Bucks Community College adapts to remote learning and operations

All student support services are available through internet, phone and email amid COVID-19 health emergency

Bucks County Community College, in adapting to the COVID-19 state of emergency, has moved credit courses to remote instruction and equipped administrative staff to work remotely from home.

“Together as a community, we are all doing our best for you, rapidly trying to figure out new, remote college processes,” Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, college president, wrote in an email to students on Friday, March 20. “College faculty and staff want to work with you; together we will solve challenges as they arise.”

Custodial staff began deep-cleaning more than 900,000 square feet of college facilities in Bristol, Croydon, Doylestown, Newtown and Perkasie on March 14. Remote administrative operations began Monday, March 16, when credit students began spring break. Remote instruction of credit courses began March 23, after spring break.

Bucks initially announced these changes March 12, several days before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the statewide closure of all nonessential businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19. The college is closely following all mandates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Department of Health, and the Governor’s Office.

A full list of resources for students is available at bucks.edu.

“We have also listed community and mental-health resources; if you need help, please use them,” Shanblatt added. “Many of us are anxious, so take care of yourself and your family.”

Students are encouraged to take advantage of online tutoring to help them transition to online courses, which may be a new method of learning for some.

“We have virtual tutoring available and your faculty will have creative ways to assist you,” Shanblatt said. “Bucks has been doing virtual learning for 25 years; we have lots of expertise and tools.”

Certain deadlines have been extended for payments and scholarship applications in an effort to fully accommodate students’ needs.

“I am confident that, together, we will get through this very difficult time and that your education will prepare you for your chosen career,” Shanblatt told students.

The college also has many noncredit continuing education courses that can be delivered online. Visit bucks.edu/businesscareer/online-learning to explore these opportunities.

Meanwhile, college offices are functioning with staff working remotely, who are able to respond to email and voicemail messages. Video-conference tools are being used in place of in-person meetings.

“Each of us has a profound responsibility to help break the chain of transmission of COVID-19,” said Shanblatt. “May you and your families stay healthy, find new ways to have some fun, and take care of each other.”