A-B Tech President John D. Gossett today announced the college’s reopening plans for the Fall 2020 Semester, which begins August 24. More than 75 percent of academic classes will be online or virtual, while 25 percent will have an in-person component for hands-on training, clinical settings and labs.
Gossett, who began as A-B Tech’s seventh president on July 1, made the announcement via a video message to employees and students. Citing ongoing concerns with COVID-19 infection rates, he said the college opted to take a more conservative approach for the fall semester.
“We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the state of North Carolina, and Buncombe and Madison counties, as well as our local school districts,” Dr. Gossett said. “We also surveyed our employees and students and heard overwhelmingly that they are concerned about COVID-19 and want us to have as few people as possible on campus this fall.”
A-B Tech converted more than 95 percent of its academic classes to online instruction for spring and summer, trained all faculty in best practices for online instruction, and is well-positioned to offer enhanced virtual offerings this fall, he said. However, approximately 25 percent of academic courses must be delivered in person to accommodate clinical, hands-on and laboratory training requirements.
For in-person classes, Gossett said A-B Tech has implemented strict safety protocols that adhere to CDC, North Carolina and county public health guidelines. Safety measures include regular deep cleaning and disinfection, screening for symptoms, physical distancing, face coverings, smaller classes, and no large group gatherings.
Additionally, A-B Tech offers many non-academic workforce, continuing education and Small Business Center classes that must be taught in person. The fall schedule for these areas will move forward as planned with strict safety protocols and smaller classes, but they also will continue to offer online classes and develop more virtual training opportunities.
Academic courses have been classified as follows under A-B Tech’s “Trailblazer Plan B”, which is a hybrid instruction model:
- 23 percent Real Time via Zoom
- 8 percent Real Time with Some Intensive Hands-On In-Person Instruction
- 16 percent Intensive Hands-On In-Person with Online Lectures
- 49 percent My Time Online
- 2 percent Clinical/Work-Based Learning
- A small number of in-person courses designed to meet local or state needs in Emergency Services
- High School dual enrollment, Career and College Promise, Early College and Middle College classes will follow guidelines set by the state and local school districts
Following are helpful links to more detailed information about A-B Tech’s fall reopening plans:
- President Gossett’s Video Announcement of Fall 2020 Plans
- Explanation of A-B Tech’s “Plan B” for academic course deliver
- Student Guidance for Fall 2020
- A-B Tech Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response information