDown Browser and a Webcam for Online Exams

This course requires the use of LockDown Browser and a webcam for online exams. The webcam can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. Please do the following:

  1. Watch this short video (http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/student-movie.shtml)  to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser and the webcam feature. A student Quick Start Guide (PDF) is also available.  
  2. Download and install LockDown Browser from this link:  https://download.respondus.com/lockdown/download.php?id=483102435
  3. Verify LockDown Browser and the webcam are set up properly:
    • Start LockDown Browser, log into Blackboard, and select this course.
    • Locate and select the Help Center button on the LockDown Browser toolbar.
    • Run the Webcam Check and, if necessary, resolve any issues.
    • Run the System & Network Check. If a problem is indicated, see if a solution is provided in the Knowledge Base. Troubleshooting information can also be emailed to our institution's help desk.
    • Exit the Help Center and locate the practice quiz named [NOTE TO INSTRUCTOR: CREATE A BRIEF PRACTICE QUIZ AND INSERT NAME OF QUIZ HERE; IF NECESSARY, INCLUDE LOCATION OF QUIZ].
    • Upon completing and submitting the practice quiz, exit LockDown Browser.
  4. When taking an online exam that requires LockDown Browser and a webcam, remember the following guidelines:
    • Ensure you're in a location where you won't be interrupted
    • Turn off all other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, second computers) and place them outside of your reach
    • Clear your desk of all external materials not permitted — books, papers, other devices
    • Before starting the test, know how much time is available for it, and that you've allotted sufficient time to complete it
    • Remain at your computer for the duration of the test
    • If the computer or networking environment is different than what was used previously with the Webcam Check and System & Network Check in LockDown Browser, run the checks again prior to starting the test
    • To produce a good webcam video, do the following: 
      • Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats with brims
      • Ensure your computer or tablet is on a firm surface (a desk or table). Do NOT have the computer on your lap, a bed, or other surface where the device (or you) are likely to move
      • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete
      • Take the exam in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window

Remember that LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or Jana Moore.

Jan Jacobson, M.Ed.
Director of Academic Technology
Arizona Western College
O: (928) 317-7612
jan.jacobson@azwestern.edu

April 6, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues - 

Today is the first day back from Spring Break, and I know many of you, probably the vast majority of you, were working harder than ever over the Break to get your course material online, or in a digital format, while others of you were working hard to support faculty, or roll out virtual support programs for our students.

I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about Remote Work. The truth is, this isn't just a shift from your office to your house. For many of us, we're juggling the pressures of family life, our own anxieties and concerns, and some of us are trying to help younger children with their school lessons. Here are two articles on the topic recommended to me (Forbes: Effective Time Management While Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Harvard Business School: The New Rules for Remote Work Pandemic Edition) and I thought I'd pass them along. They both remind me of one of my favorite concepts for the workplace - Charitable Interpretation. Please be forgiving with our students, with your colleagues, and most of all, with yourself. We are working together to bring the semester to a successful completion, to chart a path for Summer (all online - see April 2 Faculty/Staff email) and Fall classes (no change at this point), to create an alternate Commencement, to tackle remote testing. I understand that this is hard; maybe the hardest work many of us have ever done. Please make time to take care of yourself and your family first.

And speaking of news worth reading, I was really proud of the story in Sunday's YumaSun (Triumphs and Challenges) about how our faculty are juggling, struggling, innovating, and caring for their students. I know it's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm so proud to work with you.

Please plan to join me again this Wednesday, if time permits, for another Facebook Live, with special guests. 

Be well, take care of yourself and each other.

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

Arizona Western College 

April 2, 2020

Hello Matadors –

It’s Thursday, the end of Spring Break, and classes are set to resume on Monday. I know many of our teams – and plenty of our faculty - have been working hard throughout the week seeking alternatives to the way we normally do business to support our students to a successful completion of Spring 2020 classes.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Facebook Live broadcast, we’ve arrived at the decision to take all Summer classes 100% online. This follows many of our Arizona higher education partners, and impacts all of our Summer sessions. I realize that we are already registering students into existing courses, and that there may be some adjustments to our schedule. Thank you for your patience as we adapt to this fluid situation. We’re doing this to help our students and faculty plan in an uncertain time. We cannot predict with certainty what guidance from the State of Arizona will be for regarding COVID-19 at this point in time, so we’re taking the cautious route to keep you and our students safe.

Our teams are already working hard to deliver our wrap-around services via digital application. We’ve created an Answer Center online to help students get the help they need. Please continue to share these resources when you hear of students who need help. Whether students need academic advising, tutoring, transfer support, or help from the library, we have teams ready to assist.

I also want to give our work teams some small certainty: we will make remote work a priority through the end of our Spring Semester, May 15. People can plan on working off campus through that date. As the situation evolves, we’ll know how to prepare for a return to a more normal work life together back on our campuses. Please stay out of all classrooms, as our Facilities team will be working to deep clean and then complete their normal summer maintenance in those rooms, and then to seal them up. This is to provide the best outcomes for you and our students for Fall 2020.

The Emergency Response Team has been meeting weekly for three weeks, and will continue to meet to make sure teams have the best chance to collaborate to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff. Thanks to that team for their leadership in this regard.

Just a word about language. The college is not closed – AWC is open, but in a virtual and online way. AWC Campuses are NOT OPEN to students, or to visitors, and we want working remotely to be a priority for all but essential staff. Commencement isn’t cancelled – we’re planning a virtual Commencement ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of our students in May in a new online format. Stay tuned!

I’m proud of the extra effort each and every one of you has contributed in this difficult time. Your work is the way we’ll keep #StudentsFirst and help them succeed this Spring.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 30, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues - 

It's Monday afternoon, March 30, and like many of you, I'm reviewing Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order 2020-18, also known as Stay At Home.

It will take a day or two for us to understand how this changes the way we're doing anything, but our teams have already made the difficult but necessary decision to make teleworking, or work-from-home, a priority for all teams. 

We will continue to evaluate the work that our essential teams are responsible for. Thank you for supporting the folks that are still working on campus to support our teams, our students and the larger community, including Residence Life, Facilities, Campus Police, KAWC, TV Services, and Payroll. 

I will come on campus Wednesday, April 1, at 2pm to host our next Facebook Live; that's an essential component to supporting the communities mentioned above. We'll continue to re-evaluate on a week-by-week basis to ensure our teams are safe. 

It's Spring Break for our students and faculty, but I have no doubt that many of our faculty are still working hard to try to create, improve, or increase online content for their classes. I realize this is a monumental task, and I appreciate all of your efforts. I hope you are able to find time to rest with your family during this break. 

I welcome your questions or comments, either to my e-mail, or to Ashley's, at Ashley.Herrington@azwestern.edu.

Thank you for everything you're doing to keep the (virtual) lights on, to keep our teams safe, and to keep our students engaged and learning.

Be safe!

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 26, 2020

Dear Campus Community - 

We’ve made it to the end of our Transition Week, and we’re heading into Spring Break, so I wanted to take a few minutes to send you a note. 

First of all, regarding the community spread of COVID-19: we know from today’s YumaSun, and Yuma County information within that story that the fourth person tested positive in Yuma County is an older relative of our student who was the subject of our email on Tuesday. We continue to be concerned for our student and the family, and they are in our thoughts.

It’s hard for me to find the words to express my appreciation for the incredible work our faculty are engaged in to move all instruction 100% online. I have heard at least a dozen stories of creative teaching methods, ramping up on new teaching tools, and kits students took home to complete assignments in lab classes. I know our support teams are also dialing in their ability to serve students and faculty at a distance; the effort quite literally leaves me a bit speechless.

You might already know that our Residence Hall team continues to serve about 30 residents, mostly international students, who can’t yet travel home. Thanks for your efforts to keep them safe and engaged and fed. We know how hard you’re working.

We’re continuing to host weekly Facebook Live events, and you can count on us doing that, as long as our team feels safe to do it, every Wednesday, most likely at 2pm. You can go back and watch them on our Facebook page here.

We’re also continuing the Corr Report, probably almost every week, and you can find them here

We made the announcement this week that we’re seeking alternatives to our traditional stadium-format Commencement. It is not cancelled, but we’ll bring it to you in an entirely new way. No need to rush out and acquire any regalia – this year you get a break from that, at least!

Our teams are also working on alternatives to testing and the proctoring of exams. I’m excited to see what the team comes up with. Watch these emails and our web pages for that information.

Finally, a shout out to the 70+ people who have been working since 2018 on our Strategic Plan. I am not sure what state we’d be in if we hadn’t taken the time together to rethink our charge. I’m grateful our Mission and Vision continues to resonate with our teams and our community, and I thank you for your work to create real, actionable change. Because of the work you’ve already done, we’re in a much better position to manage crisis and rapid change.

We will get through this situation together, and be better for the lessons we’ve learned together.

Have a safe and peaceful weekend, and for those of you on break next week, I hope you can relax.

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 24, 2020

Dear Campus Community - 

I'm writing to share with you the sobering news that one of our own has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Let me tell you what I can about the case.

The first thing I want you to know is that we are in touch with the student, the student’s faculty, and the Yuma County Health District. Additionally, the student is in good spirits, and currently recovering at home. 

I also want you to know that based on the best information we have, the student was exposed to the virus after we issued a suspension to in-person classes. The student’s faculty and our campus technology log-in data all indicate that the student has not been on campus since March 12; the student’s presumed exposure date, according to the health investigation, is March 14. 

In addition to being currently enrolled, the student is registered for three face-to-face classes on the Yuma campus. The student did not live on campus. None of the student’s classes were lab science, Career-Tech, or art classes, and the student was not meeting in any small groups in the interim. 

I want you to know that in any case of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 where classmates and faculty or staff had a risk of exposure, the college will work with the Yuma County Health District to notify all parties with potential contact.

Please join me in wishing our student a speedy and full recovery. Please take care of each other, and our students, as we remain focused on our two goals of keeping people healthy, and helping our students complete their Spring classes. The work is difficult, and we likely face many more challenges in the coming weeks. 

I know we are up for the task, and I'm here to support you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 19, 2020

Hello Matadors!

It is just about one week since we started sending out formal communications regarding the college response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Already in that short time much as changed. Thank you very much for helping us work to fulfill our two most important interests:

  1. Keeping our communities safe (that means you, our students, and the people in our district)
  2. Helping our students complete their Spring 2020 classes and get across the finish line

Today I'm communicating with you to let you know that next week we will work to transition all of our Full-Time employees to work remotely until further notice. 

What exactly does this mean

  • Please spend next week working with your supervisor and team to transition to remote work
  • If you have hardware or software needs, please reach out to our technology team for assistance
  • Some essential jobs, on a department-by-department basis, will still be on campus working
    • Those teams will be notified by their supervisor, but they will include some folks from Technology, Facilities, Police and Residence Life.
  • There will be no more in-person gatherings of employees or students
  • Much like our Winter Session, many resources will still be available to you and our students, and we'll work with our support teams to specify what those are over the next few days
  • Dr. Linda Elliott-Nelson, Jana Moore, Reetika Dhawan, and Elaine Groggett and I will be working with our Academic and CTE teams to make sure faculty have what they need to assist students to completion

Why are we taking this step now?

We are doing our part to "flatten the curve" and limit the exposure to as many faculty, staff, and students as possible. 

This is a great time to think differently about the ways we do our jobs and to find creative ways to collaborate and fulfill the mission of the college.

We have many online training tools you can make available to your team. We'll also work to create a list of resources for remote working that helps you manage this transition. 

As you work from home or manage a team that is working from home, here are few consistent expectations:

  • Be available to your teammates during regular work hours
  • Be available via email, chat, cell phone, home phone, Zoom and other collaboration tools (Zoom and Office365 resources)
  • Attend regularly-scheduled meetings via technology
  • Agree ahead of time on shared expectations for project and regular work
  • Hold frequent status calls or communications
  • Handle time off, sick time, vacation time as normal - notify your supervisor and mark your time card in Webadvisor

Please continue to keep yourself safe. Please continue to engage our students, and your colleagues, because we will help our students stay in class and stay the course when they feel connected to the college. This is an opportunity to rethink how we Create Community - and that's an advantage a community college has over other forms of education. 

Our Student Experience Statement says we're committing to an AMAZING student experience. We can still create that, because it's all about how we show up every day for our students, helping them achieve their goals. 

Please reach out to me or Ashley, or any member of my cabinet, if we can do something to help you in these extraordinary times.

Student Experience Statement

Arizona Western College commits to delivering an amazing student experience characterized by:

  • A connected community within which students are encouraged, challenged and feel they belong;
  • Programs developed and aligned with employment opportunities;
  • A clear path to success and completion;
  • Flexible, accessible services and learning approaches;
  • Contemporary technology that supports and enhances the AWC experience

Sincerely,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

March 17, 2020

Hello all Matadors! 

It's Tuesday, St. Patrick's day, and we are monitoring directives from the CDC and the state of Arizona, like many of you are. We have a few changes to the communications thread listed below.

Our two broad interests are, in this order:

  1. Keep our communities safe (you, our students, and Yuma / La Paz Counties) and limit spread
  2. Help our students complete their Spring classes and make it across the finish line

After meeting with the Emergency Response Team and Cabinet this morning, our plans are;

  1. We will commit to teaching all-online through the remainder of Spring 2020 semester, to the greatest extent possible. 
  2. We will adhere to CDC guidelines to limit groups to 10 people or less for the next 8 weeks
  3. Starting Monday, March 23, we'll move to summer hours on the Yuma Campus, 7 am - 5 pm. I anticipate that our sister campuses will adjust hours as we work to limit exposure and respond to radically decreased in-person customer service needs.
  4. We will recommend students move out of our Residence Halls if they have a viable living alternative over the next 10 days. We will probably have some students who stay with us out of necessity but limiting the population is healthy and prudent for all parties.

Already, I have heard many stories of teams and departments improvising, adapting, and pitching in to help each other and even our community partners. You folks make me proud every day. 

Remember to stay home if you feel sick, or think you might be sick. Follow the CDC guidelines for hygiene. 

You can find the latest updates regarding our response to COVID-19 at www.azwestern.edu/covid. We will be communicating changes as quickly and clearly as possible.

Also, tune in to our Facebook Town Hall Livestream Wednesday, March 18th at 12:15 pm to hear directly from my leadership team and me. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaWesternCollege/ to post your questions for us. You can also send questions in advance to OfficeofthePresident@azwestern.edu.

The Corr Report has become a great avenue for you to hear these updates, you can view today’s episode here.  

Please stay safe, and please stay agile - this event changes hour by hour and you likely will hear from me again this week. 

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College 

March 15, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues - 
 
It's Sunday night and the situation for our teams continues to evolve as we work to manage the local and state response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly we will all need to find new ways to support our faculty and students. I sincerely appreciate all the planning, adapting and collaboration that has already taken place to help classes transition to online learning by March 18. I know the Technology and Distance Education teams are already busy at work on this, and both groups will be ready to support this activity tomorrow, and Tuesday, as we get ready to help our students across the finish line. 
 
Here are two updates:
 
Child Development Learning Lab (CDLL)
As of Wednesday, March 18, we will close the CDLL until at least early April. This decision was not made lightly but in the best interest of the health of our youngest students, and their extended families, this was the best decision we could make at that time. We know this will impact many faculty and staff, and we ask you to be as flexible as you can be as you or your teammates balance family and work.
 
K-12 Education
Today the Governor of Arizona and the Secretary of Education released a joint statement closing all K-12 schools for at least the next two weeks. Just like the closure of the CDLL, this will likely impact you or many people on your team. Thank you for supporting them.
 
 
 
Communication & Flexibility
At this point, we are committed to operations as close to normal as possible tomorrow, Monday, March 16, and going forward. We know this situation is fluid, and we commit to communicating with you as frequently as the situation requires. 
 
As we stated in the email below, if working from home is appropriate for you as we work through this unprecedented situation, whether you feel a need to isolate, or your family is now juggling school-aged kids at home, please speak to your supervisor. It is still completely contingent on both your work function and the needs of your teammates. If a plan for you to work from home is approved by your supervisor and VP, and you have specific technology needs, please work on that through your supervisor. If you are juggling kids at home and your work function cannot be done from home, please use sick or vacation time. 
 
As your team is impacted at work by direct or indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, if you need specific help, please reach out. If you have solutions to the issues we're facing, we'd love to hear them. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and we're all in this together.
 
One more plug for good health: please follow CDC guidelines for hygiene, and please stay home if you're sick, or you think you may be sick. That's what our sick time is for. 
 
Please keep yourself safe. Thank you for your dedication to our students, and the communities we serve. 
 
I am certainly proud of the way people are collaborating to come up with solutions for our students, and I'm proud to be your president.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Daniel P. Corr
President, Arizona Western College 

March 12, 2020

Dear AWC Colleagues - 

As you know, the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, and students are the top priority of the college. In the midst of the rapidly-evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our teams are working on a number of changes to the way we do business to minimize community health risks. I know people are worried, and our students need our focus and flexibility to get through this event.

Teaching and Learning

Classes are cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, as we prepare to transition to all-online teaching. Starting Wednesday, March 18, and for at least the next two weeks, we will push as many classes as possible to full-online delivery. Our Technology, Distance Education and Academic and Career-Tech leadership teams are at work on this now. Expect to hear from your division chair or supervisor about plans. Reach out to Distance Education for help on the tools and training to do this work. 

Our plan is to monitor during the next two weeks and decide how we return to work after Spring Break.

Campus Support

The college remains open to support our faculty and students. This means our residence halls, Eatery, library, tutoring and computer labs will remain open. All employee schedules stay intact. If you are sick, stay home. If you think you might be sick, stay home. Please use your sick time and limit the spread of any illness. Thank you for your work to support our students.

Some people are asking about working remotely. This is entirely at the discretion of your supervisor and Vice President and is entirely contingent on your work function, the needs of your team, and the tools required to do your job. What we don't want to do is end up with a small crew on campus struggling to support our students and faculty, so please come up with a team approach. 

Travel

All student field trips out of town are cancelled. All existing out-of-state travel on the books is at the supervisor's and employee's discretion. Nobody will be required to complete a previously-booked trip that makes them feel unsafe, so please work with the Travel office if you change your existing plans. Any un-booked out-of-state travel this semester is on hold, subject to review of the Office of the President.  All air travel for non-essential business is highly discouraged. Any un-booked in-state travel is under normal review.

Events

If you are planning to attend a community event on behalf of the college, use your best discretion, and make sure you feel safe attending. This means you should feel comfortable cancelling plans to represent the college at community events if you need to do so. 

College events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please watch your email, check the online calendar and social media for updates to scheduled events. As this situation evolves, college plans may change.

Community events that are scheduled to be hosted at any AWC Location will be evaluated.

As I mentioned earlier, resources for monitoring the Arizona response to COVID-19 can be referenced here.

Use your best judgment. Stay home if you're sick. Be flexible with each other and your students during this time.

Thank you for all you do for our students. Our job is to keep them safe, keep ourselves safe, as we serve our communities.  Please take care of your health and the health of your family. 

It's a privilege and an honor to work with you as we get our students to the finish line. 

 

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College  

March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

You may have just seen the message from the Office of the President regarding AWC's schedule and response to the current crisis.  The health and safety of our community is the top priority.  

To reiterate the message from Dr. Corr, classes will be cancelled Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th to allow faculty to prepare for online course delivery. We expect all faculty members with teaching responsibilities to take the necessary steps required to continue teaching remotely starting on Wednesday, March 18th

Faculty Expectations

  • Faculty can teach classes through three modalities.
    1. You can deliver and record your class through Zoom with live video-conferencing. With this option, you teach class at its normally scheduled day and time via Zoom. Since many faculty may choose this option, please be judicious with any new setups as resources and staff may be limited.
    2. Online delivery using Blackboard. Help is available to set up course delivery. You can record content and post it to Blackboard but audio recordings may be preferable to video for ease of upload to Blackboard.
    3. ITN classes are already routinely recorded and accessible for students to view after the class meets.  Faculty using ITN should remind students of this feature and teach in ITN classrooms at the scheduled times without students present. Students can then watch the video, which will be automatically available in the Blackboard shell for that course.
  • Some courses that require face-to-face instruction may continue in person with modifications. Faculty teaching in labs, performance-based classes, and studios may determine that some meetings may be required.  They may streamline content delivery and reduce the number of sessions to meet in person and/or limit sizes of groups meeting in person.
  • Faculty must inform their students about how to attend class as soon as possible, and well in advance of the class meeting. 

How to learn more

We understand that for some faculty members, this remote modality may be new. In an effort to provide you detailed instructions, please contact Distance Education at (928) 317-6277 or distance.education@azwestern.edu. This line and inbox will be monitored during the weekend. You can also visit the Blackboard Support page for questions by using this link https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/.   This website includes step-by-step how-to guides, FAQs, and quick links and contact information for 24/7 support. 

How to support your students

All AWC students enrolled in on-campus classes will receive a similar email instructing them of this transition. Please contact your students and provide them clear next steps on how you will use Zoom, Blackboard and/or Office 365 tools (https://www.azwestern.edu/support/topics/office-365) to manage classes.

Campus remains open

Campus housing, computer labs, library, food services, advising, tutoring, and all other aspects of the college remain open.

Please contact your dean/chair, or direct supervisor, if you have further questions..

Thank you for your flexibility and commitment to your teaching duties. 

 

Sincerely,

Jana Moore

Dean for Campus Locations and Academic Resources

March 21, 2020

Hello to the AWC Community -  The week of March 23-26 is a transition week for our campus and our faculty. During this next week, I anticipate there will be fewer and fewer folks working on campus as the week progresses.  The small numbers of faculty that had been meeting in small groups (of 10 or fewer, including the instructor) may still need to meet this week as we prepare to transition to all remote work. Faculty, please be clear and consistent in your communications with your students. Please let us know how we can support you. We are open and preparing to transition to remote work (we are not closed). Remember that the week following is Spring Break (March 30-April 2). Many of us will continue to work remotely during that time even though that is a break in instruction. Thanks to all of you for your focus on this task at hand, and for your dedication to our students. Don't hesitate to reach out if we can answer questions. Sincerely, Dr. Daniel P. Corr President, Arizona Western College

March 17, 2020

Hello all Matadors! 

It's Tuesday, St. Patrick's day, and we are monitoring directives from the CDC and the state of Arizona, like many of you are. We have a few changes to the communications thread listed below.

Our two broad interests are, in this order:

  1. Keep our communities safe (you, our students, and Yuma / La Paz Counties) and limit spread
  2. Help our students complete their Spring classes and make it across the finish line

After meeting with the Emergency Response Team and Cabinet this morning, our plans are;

  1. We will commit to teaching all-online through the remainder of Spring 2020 semester, to the greatest extent possible. 
  2. We will adhere to CDC guidelines to limit groups to 10 people or less for the next 8 weeks
  3. Starting Monday, March 23, we'll move to summer hours on the Yuma Campus, 7am - 5pm. I anticipate that our sister campuses will adjust hours as we work to limit exposure and respond to radically decreased in-person customer service needs.
  4. We will recommend students move out of our Residence Halls if they have a viable living alternative over the next 10 days. We will probably have some students who stay with us out of necessity but limiting the population is healthy and prudent for all parties.

Already, I have heard many stories of teams and departments improvising, adapting, and pitching in to help each other and even our community partners. You folks make me proud every day. 

Remember to stay home if you feel sick, or think you might be sick. Follow the CDC guidelines for hygiene. 

You can find the latest updates regarding our response to COVID-19 at www.azwestern.edu/covid. We will be communicating changes as quickly and clearly as possible.

Also, tune in to our Facebook Town Hall Livestream Wednesday, March 18th at 12:15pm to hear directly from my leadership team and me. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaWesternCollege/to post your questions for us. You can also send questions in advance toOfficeofthePresident@azwestern.edu.

The Corr Report has become a great avenue for you to hear these updates, you can view today’s episode here.  

Please stay safe, and please stay agile - this event changes hour by hour and you likely will hear from me again this week. 

All my best,

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College 

March 12, 2020

Dear AWC Communities –

The health and welfare of the communities we serve is the top priority of the college. In the midst of the rapidly-evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our teams are working on a number of changes to the way we do business to minimize community health risks. I know people are worried, and our students need our focus and flexibility to get through this event.

Arizona Western College will remain open but shift to online learning wherever possible on Wednesday, March 18. Classes are cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17.

Based on CDC recommendations, the college will use Monday and Tuesday to prepare to implement social distancing methods.  The college will work to minimize group gatherings, where possible, when instruction resumes starting on Wednesday, March 18, through March 27.  As this period nears its end, the college will determine if this period needs to be extended or if the COVID-19 situation requires other responses.

On-campus services will remain open: residence halls, the Eatery, Academic Library, tutoring, and computer labs will all be available.

Campus events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All non-essential college travel has been suspended until further notice.

We will continue to provide a safe and clean campus for our students, faculty, staff, and the communities we serve. AWC teams will continue to monitor COVID-19 updates and work with community partners and public health officials to keep you informed and to maintain a safe and healthy campus. We encourage everyone to visit azwestern.edu for updates about campus information on public health, student services, and any corresponding implications for on-campus activities, events, and classes.

I know this is a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we address this evolving and fluid situation, and thank you for supporting our students.

It is an honor to serve the communities of Yuma and La Paz Counties.

 

Dr. Daniel P. Corr

President, Arizona Western College

Health Tips & Resources

Please educate yourself on health resources around the community and the state.

Here are the recommended ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Other resources for infection prevention guidance and information are: