Humanize your company
HACC humanized the company through various initiatives:
- HACC recognized that students may not have access to the technology needed to complete their academic coursework. To assist, the HACC team deployed laptops and desktop computers, webcams and hot spots to students who demonstrated a need for this equipment. Employees distributed technology to students via on-site pickup and United States Postal Service.
- Protocols for English and math placement testing were explored and adopted with a priority for minimizing costs and improving success for students.
- When Massage Therapy Program students began losing their part-time jobs due to COVID-19, they were unable to afford the state board examination application fees (approximate $320 each). We were able to utilize the HACC Foundation Massage Therapy Program Emergency Fund to cover the fees (approximately $5,000).
- HACC launched the HACC Heroes series to honor individuals who are making a positive difference in the fight against the global pandemic. HACC developed a video series to honor the HACC heroes and promote remote services.
- The College recognized the needs of employees during the global coronavirus pandemic by taking a more flexible approach to many policies and offering services to help employees cope with the pandemic. These include:
- Increasing pay for employees working on campus during the stay-at-home order
- Implementing a liberal leave use policy for COVID-related situations
- Reducing work schedules in lieu of furlough
- Providing access to wellness programs, such as meditation sessions and stretch sessions via Zoom
- Offering online classes to support remote work delivered via the College’s learning management system
- Offering face-to-face professional development via Zoom
- Promoting the College’s employee assistance program
- HACC recognized that many parents of young children would find workdays interrupted by demands of childcare. Several parents were permitted to work partial days until they were able to find a reliable solution for childcare. Others worked flexible hours as long as the work was accomplished during the calendar days for which they were compensated.
Educate about change
HACC was dedicated to educating students, employees and community members about important information throughout the fiscal year:
- HACC developed a landing page about the global pandemic.
- HACC communicated with stakeholders in the following ways:
- Sending an email to donors educating them about the transition to remote instruction and services
- Sending daily emails and then twice-a-week emails to students and employees
- Emailing monthly newsletters to alumni, donors and other supporters
- HACC hosted a mini-symposium, Remote and Online Teaching & Learning in the Time of COVID-19, in April 2020, to educate and update our faculty about best practices in remote teaching and learning.
- HACC offered additional remote training sessions for faculty in May and June to support faculty in preparation for a remote fall semester.
- HACC offered training sessions with faculty and collegewide presentations focused on accessibility services, including interpreting, braille and screen readers.
- HACC developed a new remote desktop services system that was capable of handling up to 500 users connecting simultaneously. HACC also removed barriers that would impede our ability to meet the connectivity needs of students and employees using HACC resources remotely.
Assure stabilityHACC remained a stable environment:
- HACC held Zoom sessions with students, employees, alumni, donors and other supporters to provide up-to-date information about the global pandemic.
- HACC librarians extended their availability through our 24/7 chat to provide support for students.
- An outreach campaign to last year’s guest students reminded them that HACC is here to serve them again this year. Guest students are those who attend other colleges and universities but take HACC courses to fulfill their home institutions’ degree requirements.
- Incoming telephone calls to the five campus Welcome Centers were merged into one central location so that telephone calls were effectively and efficiently answered regardless of location.
- Data was reviewed to determine the peak times HACC received requests for services. This allowed us to ensure staff were scheduled to accommodate peak times.
While COVID-19 will have long-lasting effects, it forced HACC to revolutionize our offerings for our students and employees:
- HACC developed a video celebration for graduates, touting their achievement and creating opportunities for employees to publicly participate in observations of their successful completion.
- The HACC Foundation developed the Fund for Excellence for CARE to help address the needs of our students.
- The HACC Foundation allocated funds to provide students with the technology needed to adapt to remote instruction.
- HACC continues to ramp up our Open Educational Resources (OER) project, supporting faculty as they adapt and create educational materials to be incorporated into courses at no cost to students.
- Remote work has allowed us to look at how we support our employees through technology.
- The HACC Foundation is modifying our fundraising campaign to revolutionize our priorities and offerings.
- The remote working environment has highlighted inequities in our services, teaching, access and equity. Our work has been highlighted in substantial ways to consistently help meet the needs of those students who have been underserved using our former platforms and modalities.
- HACC faculty participated in national research using artificial intelligence in online classes to enhance student engagement and success.
- HACC expanded the Zoom license for video conferencing to a collegewide site license. All students and employees now have an unrestricted user license to use Zoom for face-to-face conversations.
- HACC implemented a process whereby students can request documents to be printed, and the materials are printed and mailed to the students.
Tackle the future
HACC cannot and will not return to what it was before the pandemic. That ship has sailed. Instead, we must get our internal and external stakeholders ready for the “new” normal and demonstrate that different CAN be better. Ways HACC continues to prepare for our new future follow:
- We will continue to assess our impact and adjust our approach to be more inclusive and assist a broader range of students.
- Modifications of the incoming telephone call routing led to a complete review of all department phone routings. A new plan is being developed to maximize time to respond to incoming calls with departmental phone mailboxes.
- Throughout the pandemic, HACC has leveraged cloud-based technology solutions that are scalable and accessible, ensuring that these services will continue well beyond COVID-19.
- Requests for a pass/fail grading option in spring 2020 has resulted in the College developing this option for future students.
- HACC is integrating virtual reality and augmented reality with precision machining and in partnership with Techlink Schools and Commonwealth Charter Academy.
- The modified fundraising plan will tackle the future and focus on workforce and economic development.
- HACC’s enrollment and marketing plans will focus on current and future students who want to rebuild their lives and careers after the pandemic.
- After HACC’s campuses reopen, advising services will continue to be offered in a remote format. The success of the current model has created a new delivery method that will allow students to choose their preferred advising method in the future from a portfolio of options.
By the Numbers: Our Students
- Ages 18-21
- Ages 22+
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, in full accordance with the law does not discriminate in employment, student admissions and student services on the basis of race, color, religion, age, political affiliation or belief, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, place of birth, General Education Development Certification (GED), marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status or any other legally protected classification. HACC recognizes its responsibility to promote the principles of equal opportunity for employment, student admissions and student services taking active steps to recruit minorities and women. Inquiries should be directed to the chief inclusion and diversity officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.