A Message from COM President Dr. Warren Nichols
Students, faculty, staff and community,
As we all try to navigate through this challenging time, I want to personally speak to our COM community and assure our college family that my thoughts are with each of you. With the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff in mind, please know that the measures we have in place are being taken to keep our college community safe and prevent the broader spread of the coronavirus.
On Monday, March 23, the college will resume providing instruction to students through an online or alternative instructional format. A limited number of hands-on courses may require on-campus components for completion. In those circumstances, the college will practice all appropriate social distancing and sanitization measures. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, faculty have been asked that the essential activities that will be taking place during this time do not involve more than ten people. Faculty should also provide as much flexibility as possible to accommodate students.
As you may know, on Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott announced an executive order related to restrictions on a range of public gatherings and closures of schools. Recently, his office provided a memo offering some clarification on that order and its impact on institutions of higher education. The memo provides additional flexibility to colleges and universities, and COM will continue to follow the guidance of our health authorities and the CDC in all our college operations. You can read the memo in its entirety here.
These are unprecedented times, but please know that my leadership team is working hard to ensure that we continue providing a successful learning experience for students during this period. As the situation is rapidly evolving day by day, I have provided an update below on where we currently stand with our college operations:
Student Support Services
The library will remain open with limited staffing. Through the end of the semester, COM student support services will have the library and limited computer labs open for students needing computer and internet access. These services will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. Additionally, tutoring services will continue to be available with an increased online tutoring presence.
The Lifelong Learning Center is closed given that most of this student population is at the highest risk of the coronavirus. The gymnasium and child care services are closed until further notice due to the elevated level of physical contact that normally takes place in these facilities. All continuing education classes have been postponed. For more information, contact the continuing education program at ContEd@com.edu or (409) 933-8586. We will continue to monitor and reevaluate the situation to determine when to reopen and resume programming at these facilities.
Out of an abundance of caution, College of the Mainland will be canceling or postponing all events through the middle of May. This includes postponing our graduation ceremony to a later date. Below is a list of canceled campus events. Please keep in mind that while these events are canceled, they may be rescheduled at a later date.
- Employee Recognition Dinner
- All Student Life activities
- Man Up Conference
- Women's History Month event
- Upward Bound (TRIO) Saturday Trip - March 28
- Upward Bound (TRIO) tutoring
- Community of Care Luncheon & Resource Fair
- Commencement (Postponed)
- Veteran's Health Resource and Employment Fair
- FAFSA Workshops
- Music Concerts
- Theatre Productions
- GCIC Academic Symposium
All travel for COM business is suspended until further notice.
We want you to know that we aren’t taking this situation lightly. Following the guidance of local, state and federal health authorities, we will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our students and employees. I ask that employees and students continue to monitor COM emails, text alerts, social media and our website for the most up to date information. For the latest updates and information, visit www.com.edu/coronavirus.
Though there is much uncertainty right now, I believe in the strength and resilience of our community and am confident that together we will come back strong. Thank you for being a part of the COM family, and thank you for your understanding and support as we work through this challenging time.
Dr. Warren Nichols
President, College of the Mainland