At this point, you should be thinking about transitioning your face-to-face classes to Blackboard or alternative remote delivery. For some, this may mean redeveloping your classes in an online format. It may feel like a daunting task and you may be concerned about student outcomes in an online delivery modality. I share your concerns so, in consultation with the College President, I have authorized an infusion of fiscal resources to support students and faculty through these circumstances. This is a good moment for all of us to pause and gather our thoughts as we need everyone’s cooperation and presence at work tomorrow.
Your support teams for remote learning – District Academic Affairs Office, CIOL, and MDC Online – are working in a coordinated manner to enable academic continuity. Technical, content, and personnel resources are being added to support students and faculty in online learning, including additional Instructional Designers and a 24/7 Blackboard support line. We are waiting to see how the situation unfolds with COVID-19 based on official federal, state and local guidance or directives. The decision on how to safely and effectively resume classes will be made nearer to the end of this two-week preparation period.
Faculty Health and Safety
I ask everyone to please read Dr. Montoya’s latest update #4. In it, he shares what the College is doing to keep our students and employees safe and healthy. At this time, there are no immediate concerns preventing faculty members from reporting to campus as instructed. There are no current reports of known or suspected College employees, faculty, or staff having COVID-19.
The College is mindful there are, and will be, some faculty members for who reporting to campus might not be in their best interests. The CDC recommends that employees with acute respiratory illness symptoms stay home and not return until they are free of fever and other symptoms for a period of 24 hours. Also, older persons and those with chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, compromised immune systems, and chronic kidney and liver disease are more susceptible to COVID-19.
The decision for faculty who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 to either report to work or stay home is an individualized decision that needs to be made in consultation with their healthcare provider. Faculty who may fall into these high-risk categories will be eligible for disaster leave but must coordinate individually with their chairperson and provide the necessary medical documentation. For these individuals who should not return to campus, arrangements can be made to provide remote training to those who are new to or need a refresher on getting started with and developing content on Blackboard.
It is imperative for our students that all faculty be ready to potentially implement online instruction by next week. The College has directed all employees, including faculty, to report to campus on Monday, March 16. Individuals who are at a higher risk or may have other issues precluding their return must discuss same with their supervisors in advance.
I truly thank all full time and adjunct faculty for all you do to ensure our students receive the highest education quality and academic support needed to promote their success.
Lenore P. Rodicio, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave. | Miami, Florida 33132
T: (305) 237-3803 | F: (305) 237-7176