Roane State planning return to campuses for Fall 2021

Roane State is unveiling a plan for Fall 2021 focused on getting students back into the classroom safely for in-person learning.

Nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the majority of Roane State’s classes go virtual, the college reports that approximately 70% of classes remain all or mostly online for the Spring 2021 semester. However, that ratio is soon expected to shift.

“With case numbers falling, vaccination rates climbing and the public safety measures put in place over the last 11 months proving effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, we are ready to bring students back to campus,” RSCC President Dr. Chris Whaley said.

“Those who halted their college plans last year are telling us they feel more comfortable and more successful in a traditional classroom,” Dr. Whaley added. “We hear those students loud and clear, and we want to help them move forward.”

Online courses will still be available for students who prefer that option, but the number of on-ground class sections will be increased for fall. Roane State administrators say the schedule of classes for Fall 2021 will look much more like Fall 2019, pre-pandemic.

“We are working hard to deliver what many of our students want and need this fall, which is a return to in-person education,” said Dr. Diane Ward, RSCC’s vice president for student learning. “As we craft plans for the new academic year, the prospect of being back together on campus has become a very positive driving force with safety remaining the top priority.”

COVID-19 protocols will remain in place this fall to protect the campus community. These protocols include wearing face masks and practicing social distancing as well as completing daily wellness screenings and checking in when arriving on campus. Students, faculty, staff and visitors will still be asked to self-report positive COVID-19 test results to the college and stay home if they are experiencing symptoms. Contact tracing and enhanced cleaning of facilities will also continue.

While confidence is high, administrators and members of the college’s COVID-19 Response Team caution that plans for Fall 2021 are tentative. If the pandemic worsens in our area prior to or during the fall semester, Roane State may once again implement a transition to online learning. Additional information on plans for the fall will be released throughout the coming months.

The most recent updates regarding Roane State’s pandemic response can be found online at roanestate.edu/coronavirus.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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