Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communications

As Dr. Bolton regularly updates the campus community on developments involving the spread of the coronavirus and the college's plans, this will be a place to track all of the college's communications, as well as updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). 

Please address any questions to covid@ppcc.edu

Latest CDC Information Latest CDPHE Information

Community Resources

Find the Help You Need

Whether you're struggling with housing, utlities, healthcare or a job loss, here are some resources that can help.

PPCC/Together

CARES Act Information and Reporting

Visit Page

Key Information*

Fall Semester:

The college will fully reopen all three campuses. Support services will be both in-person and remote. More classes, particularly CTE, labs and some studio arts programs will be in-person. 

Lecture classes will be taught remotely, with a major Zoom (or other video platform) meeting components. 

Current Campuses Opening and Closures:

Rampart Range/CHES and Centennial are open for some services for students (advising, enrollment services, computer labs, learning commons, book stores) and some Career and Technical Education classes. Most classes and services are operational through remote services. The Child Development Center at Centennial is open normal hours. The Downtown Studio Campus will remain closed through the summer semester.

Hours:

Campus Hours:

Centennial: Mon-Fri 8 am-10 pm Sat/Sun 8 am-4:30pm

Rampart Range: Mon-Fri 8 am-10 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm for one more week, Sun closed 

CHES:  Mon-Fri 8 am-4:30 pm, closed Sat/Sun

Downtown Studio Campus- closed for summer

 

Bookstores

Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm

Learning Commons

Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm. Remote services available evenings and weekend.

Computer Labs

Centennial and Rampart: Mon-Thurs 8 am-8 pm, Fri 8 am-4 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm, Sun closed
The computer labs close Tuesday, May 12 at 5 pm and will re-open at 8 am on May 26.

Centennial Copy Center

Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm

Centennial Fitness Center
Reopens Wed., June 17, M-F 10 am-5 pm 
Call to make a reservation for up to 1 hour. Limited to 9 users at a time on the weight/cardio side. Basketball courts and lockers are not yet available.
Info: carolyn.owen@ppcc.edu, 502-2554

Transition to Online:

Most classes, with the exception of some CTE classes, has transitioned to an online environment in response to the COVID-19 crisis and Gov. Polis' guidance.

Your ability to complete your classes successfully this semester is our #1 goal. 

We know many students are concerned about the transition, and we strongly urge students with concerns to reach out to their instructors.

While online learning may be a new experience for you, your instructors are looking forward to hearing from you and working with you to successfully complete the summer semester. 

Where to Find Help:

Students have three main contacts (besides their instructor) to find more help and information: 

HOTLINE: (719) 502-2000 

E-mail:  StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

Text: (719) 602-5600

Remote Services:

You can find information about remote tutoring, accessibility services and more on this Remote Services page.

Commencement:

Thanks to our featured speakers and all the students, faculty, staff and advisory council members who made the 2020 Virtual Commencement such a meaningful recognition of our amazing graduates.

If you missed it or would like to share it, you can view the Virtual Commencement here on our YouTube page.

Child Development Centers:

Centennial Campus is open Monday thru Thursday 7:45-4:30. They are closed on Friday.

Health and Safety:

We have no currently identified or suspected cases of COVID-19 among our students and faculty. You will be informed if we do. Social spacing will be in place, and MASKS ARE NOW REQUIRED in all public spaces.

Employees:

PPCC’s Leadership is committed to providing employees with important information.  The latest FAQ for employees is available at my.ppcc.edu.

*For more specific information about these items, please read through the communications shared below and the FAQ tab above. All info is sent to Student and Staff email.

PPCC Videos During Covid Crisis

Messages From PPCC Leadership

Testing Notification

If you are tested for COVID-19 please let us know.  Please notify us at COVID.Notification@ppcc.edu .  We would also like for you to let us know if you are self-quarantining because of contact with a person who has tested positive.

Official Coronavirus (COVID-19) Communications

July 2, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton to Students

Dear PPCC students,

We know that as you plan for fall, you’re looking for certainty. You’re looking for concrete decisions, and we have them:

 

·       All Pikes Peak Community College campuses will be open for the fall semester

·       All student services will be provided both in person and remotely

·       Lecture classes will be online, with live Zoom (or other video platform) components

·       Science labs, studio classes, and CTE courses will be on campus meeting face-to-face

Synchronous lecture deliveries (Zoom Classes), an evolution from our remote instruction in the spring and summer semesters, will encompass at least 25% of each lecture class.  We know how important it is for you to talk directly with your professor.

Online classes through PPCCOnline and CCCOnline will operate as they always have.  We have many fully online options for students.

Traditional on-campus classes are converting to remote instruction with synchronous (Zoom Classes) included.  Remote Synchronous Instruction provided through Zoom classes means that you are online live with your faculty member and fellow students at least once every other week (25% minimum) for most classes.  Faculty may also request more Zoom Classes or on-campus study, feedback, tutoring, and student support sessions with students.

On campus computer labs, tutoring, and other supports will be open to assist students.  You can successfully complete courses using your technology at home, or come to campus to using the Learning Commons and other computer labs.

The following classes and programs will be primarily face-to-face with on-campus instruction:

Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes will continue to operate as they have been, in person. Some lecture components may be remote.

Science labs and some studio classes (Visual Arts and Performing Arts) will be face-to-face on campus.  English as a Second Language (ESL) will also meet on campus, face-to-face.

Safety protocols, including mandatory face coverings and social distancing will be in place at all campuses.

The adjustment of the college’s fall semester plans is a response to many factors, chief among them the increasing uncertainty regarding restrictions related to Covid-19 and the need to provide both faculty and students with clear detailed plans and certainty about college operations. 

Our fundamental goals remain the same:

 

  • Keep students, faculty, and staff safe: minimize the possibility of disease transmission
  • Provide the best possible learning environment for students

More details are available on the college’s COVID-19 information page available: www.ppcc.edu. 

You can also call us at (719) 502-2000 for help and information.

We look forward to serving you,

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

July 2, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty and Staff,

We are adjusting our plans for Fall in response to many factors including increasing uncertainty regarding restrictions related to Covid-19, and the need to provide both faculty and students with clear detailed plans and certainty about PPCC operations.  Our fundamental goals remain the same:

  • Keep faculty, staff, and students safe: minimize the possibility of disease transmission.
  • Provide the best possible learning environment for students

All PPCC Campuses will be open this fall, but lecture classes will be delivered remotely. Exceptions to remote delivery of lecture classes will be addressed further in the document.  All services will be provided both face-to-face and remotely.  Two important terms are defined below. To help faculty, staff, and students stay aligned in our efforts, it will be very important that we are precise and disciplined in our use of language.

  • Online Classes – This definition has not changed, and still relates specifically to PPCCOnline and CCCOnline courses.  Online Classes are delivered 100% online and without synchronous sessions.
  • Remote Synchronous Instruction (Zoom Classes) – This specifically refers to instruction with students and faculty member all present together at the same time, using technology like Zoom, WebEx, or MSTEAMS.  Typically, Remote Synchronous Instruction shall be delivered at the class time listed in the catalog.  For tuition, registration, and catalog purposes, courses incorporating Remote Synchronous Instruction are the same as our on-campus and hybrid courses.  We will not rebuild courses in the catalog; if a course was scheduled on campus then it will be delivered remotely with a minimum of 25% Remote Synchronous Instruction.

 

Delivery Adjustment for Face-to-Face Classes

The college will be open, but “lectures” will be delivered using both traditional Online Instruction and Remote Synchronous Instruction (Zoom Class) methods. At least 25% of required course contact time must be delivered using Remote Synchronous Instruction, via technologies such as WebEx or Zoom.  The remainder of the course materials may be delivered using traditional online instruction methods.  For some of you, this means a minimum of one synchronous session every other week.  Synchronous sessions must be held at the scheduled class time.  Some may find that a “flipped classroom” approach is most beneficial, meaning that it is designed as an online class, with the synchronous experience used to enhance learning through direct communication with students.

 

Face-to-face (F2F) experiences must be approved by the dean, but should be optional and/or flexible for students.  For example, field trips, drop in labs, study sessions, or other small group meetings with students may be approved.  Social spacing and face coverings are required on campus. 

 

Faculty and adjunct instructors need to be flexible with students who may have pandemic related challenges (child care, change in work schedule, etc.) that prevent them from participating in synchronous or F2F experiences.  In a student survey we discovered that approximately 60% of our students are primary caregivers for children, or others.  Please consider recording synchronous sessions.

 

Deans have authority to require more than 25% Remote Synchronous Instruction for courses/departments/programs, in consultation with Department Chairs.

 

Hyflex

We will pilot a limited number of Hyflex sections of general education classes.  A Hyflex section will meet in the classroom and at the time specified in Banner.  Students will participate F2F and remotely at the same time, as well as have an option to not attend live at all, but to watch a recording of the session later.  Students attending F2F will follow social spacing. We will assign Hyflex sections the largest classrooms available.  Hyflex classes must follow social spacing and require facial coverings for on campus students.  Hyflex must be approved by deans.  We will approve only a small number of teachers for Hyflex and pilot perhaps up to 15 sections.  Teachers using the Hyflex model must participate in training, and will receive a $500 stipend per section (applies to Fall only).  Students and advisors will be informed about what Hyflex is, and which sections are Hyflex. Please see previous emails from Dr. Baker for details regarding Hyflex. 

 

Exceptions

The following areas have special permission for F2F instruction, as noted below.

 

CTE

CTE programming can continue to operate as they are currently, additional contact time may be approved.  Social spacing should be followed as much as possible.  Lectures are encouraged to be remote.

 

ESL

ESL may operate fully F2F and must practice social distancing. 

 

Science Labs

Science Labs may be F2F, and should practice social spacing and use of facial coverings.  Lectures are encouraged to be remote.  With approval, labs may count towards the required synchronous time.  

 

Studio Classes

Studio Classes (arts, theatre, performing arts) may obtain permission to be F2F, and should practice social spacing and use of facial coverings.  Lectures are encouraged to be remote. 

 

Additional Notes

  • We are pursuing Zoom Licensing for the entire college as an additional option to deliver remote instruction.  This will be in place by the beginning of Fall Semester resolving previous issues numbers of students and length of class session.
  • Additional trainings will be available for Faculty as you prepare for Fall semester – more information is forthcoming.
  • Office hours (including virtual) and guidelines for contacting the teacher, as well as other expectations, should be clear on the first day of class and detailed in the course syllabus.
  • Concurrent Enrollment in the high schools will follow the delivery model that is selected by the high school.
  • Concurrent Enrollment at the college (including Career Start) will follow the plan shared in this email.
  • Computer Labs will be open for student use with appropriate social distancing in place.
  • Learning Commons and Computer Labs will explore headsets with microphone options for students so they can participate on campus in synchronous remote sessions.
  • Masks are required on campus.  Please see Dr. Bolton’s email from June 29.  
  • Faculty may lecture without a mask or face shield with 12 foot spacing from students. 
  • Based on the latest CDC and CDPHE guidance face shields may replace masks when working with students assuming the faculty member is maintaining a minimum of 6-foot distancing. 

We will email students with this plan during the week of July 6th.

Many thanks and much gratitude is due to PPCC Faculty, Student Services Teams, Custodians, Physical Plant, IT, and Finance Teams, who are navigating together through this crisis with a relentless focus on ensuring the best experiences and outcomes for our students, while keeping safe. 

 

Best,

Lance

 

 

Lance Bolton Ph.D. 
President 
Pikes Peak Community College 

office  719-502-2030
mobile  719 640-4399
 

 

 

June 29, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear Pikes Peak Community College-

 

In light of recent recommendations from the Governor’s office and Health Department Officials, all PPCC employees, students, and visitors must wear masks (face coverings) in all PPCC buildings.  A mask (face covering) can be a cloth covering over the nose and mouth, which can include a purchased or homemade mask, scarf, bandana, gaiter, or handkerchief. 

 

Exceptions

Students who need medical exceptions should contact the Accessibility Office. 

Employees needing medical exceptions should contact Human Resource Services. 

 

What if you see someone not wearing a mask?

Please do not confront people in the halls who are not wearing masks.  Our emphasis is to increase mask usage by communicating clear expectations and modeling good behavior.

 

Faculty and instructors

Expect students to wear masks in their classes this Fall.   The following steps are a guideline if a student is not wearing a mask:

  • Privately, perhaps in the hall, ask the student if there is a reason they are not wearing a mask.  If no approved exception is provided, please ask the student to wear a mask.
  • Repeated problems with a student may be reported through Maxient.
  • If the student refuses to wear a mask, ask the student to leave the class, and return when they have a mask. (We have a supply of masks for one-time needs of students who may have simply forgotten theirs.)
  • If a student is unwilling to cooperate and refuses to leave the class, you may ask Campus Police to remove the student.  This as an absolute last resort.

Please use tremendous tact and discretion as you work with students regarding masks.  Please know that this has created highly contentious and emotional interactions across the country, and they almost always get filmed and shared on the internet.

 

Student Services and Other Frontline Personnel

Expect prospective students, students, and guests to wear a mask.  Beginning July 6th we are advertising increased on-campus assistance for enrollment, advising, and other services. 

  • People coming to campus are expected to wear masks.  (We will provide a supply of masks for those who may have forgotten theirs.)
  • For those without a mask, and who refuse our offer of a mask, we suggest “we will not be able to serve you without a mask”.
  • If the person is unwilling to cooperate, then we recommend you step away and call for help from campus police.

 

Masks are not required for individuals in their own private office spaces. 

 

In general, mask compliance will be handled by the Office of the Dean of Students for students and Human Resources for employees.  Our intention is to create a safe atmosphere that leads to our best chances of greater opening and opportunities for students to be on campus.  Our intention is not to try to catch people failing at the mask requirement, but to model the behavior we are seeking.

 

The sign below created by our wonderful Printing and Publishing Team at the PPCC bookstore updates our previous sign that encouraged mask wearing.  It will be posted on all exterior doors.

 

Thank you,

 

 

Lance Bolton Ph.D. 
President 
Pikes Peak Community College 

office  719-502-2030

 

June 9, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC students,

I’m proud to announce that Pikes Peak Community College plans to resume in-person classes for fall semester.

As always, students will have options for online and hybrid classes. In fact, we’ll have more options than ever. But we know many of you are eager to get back, safely, into your classrooms, and your instructors are just as eager to see you in person.

We plan to have, on all three campuses, all the necessary in-person support and services, such as the bookstores, learning commons, ITSS, computer labs, testing, advising, enrollment services, accessibility services and the Child Development Centers.

To maintain safety, we will follow the governor’s public health guidance, and we will continue refining our plans based on the latest information from public health officials, as well as student input.  

PPCC is open for business, and we’re enrolling now for fall. We are ready to welcome you back. I know this has been a challenging time for all of us but, we will let nothing get in the way of our mission of helping you reach your dreams.  Please stay connected with PPCC through the summer as we will continue offering updates with more specific details through the summer.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

June 3, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC,

The Governor announced on June 1st that Colorado will remain under the current “Safer At Home” guidelines.  We made the decision based on his announcement to continue all summer semester classes as we are currently operating.  This means General Education and CTE courses operating remotely will continue remote/online instruction for the remainder of Summer Semester.  Programs and courses with approval for on-campus face-to-face instruction will continue on-campus instruction, as they are currently operating.

 

We took this decision because we have certainty about June, and July and August remain unknowns.  However, our withdrawal date is rapidly approaching tomorrow 6-4-2020.  We want students to make their course decisions with full information and some certainty about mode of instruction, therefore, we made the decision to call all of summer semester to remain as we are currently operating. 

 

Notably, in a meeting with Governor Polis and all of Colorado’s presidents this morning, it was clear that he and CDHE are prepared to continue working with us on a case-by-case basis to approve additional in-class instruction.  Please forward requests through your dean to VP Baker.  Our system leadership, especially Danen Jobe and Landon Pirius, have been very responsive in forwarding and advocating for our requests with CDHE.  Likewise, CDHE has also been amenable to working with our variance requests.

 

Governor Polis is committed to seeing schools open and operational in the Fall, but always reminds us in the next sentence of the continued uncertainty of COVID-19. Open and operational might have a very different look in the fall than our normal operations, so much planning and thought is going into how we might best serve students in the coming fall semester.  I am very hopeful and encouraged by VP Baker’s leadership with Deans and Faculty Senate to craft a spectra of possible teaching modes ranging from basically normal operations to 100% remote instruction.  Of course, the most interesting, most difficult, and most likely scenarios are in the middle space.  I know he is working to get these to you ASAP.  Please know too that we remain committed to offering maximum flexibility to you in determining your instructional mode.  

 

I know this time of great uncertainty is extremely difficult and challenging for you all, our outstanding faculty, as you strive to meet course objectives while adapting almost daily to new operational plans and guidelines.  You’ve done an amazing job, and students are continuing to reach out to praise your extraordinary efforts.  Thank you, we will continue to provide guidance as soon as new information emerges.

 

Best,

Lance

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

May 28, 2020

Letter from Dr. Baker to Faculty

 

Hello Summer 2020 Teachers,

We expected that the governor would announce plans for June this week, which might include allowance for face-to-face instruction.  Unfortunately, we now don’t expect to hear anything for at least another week.  Until we hear from the governor, we will continue operations as is.  For almost all of you, this means a continuation of remote instruction (unless you have CDHE approval).  We will continue to monitor the situation and we will inform you as soon as possible if we will be returning to campus for semi-regular instruction.  If we do return, please remember you have flexibility in how your course is delivered, with approval from your dean.

 

A similar email will go to all students within the next 24 hours.  We will direct students to continue classes as they as they did this week, and to look for communication from their teacher for any changes.  Please help communicate this message to your students.   Please consider adding an announcement to your D2L shells or sending a separate email to your students. 

 

 

 

Josh Baker Ph.D. 
Vice President 
Instructional Services 

Josh.Baker@ppcc.edu
office  719-502-3019

May 19, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty,

Some of you are understandably reaching out for more guidance on how classes might operate this summer and fall.  PPCC is committed to offering faculty as much latitude as possible in designing the instructional experience for students because departments, disciplines, and instructional spaces vary so much across the college.  We don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach that can best serve our students.  We do, however, want to provide guidance, assurances, and updates about our approach to ensure you are able to make decisions that best serve you and your students.  We continue to maintain our two key commitments through this Pandemic:

1. Keep people safe and minimize opportunities for transmission.

2. Provide high quality instruction.

 

On Campus Changes:

I’ve recently recognized that many of you haven’t been to campus since mid-March and may not be aware of some changes.  The attached, and exceptionally well done sign - thank you Claudia Smith, is posted on all exterior doors requiring those who enter to assert they are free of symptoms.  Since the beginning of the pandemic PPCC required faculty and staff to report if they are tested and found positive to our HR Department.  We also require students to report any COVID-19 positive test; Associate Vice President, Dr. Dawna Haynes collects student information.

 

Although there have been many, many rumors, we have only one case of a staff member with a confirmed positive, and no cases of confirmed student positives.  The staff member had been away from campus for more than two weeks, therefore, no action was required.  We have no confirmed positive cases reported among our students.

 

In other campus changes, PPCC installed additional hand sanitizer stations around our campuses.  We are working to add more sanitizer stations, but as you might imagine they are difficult to acquire these days.  We will continue our efforts to add additional sanitizing stations as the units become available.  All classrooms are equipped with bottles of spray sanitizer and paper towels for cleaning use during the day.  During the evening our custodial staff continues their incredible work (they’ve been just amazing!) cleaning and sanitizing all areas of the campus that are in use.

 

Masks

In alignment with Executive Orders from Governor Polis, PPCC is recommending faculty, staff, and students wear masks when on campus.  We are not, however, requiring masks to be worn for traveling around the campus.  There has been confusion here, so I hope this helps:

Faculty may require masks for students in their classrooms / labs / instructional spaces. There may be students with medical issues who request an accommodation to not wear a mask.  Our Student Services Teams are prepared to assist with those requesting accommodation.  Beyond a documented accommodation for a student, faculty have the authority to require masks in their classroom and instructional spaces.  Faculty do not have to require masks in their instructional spaces, and some programs would have good reason to not require masks.  We are leaving this decision up to faculty members based on their instructional space and requirements of the program.  Welding for example, requires a full face shield, so a mask below could be very hot, a fire hazard, and completely redundant.  

 

Gloves

The Governor has not asked, nor have public health officials requested that we, the public, wear gloves in our normal daily routines.  Lab classes previously wearing gloves, Culinary Arts for example, should continue wearing gloves, but they are not requested otherwise for on-campus activities.

 

Social Distancing

I believe we can expect to continue our practices around social distancing regardless of the Governor’s decision on moving us to the next phase of recovery.  Students, faculty, and staff should maintain the suggested 6-foot distancing or more.  Faculty should be mindful of social distancing in developing lab teaching experiences to ensure they, and students, minimize risk of disease transmission while providing high quality instruction.

 

Governor Polis Executive Orders

Right now, we do not know if we will move to phase three of the opening of Colorado in June, however, based on current numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state I am cautiously optimistic.  We also don’t know what phase three, called “Protect Our Neighbors”, might require of us for compliance.  We know that currently approved CTE courses allowed to teach on campus continue to have approval for on-campus instruction.  We also know we will begin summer term with all general education classes being taught remotely.  I am optimistic during summer, and certainly by fall, we can move to face-to-face instruction. However, it will look different; we will focus on protecting our most vulnerable.  Vulnerable populations was defined in Governor Polis’ April 26th Executive Order for “Safer at Home”.

 

Instruction

The diversity of disciplines, teaching styles, instructional spaces, and program requirements means there is no useful one-size-fits-all approach for adapting instruction to the pandemic.  We believe most classes will convert to some form of hybrid format, however, there are many possibilities for how the hybrid format might be configured.  Therefore, the bullets below provide examples of possible solutions and scenarios.  The list is not exhaustive, and many of you may have better, and more creative ideas.  Neither are the items on the list required, they are simply examples to provide a starting point for how to operate in this new environment.

 

                Staggered Classes

                Divide students in a class into two or more groups (Example: Red and Blue Groups). Red group is on campus every other week, while blue group connects online.  Then Blue group is on campus while Red group connects online.  This might work especially well for laboratory classes. General Education classes like English or History might also use this approach, but have one group attend on Tuesdays for example, and the other group attend on Thursdays.

 

                Flipped Classroom

                Instruction is online, and students complete assignments at home or in the Learning Commons and attend class only for labs, small group work, and tutoring,.

 

                Simultaneous In-Person / Online Classes

                Students may attend in person, or if they feel safer, they may attend the class live online (synchronous online courses).  ITSS ordered trial equipment for this approach and is testing it this week.  If this works well, we can use Federal CARES Act funds to equip additional classrooms with this capability.  

 

                Transitioning to Fully Online

                Faculty should consult with their Dean and Department Chair before transitioning a class to fully online instruction.  While this option may be required depending on the course of the pandemic, we are striving to provide some on-campus experience for our students. 

 

Communication to Students

We are communicating to all students through every available format that PPCC is open and registering students.  (currently we are down by over 30% in fall enrollment with potentially huge budget implications, however, the good news is that Summer is down by only about 16% - it wasn’t long ago that we were down 25% in our year-over-year summer enrollment tracking) We are also communicating with all students to expect hybrid formats.  However, we are not rebuilding all classes as hybrids.  A primary reasons for not rebuilding classes as hybrids, is that we want to offer faculty the latitude to design the learning experience for students in a way that best fits their teaching style, the learning requirements of the course, and their instructional space. Listing courses as hybrids locks-in meeting dates, and we are trying to offer maximum flexibility as we navigate through all the unknowns coming for Summer, as well as Fall Semesters.

 

We will continue working to provide students with laptops as needed.  We had a very successful effort around this for Spring completion, and more laptops are on their way. As we are able to keep our Learning Commons and Computer Labs open, then many student connectivity issues are addressed.  Associate VP Gaiters-Jordan, and her team in the Learning Commons are adapting tutoring and other supports to help students succeed.  They are being innovative with online tutoring, and prudent in developing face-to-face tutoring protocols to keep everyone safe.

 

Stay Tuned

Over the summer, it’s critical that we stay connected as our thoughtful plans of today, could change quickly tomorrow.  Please stay connected to your PPCC email throughout the summer, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your Dean, VP Baker, or me with questions. VP Baker and Deans will follow up to discuss concerns, answer questions, and share other creative ideas from you all.  

 

Thank You

This has of course, been a tremendous challenge, but it’s a challenge you all have risen to answer. During spring semester, I heard from so many students in praise of the remarkable efforts their faculty made to help them stay on track.  On behalf of all of our students - THANK YOU!

 

Happy summer 😊!  I hope you all are able to rest, relax, and rejuvenate after the incredible efforts of this Spring Semester.

 

Stay safe,

Lance

May 13, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Students,

Summer Semester begins at PPCC on May 26th.  We know many of you are still considering your options for enrollment.  All of us are living in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, but we want to be sure you have our best and latest information and thoughts about how summer is likely to progress.

 

CTE - Career and Tech Education Classes (Examples include: Diesel Power Mechanics, Machining, Welding, Surgical Technology, Nursing) - We expect most CTE Summer Semester classes to primarily be on-campus, although they may also combine remote/online instruction.  These are classes that require face-to-face instruction for students to learn and master the hands-on skills.

 

General Education Classes (Examples include: History, Philosophy, English, Psychology, Chemistry) - Classes will begin Summer Semester as 100% remote/online instruction.  However, most will transition to hybrid format during the semester.  This means classes will combine in-person class meetings with remote/online instruction.  We are giving faculty tremendous latitude to design their classes to keep students safe, and best serve the course learning objectives.  To help keep students, faculty, and staff safe, we expect masks to be worn for most on-campus activities this summer.  Instructors will notify students about their class plans as the semester begins.

 

Financial Aid and Momentum Scholarships - PPCC is still awarding financial aid including our CARES Act $1,000 scholarships to assist students with returning to college this summer.  We dedicated $1,000,000 of funding to support Summer Semester students.  PPCC is reaching out to qualifying students.

 

We encourage you to hold fast to your academic goals and dreams.  We are working hard to accommodate all student needs and maintain a safe environment.  Our faculty have done an incredible job of adapting instruction to online and other remote learning formats.  Our college is open and here to help you reach your goals.  As our economy turns into what appears to be a deep and difficult recession, having employable skills will be critically important.  We are here for you!

 

More information:

 

Email: StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

PPCC Hotline: (719) 502-2000

Website: https://www.ppcc.edu/remote-services

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

 

 

 

May 6, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Students, Faculty, and Staff, 

WARNING: This email contains speculation!  😊

Anything we are planning now could change for better or worse depending on increases or decreases in COVID-19 disease numbers.  Our national, state, and local leaders could upend our plans with new guidance depending on progression of the disease.  However, it is my intention to provide you all with our current best vision of what’s to come

The Latest from Gov. Polis

Colorado will soon shift from the current “Safer at Home” to a new phase that Gov. Polis is calling “Protect Our Neighbors.”  We don’t know when the governor’s shift will occur, but it seems most likely to start at the beginning of June or July, depending on COVID-19 case numbers.  The shift to “Protect our Neighbors” will likely impact PPCC’s operations.

 I am hopeful this next phase will allow for larger groups of people to meet, facilitating more in-person instruction.  In other words, we may be able to resume normal instruction for all classes once we enter the “Protect Our Neighbors” phase.  It is worth noting that the “Safer at Home” Executive Order is set to expire at the end of May.  Our Summer Semester begins on May 26. Currently, case numbers are trending down.  If we all continue to do a great job of preventing the spread of disease, then normal instruction could resume as early as the beginning of June.  This would mean, of course, that only the first week of Summer Semester is significantly disrupted by the pandemic response.  This seems like the best-case scenario.   

For both Summer and Fall Semesters we may be able to return to normal in-person instruction.  However, students and employees who are recognized as vulnerable populations may need to continue operating differently.  This might mean more people are providing and receiving remote instruction.  It may also mean that some vulnerable employees are working from home, even as most of us are returning to more normal on-campus schedules.  Masks, gloves, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols are likely here for the foreseeable future.

 

Before the Shift

Remember that until the shift to “Protect Our Neighbors” begins, we still will follow the “Safer at Home” guidelines at  PPCC:

 - We must not have more than 50% of employees reporting to work on campus.  Currently, we are operating with about 10% of employees reporting to work on campus with the rest having successfully adapted to working from home.

- Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs (Examples Include: Surgical Technology, Welding, Machining, Dental Assisting, and Auto Tech) requiring face-to-face instruction will continue operating on campus with appropriate safety measures in place, including daily cleaning and disinfecting of all parts of instructional areas, student and faculty use of masks, social distancing, and self-reporting of illness. 

- General Education Courses (Examples: History, Math, Psychology, English) will begin Summer Semester using remote instruction as we are doing now.

- Campus services like Advising, Financial Aid, Enrollment, and others will continue providing service remotely.  

- Computer Labs, PPCC Bookstore, and Learning Commons and Library are open and will likely remain open for Summer Semester.

 

Fall Semester

Our predictions for Fall Semester are even more speculative than they for our Summer Semester.  COVID-19 case numbers will drive the governor and Public Health Authority’s decisions around how we can operate.  I am cautiously optimistic that we can return to somewhat normal operations for Fall Semester.  Certainly, we will have exceptions to normal operations for protecting our most vulnerable populations

Most importantly, PPCC is open and operating.  PPCC adapted and continues providing first-rate instruction for students.  Students, it’s critical for you to hold fast to your goals and dreams.  We are here to help you achieve those goals and dreams.

 

Sincerely,

 Lance Bolton, Ph.D. 

President, Pikes Peak Community College

 

Here are resources for more information:

Email: StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

PPCC Hotline: (719) 502-2000

Website: https://www.ppcc.edu/remote-services

 

Lance Bolton Ph.D. 
President 
Pikes Peak Community College 

office  719-502-2030
mobile  719 640-4399
 

 

May 4, 2020

Letter from Dr. Wesley to students

As this crazy semester comes to a close, if the transition to a totally remote environment has been more of a challenge than you imagined, remember that you may request an S/U grading option for any of your courses.

What is Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory Grading?

Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory grading is an alternate grading scale where an ‘S’ counts as a ‘C’ or better, and a ‘U’ counts as a grade below a ‘C’, rather than a letter traditional grade. This is similar to what other colleges or universities call Pass / Fail. For PPCC, neither the ‘S’ nor the ‘U’ grade count in the GPA.

Why use Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory Grading?

As part of our emergency response efforts to COVID-19, PPCC will temporarily allow the option for students to choose to receive Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grades in lieu of letter grades. While ‘S’atisfactory and ‘U’nsatisfactory grades have always been available as an option, it was rarely used, and only on a case by case basis, outside of developmental education and PE classes.

Many colleges in the nation are implementing flexible grading options right now as an emergency response to COVID-19. A grade of ‘S’atisfactory can help a student earning a C in a class where they might typically expect to earn a B or better. Furthermore, a grade of ‘U’nsatisfactory can be helpful for a student who is earning a D or failing and doesn’t want the grade to affect their GPA.

 

The Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade will not affect your GPA or impact financial aid awards.

 

If you have worked hard this semester and want to ensure the course you are completing counts toward degree/graduation requirements, but are disappointed in your grade, you should talk with your professor about the S/U option. You can see how those grades would appear on a transcript from the example below.

 

 

 

image001.jpg

April 29, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton: CARES Funding

Dear PPCC Students, Faculty, and Staff,

 

Tomorrow we will release forms for students to apply for CARES Act funding.  

 

We will distribute $3,771,889 across summer and fall semesters.  

 

Last week, on Wedneday, April 22nd just after 3:00PM, I released an email detailing our plans for distribution of the CARES Act funding.  Unfortunately, soon after releasing our plan the US Department of Education (US DOE) released new guidance on how the funds should be used to help students.  We had included in our plans significant support for those who lost employment because of the pandemic.  Based on the new guidance we had to make some changes.

 

Below is a detailed description of our updated plan based on new guidance we received. It has been challenging to move quickly with our plans, and respond to less speedy guidance from the federal government.  We are confident our new plan meets both the congressional intent for use of the funds, and specific US DOE guidelines.  We are also proud of our revised plans knowing our efforts will provide funding to you, our students, helping you deal with the many difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has created.  We also believe our plan can help you hold fast to your college dreams and stay on track with your academic goals.

 

We simplified the plan to have two primary components:

1. Emergency Relief Grants - Assist students with food, housing, access to technology.

2 Momentum Scholarships for Summer and Fall – Aid for students with staying on track in college to reach their goals.  

 

The application process for funding emphasizes simplicity.  We are eager to help, and we set a goal to keep our process as simple and easy to use as possible, minimizing barriers for accessing support.  The details of our CARES Act Direct Student Aid program are below.  Again, we plan to release the application forms to eligible students tomorrow – Wednesday, April 29th.

 

Please stay safe,

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

 

 

4-27-2020

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act 

RE: Pikes Peak Community College Plan for Disbursement of $3,771,889 in Direct Student Aid

 

Summer Semester 2020

Emergency Relief | $450K (12%) 

Target Group: Students enrolled in Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms who were negatively impacted by COVID-19. (leftover funds rolling into Fall term) 

Award:  Up to $700 grants for students needing help with the following:

  • Cost of Education
  • Food insecurities
  • Housing insecurities
  • Technology for online classes*

* $50,000 of the funding is specifically for acquiring and distributing laptop computers for students.

Qualifying students: Students enrolled during Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters (as funding remains available).

Outreach method: Electronic application shared via texts, email, social media, College website, and Faculty & Staff referrals

Disbursement: Posted directly to student accounts

Award availability: $400,000 (awarded to approximately 571 students) and $50,000 (awarded to 100 students)

 

 

 

Summer 2020 Momentum Scholarships | $1,000,000 

 Target Group: (student groups will be included in phases depending on availability of funds)

o Phase 1 - Those students enrolled spring 2020 as of March 13, 2020, who submitted a FAFSA, and who are currently in good standing.

o Phase 2 - Those students enrolled spring 2020 as of March 13, 2020, and who are currently in good standing, and those students who applied to PPCC by March 13, 2020 and who have applied for financial aid

Award: $1,000 scholarships available for enrollment in Summer term*

Qualifying Students: Students indicating their education was disrupted by Covid-19, who are eligible to apply for Title IV aid, and who were not 100% online for Spring 2020

Outreach Method: Email, with form indicating need, sent to student group identified above.

Disbursement: Aid posted to student account, processed through student accounts (this scholarship would not impact other aid)

Award Availability: Total of $1,000,000 (awarded until funds expended, may consider over-awarding based on historical drop rates)

 

Fall 2020 Momentum Scholarships | $2,350,000 

Target Group: (student groups will be included in phases depending on availability of funds)

o Phase 1 - Those students enrolled spring 2020 as of March 13, 2020, who submitted a FAFSA,  and who are currently in good standing.

o Phase 2 - Those students enrolled spring 2020 as of March 13, 2020, and who are currently in good standing, and those students who applied to PPCC by March 13, 2020 and who have applied for financial aid

Award: $1,000 scholarships available for enrollment in Fall term*

Qualifying Students: Students indicating their education was disrupted by Covid-19, who are eligible to apply for Title IV aid, and who were not 100% online for Spring 202

Outreach Method: Email, with form indicating need, sent to student group identified above.

Disbursement: Aid posted to student account, processed through student accounts (this scholarship would not impact other aid)

Award Availability: Total of $2,350,000 (awarded until funds expended, may consider over-awarding based on historical drop rates)

 

*students may be eligible for both summer and fall awards

 

April 22, 2020

Letter from Dr. Baker

Dear PPCC,

VP Baker drafted the note below for Instructional Services, but I commandeered it for the whole college, believing everyone needs this update.  This is really an interim update and we expect new information and guidance within the next few days.  We wanted to give you all our best sense of where we think we are heading. This has become old, but it is a very fast moving situation with new and changing guidance almost daily.

-Lance

 

 

 

Hello Instructional Services,

 

Agility. That is our charge.  One of our teachers recently commented that we need to be prepared to transition from face-to-face to remote instruction, and back to face-to-face, in a moment’s notice.  This uncertainty is challenging, but it is our new reality.  I express my most sincere gratitude for your excellent work. 

 

Governor Polis has guided us to move from "stay at home" to "safer at home.”  In the coming days, we will receive additional details, especially what this means for community colleges.  As is our new norm, we are navigating rumors and awaiting details.  Until then, this is our current plan, that webelieve will be in alignment with the governor's recommendations.

 

Finishing Spring Term

  • We believe CTE programs that require hands-on experience and are approved by President Bolton can start again on May 4th. 
    • Social spacing required (6 feet apart)
    • The governor may adjust this, or let us make our own decisions.  Details should come by next week.
  • We anticipate that Gen Ed courses will not be allowed to return to campus this Semester.
  • Computer labs are expected to be open as of May 4th.
  • Faculty/programs should work with their respective Dean teams on completion details.
  • FYI- both Surg Tech and EMS are currently meeting face-to-face under the governor's approval to continue health care programs. 
  • Social spacing will be required on campus. 
  • May 4th does not signal a return to campus for most people.  “Safer at home!”
    • We will continue to emphasize limited staffing in the building as we monitor community health.
  • Are you or a student at risk or symptomatic?  Stay Safe / Stay Home
  • Flexibility and safety continue to be our guides.

 

Scenarios for Summer

  • Summer will not be business as usual.
  • Expect limited on campus services from Enrollment, Advising, Financial Aid, and others. We will minimize on-campus personnel, but expect offices to be reopened with minimal staff and students encouraged to work with us remotely.
  • There is a good chance that some part of Summer will be forced to remote instruction.
    • If I was a betting man, I would put money on the first few weeks of Summer being taught remotely.
    • Some CTE exceptions are expected.
  • Face-to-face interaction is critical for some of your classes and programs.  We are trying to protect that time.
    • If you are comfortable with your classes being online or having limited contact we can explore options, including hybrid with very limited face-to-face time.
    • If we make a decision prior to the term that we are online only, students will have to pay an increased tuition.  We are avoiding this scenario.

 

These are our plans, until they aren't.  Agility!  

 

 

Keep your eyes out for a Town Hall meeting invite.  This will be in an email, with the link to the WebEx meeting.  I look forward to discussing this and other topics of interest.

 

 

Dr. Josh Baker

VP of Instruction 

Pikes Peak Community College

Josh.baker@ppcc.edu

 

 

 

 

April 22, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

RE: Pikes Peak Community College Plan for Disbursement of $3,771,889 in Direct Student Aid

 

Summer Semester 2020

 

Emergency Relief | $450,000 (12%)

Target Group | students enrolled in Summer term who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. (leftover funds rolling into Fall term)

 

·                $400,000 Allocated for Emergency Relief

Award | $700 scholarships for students needing help with the following needs:

Food insecurities

Health Care expenses

Housing insecurities

PROCESS: Student application form in development now.

 

·                $50,000 Allocated for Student Computers.  Additional computers from multiple sources also coming available.

Qualifying students | Students enrolled during Summer and Fall semesters

Outreach method | Electronic application shared via texts, email, social media, College website, and Faculty & Staff referrals Also will reach out to applied-not-enrolled prospects.

Disbursement | Posted directly to student accounts, / Computer pickups to be arranged.

PROCESS: Student application form in development now.

 

Momentum Scholarships | $500K (13%)

Target Group: Students enrolled spring 2020, who applied for financial aid (submitted FAFSA regardless of award), who are currently in good standing and are “continuing” students.

Award: $1,000 scholarships available for enrollment in Summer term

Qualifying students: students indicating their education was disrupted by Covid-19

Outreach method: email, with form indicating need, sent to student group identified above.

Disbursement: Aid posted to student account, processed through student accounts (this scholarship would not impact other aid)

Award availability: Total of $500,000

Process: Student application form in development now.

 

Fall Semester 2020

 

Childcare Support at CDC | $200K (5%)

Description: Funds would be used to cover 100% tuition expense for children of PPCC students for fall semester enrolled at CDC. (i.e. with full utilization of CCAMPIS funding)

Target Group: PPCC students with children enrolled at CDCAward | average award $350/month (dependent on supplemental funding from CCAMPIS) for Fall semester

Qualifying Students: same as above (PPCC students with children enrolled at CDC)

Outreach Method: Direct communication from CDC Director

Disbursement: Aid posted to student account, processed through student accounts (this scholarship would not impact other aid)

Award Availability: $200,000

Process: Student application form in development now.

 

Newly Unemployed Scholarships | $2,622,000 (70%)

Target Group: Existing or new students who lost employment due to Coronavirus Crisis.

Award: $900. Student must be taking a minimum of 3 credit hours.

Qualifying Students: Enrolling Students who provide documentation of loss of enrollment. Documentation may come from applying for unemployment benefits, or a notice from their employer.

Outreach Method: Mass marketing campaign to the PPCC service area.

Disbursement: Aid posted to student account, processed through student accounts (this scholarship would not impact other aid)

Award Availability: $2,622,000 (awarded until funds expended, may consider over-awarding based on historical drop rates).

Process: Student application form in development now.

 

-------------------------

 

TOPIC: CARES Act Funding and Direct Aid for Students

 

Federal Coronavirus Economic Relief Plan (CARES Act)

Attached is a document outlining how we plan to use the Federal Coronavirus Economic Relief Plan (CARES Act) funds, authorized by congress and signed by the president to support our students. We are deeply concerned for our students and our community as we witness the impacts of the emerging pandemic driven recession.  We know our college will be one of the most important institutions serving our region in a difficult recession; our intention is to use these funds to help current PPCC students, and those who have lost employment and are seeking new direction.  We are a tremendous asset to our community at all times, but especially in economically difficult times.  Together, we will play a pivotal role in the Colorado Springs recovery.

 

PPCC’s Share of the Funds

Among Colorado’s Community Colleges, PPCC received the largest distribution of funds because of our combination of large size and high numbers of Pell Grant recipients.  We expect to receive a total of $7,543,778.  Half of this amount is designated for direct student aid.  The attached document has our current plans for distributing that share which is $3,771,889.  Keep in mind that new guidance from federal or state authorities could shift our plans, but we are moving forward now because our community needs us.  

Direct Aid for Students
In the coming days, we will use all possible mediums to provide additional detailed messages about the student aid opportunities described.  We will distribute all of the $3,771,889 to students through scholarships with funding opportunities available for tuition, fees, technology, and also housing, food, and other emergency needs.  The funding opportunities will require action from you, our students, to take advantage of the available financial help.

 

We are grateful for this opportunity to help you, our students, to continue or begin your educational journey.

 

Best regards,

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

 

 

 

Lance Bolton Ph.D. 
President 
Pikes Peak Community College 

office  719-502-2030
mobile  719 640-4399
 

 

 

 

 

April 8, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

 

Dear PPCC Community - Students, Faculty, and Staff,

 

TOPIC: Community Resources

 

We know many of you who are members of the PPCC community are facing real hardships right now.  Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and many PPCC students are in that group.  Further, we know that many students and employees have family members who have lost their jobs.  The COVID-19 medical crisis is also a deeply human crisis with lost jobs creating enormous anxiety and fear at a time when we are so isolated from one another.  We are worried about you all.  

 

Our driving lane in the world is providing exceptional education that helps you, our students, reach your goals whether it be immediate employment or transfer as part of a Bachelor’s Degree Program.  We have many organizations in town who occupy the lane of providing for immediate human needs like food, housing, physical, and mental health support, among others.  You can get information on community resources by calling United Way’s 211 line anytime during business hours.  Simply dial 211 and you’ll be connected to an expert on community resources to help you through this crisis.  

 

You can also find detailed information about available community resources by visiting our website here:

 

https://www.ppcc.edu/Community-Assistance

 

Remember for any college-related PPCC student issues we also have a hotline and email:

 

HOTLINE: (719) 502-2000 or E-mail:  StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

 

We will get through this crisis together!

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

April 3, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

 

Dear PPCC Students, Faculty, and Staff,

 

MAY 4TH REOPENING

The latest projections about COVID-19 make clear to us that we need to prepare for a later return to campus than the originally planned April 13th date.  Across the college our Career and Technical Education (CTE) faculty continue their extraordinary efforts to help students complete their classes this semester.  Based on all currently available information, we will not reopen the college to face-to-face instruction until May 4th.

 

This means that throughout the month of April all PPCC buildings will remain on lockdown, with access only for those previously identified as “essential personnel”. Computer Labs will also be inaccessible until May 4th.  

 

The COVID-19 crisis requires PPCC to make clear distinctions between classes that are fully online and those that require a face-to-face component for completion.  Most PPCC classes will remain fully online for the rest of Spring Semester.  However, CTE classes like Culinary Arts, Welding, Auto-Tech, Diesel Power Mechanics, and Nursing for example, may return to the classroom on May 4th.  

 

Because of extraordinary faculty efforts, plans are now in place to allow students to return to teaching labs in CTE programs to complete course work beginning on May 4th.  I’m extremely proud of the work that’s gone into finding solutions for student completion this semester.  Thank you to our extraordinary PPCC Faculty in all disciplines for the efforts you’ve made to support our students through this crisis.

 

STAY CONNECTED

Faculty will communicate to students any plans for face-to-face instruction via D2L and email.  Students, please connect to your D2L course shells, and communicate questions about your class directly to your faculty members.  They are here to help you, and are committed to your successful course completion.

 

PPCC will continue monitoring National, State, and Local executive orders, guidelines, and best practices to balance our priorities of providing high quality instruction and doing our part to keep students and employees safe by preventing transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses.  These efforts mean that May 4th resumption of limited CTE course instruction will likely look quite different than it did prior to Spring Break.  We will limit student numbers in learning areas to 9 or fewer along with an instructor.  We will likely need to institute staggered schedules for students to attend their face-to-face courses, and ensure social distancing in the learning environment as well.

 

COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS

Students, we are adapting quickly to the changing circumstances.  We know that the changes happening are creating unexpected hardship for you.  We sincerely ask and encourage you to continue your efforts.  Don’t lose your dream of college completion because of COVID-19.  Your accomplishment of successful completion is all the more remarkable and phenomenal because you are enduring and going forward in this most difficult time. Stay connected to your courses, your faculty members, advisors, and trusted connections at PPCC.  We remain 100% committed to your success.

 

Sincerely,

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

April 3, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton to Faculty and Staff

Dear PPCC Faculty and Staff,

 

Higher Ed in the Time of Coronavirus:  It’s been an extraordinary, history making week across the globe and right here at our college as well.  Reports are arriving daily of the exceptional efforts and successes you all are creating even through the madness of today’s world.  You are finding a way, thank you!


Good News:
- Praise for IT Team.  Many people at the college are writing to share their tremendous gratitude for our Super-IT Team.  Here’s two IT stars providing laptop pickups for students who need technology help to complete their courses.  We count our phenomenal IT Department as hero’s in the COVID-19 war.

Our IT heroes on the front lines

- Grant Awarded - Great news from our world-renowned NYT cited national expert in pandemic outbreaks, and Grants Director, Kristen Watkins.  “I have just received word that our grant application with CSU-Pueblo to build the cyber student pipeline and pay for national competitions has been funded. The program period begins 4/16/2020 – 4/15/2025. We will receive $95,000 annually for 5 years for total of $475,000. This program also partners with local high schools to increase the number of students who will take these courses at PPCC.”
Kudos to our Cyber Security Team, Dallas Pierce, and Chelsy Harris for their parts in this success as well.

 

- Faculty Succeeding Online - Deans and Faculty are reporting many successes and some challenges aross the college as we transition to new learning environments and radically different working environments.  I’ve heard from so many students who’ve reached out to share the kindness, understanding, empathy, support, and exceptional efforts taken by faculty to ensure their success.  As we look back on this unique time in the history our world, perseverance and kindness may be the traits we recognize as being most valued.  You all are heroes in this struggle!

 

Across the college in Student Services and Instruction, also among Facilities and HR, Communications, the PPCC Foundation, and throughout our institution I see folks picking up the mantle, taking initiative, and demonstrating resilience and determination to succeed in our mission despite the enormous challenges.  I’m thankful for every extra effort, every extra phone call, email, text, and every bit of flexibility and patience we can show one another in these lonely days of COVID-19.

 

Social Distancing is an imperative, but isolation is a danger:

Our team of VP’s and Executive Directors is meeting regularly via video conferencing using MS Teams.  We’re constantly working through the logistics of an ever-changing playbook and adapting our practices to lean ever more toward our students and supporting their success.  It’s helpful to me to see my colleagues, even on video, on a regular basis.  I encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to organize video conferences to talk through course challenges and logistics.  Perhaps more importantly though, use the video conference format to check in on one another. COVID-19 is taking a toll on our collective mental health as well as our physical health.  Isolation and loneliness is also a real danger to all of us.  Connect and support one another whether it’s a challenge with a course or student, or to talk about your pets, children, fears, hopes, favorite movies, books, or even just the crazy Colorado weather.  

 

I’m a lover of Gabrielle Garcia Marquez whose books “100 Years of Solitude“ (won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” seem particularly well suited to living in the time of Coronavirus.  I also recently read “A Prayer for Owen Meany” at the suggestion of an English faculty member.  It was a wonderful escape! What a joy it might be to share a cup of tea (or something stronger) and book discussion even by video conference.

 

We are all blundering and stumbling, but finding our way together, and we are a team. Please share your bright spots and successes with me and your colleagues.  We love nothing more than to hear about wins in this difficult time. 

 

So many of us have worked alongside one another for years; we miss the daily interaction that fed our need for connection. We all need connection.  Reach out to someone today, and ask if they’re OK, please.  

 

Sincerely,

Lance


Lance Bolton, Ph.D.
President, Pikes Peak Community College

April 3, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton to Faculty and Staff

Dear PPCC Faculty and Staff,

 

Higher Ed in the Time of Coronavirus:  It’s been an extraordinary, history making week across the globe and right here at our college as well.  Reports are arriving daily of the exceptional efforts and successes you all are creating even through the madness of today’s world.  You are finding a way, thank you!


Good News:
- Praise for IT Team.  Many people at the college are writing to share their tremendous gratitude for our Super-IT Team.  Here’s two IT stars providing laptop pickups for students who need technology help to complete their courses.  We count our phenomenal IT Department as hero’s in the COVID-19 war.



- Grant Awarded - Great news from our world-renowned NYT cited national expert in pandemic outbreaks, and Grants Director, Kristen Watkins.  “I have just received word that our grant application with CSU-Pueblo to build the cyber student pipeline and pay for national competitions has been funded. The program period begins 4/16/2020 – 4/15/2025. We will receive $95,000 annually for 5 years for total of $475,000. This program also partners with local high schools to increase the number of students who will take these courses at PPCC.”
Kudos to our Cyber Security Team, Dallas Pierce, and Chelsy Harris for their parts in this success as well.

 

- Faculty Succeeding Online - Deans and Faculty are reporting many successes and some challenges aross the college as we transition to new learning environments and radically different working environments.  I’ve heard from so many students who’ve reached out to share the kindness, understanding, empathy, support, and exceptional efforts taken by faculty to ensure their success.  As we look back on this unique time in the history our world, perseverance and kindness may be the traits we recognize as being most valued.  You all are heroes in this struggle!

 

Across the college in Student Services and Instruction, also among Facilities and HR, Communications, the PPCC Foundation, and throughout our institution I see folks picking up the mantle, taking initiative, and demonstrating resilience and determination to succeed in our mission despite the enormous challenges.  I’m thankful for every extra effort, every extra phone call, email, text, and every bit of flexibility and patience we can show one another in these lonely days of COVID-19.

 

Social Distancing is an imperative, but isolation is a danger:

Our team of VP’s and Executive Directors is meeting regularly via video conferencing using MS Teams.  We’re constantly working through the logistics of an ever-changing playbook and adapting our practices to lean ever more toward our students and supporting their success.  It’s helpful to me to see my colleagues, even on video, on a regular basis.  I encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to organize video conferences to talk through course challenges and logistics.  Perhaps more importantly though, use the video conference format to check in on one another. COVID-19 is taking a toll on our collective mental health as well as our physical health.  Isolation and loneliness is also a real danger to all of us.  Connect and support one another whether it’s a challenge with a course or student, or to talk about your pets, children, fears, hopes, favorite movies, books, or even just the crazy Colorado weather.  

 

I’m a lover of Gabrielle Garcia Marquez whose books “100 Years of Solitude“ (won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” seem particularly well suited to living in the time of Coronavirus.  I also recently read “A Prayer for Owen Meany” at the suggestion of an English faculty member.  It was a wonderful escape! What a joy it might be to share a cup of tea (or something stronger) and book discussion even by video conference.

 

We are all blundering and stumbling, but finding our way together, and we are a team. Please share your bright spots and successes with me and your colleagues.  We love nothing more than to hear about wins in this difficult time. 

 

So many of us have worked alongside one another for years; we miss the daily interaction that fed our need for connection. We all need connection.  Reach out to someone today, and ask if they’re OK, please.  

 

Sincerely,

Lance


Lance Bolton, Ph.D.
President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 30, 2020

The Stall Street Journal - Digital Edition

Featuring latest announcements and resources for PPCC students.

Read SSJ

March 30 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Students,

 

As you return to classes online this week, we know many issues and concerns will arise. We have a PPCC Hotline and Email to respond quickly to your concerns.

 

HOTLINE: (719) 502-2000 

 

E-mail:  StudentSupport@PPCC.edu

 

Through this number and email address we will answer your questions and concerns directly, or quickly reroute you to folks who can respond to your individual situation. Our goal is to respond within 24 hours.  We are prepared to respond to the following issues and more:

 

- Technical assistance with connecting to D2L

- Assistance with connecting to PPCC email

- Financial Aid issues

- Veteran and Active Duty Military student concerns

- Accessing tutoring support

- Connecting with your faculty member

- Mental health counseling

- Advising support 

- Incomplete and Withdrawal course options for Spring 2020

- Enrollment for Summer or Fall semesters

 

Please let us know how we can support your educational journey, and help you achieve and complete your goals.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 26, 2020

CAMPUS-WIDE ALERT

Pikes Peak Community College   Pikes Peak Community College
Email Alert
 

OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE - ALL CAMPUSES CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 13

In order to comply with Gov. Polis' Stay at Home order, PPCC has closed all its campuses and learning centers until at least April 13. All college services remain operational through remote services.

Classes are now online. Support services are available via the web, email and phone. Career and technical classes that had been planned to continue will suspend face-to-face instruction, going online with some and postponing the remainder of the classes with others. Faculty will communicate via email and D2L to let students know plans for their individual classes.

The college is particularly concerned about students who do not have access to computers, and, in those cases, students are strongly encouraged to contact their faculty members and explore options of taking an "Incomplete" (to be completed later) grade in the course or "Withdrawing" and taking the class again at a future date. In the case of Withdrawals, PPCC will scholarship the student's tuition to retake the class, however, there may still be fees associated with the future class. Withdrawing students who receive financial aid should contact the financial aid office a 719-502-3000.

College officials, working with state and local officials, will evaluate the ongoing health crisis and determine if it will be safe to resume face-to-face instruction on April 13.

For details and updates, please visit ppcc.edu/covid.

More Information: https://ppcc.apparmor.com/Notifications/CAP/?id=26564&t=24164469

Pikes Peak Community College

March 19, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty, Staff, and Students,

We closed our Rampart Range Child Development Center (CDC) today because of staff shortages.  The Centennial Campus will continue operating today and tomorrow, assuming adequate staff.  Next week the CDC planned to close anyway for Spring Break as they always do.  We do not plan to reopen either CDC location until at least April 17th in accordance with the Governor’s announced closure of P-12 schools yesterday.

We are working now to process refunds for CDC parents who’ve paid already for time the CDC will now be closed.  We are also working with the CDC staff to take care of them through this process.

Best,

Lance

March 18, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Faculty, Staff, and Students,

TOPIC: CLOSING DOWNTOWN STUDIO CAMPUS

We are closing the Downtown Studio Campus to the public today at 5:00OPM.  Staff who have exterior door keys or keycards will retain access to their offices and the campus, but otherwise the campus will be closed.  It will remain closed until March 30th.  Staff working at Downtown Studio Campus should seek guidance from their supervisor about working from home or redeploying to another campus.  

This move allows PPCC to redeploy critical custodial staff and police resources to our Centennial and Rampart Campuses.  Until March 30th only the gender-neutral restrooms will be available at the Downtown Studio Campus for faculty or staff who continue to use their offices there.  This also reduces custodial resources needed there.

The Learning Commons and computer labs remain open and available to students at the Centennial and Rampart Campuses.  In addition, we closed the Community Table today, however, students seeking food assistance can still go to our Student Life desks at Rampart and Centennial Campuses for access to our food pantry.

Do Your Part,

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 16, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC,

As the Governor closes restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, and more, it becomes ever more important for us to do our part.  Tonight’s announcements at his press conference were sobering and really drove the point home.

Thank you for doing your part:

  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Work from home if possible
  • Social Distancing - 6 feet or more between you and the next person
  • Look for someone who might need help - an elderly neighbor?

Take care,

Lance

March 13, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Spring Break Plans
I’m writing to provide additional information and detail to yesterday morning’s announcement that we are extending spring break by one week.  If you missed the announcement, we are beginning spring break for all on-campus students (with a small number of exceptions listed here: https://www.ppcc.edu/covid) on March 16th, one week earlier than planned, and extending until the planned end of spring break on March 27th. Classes will resume on March 30th.  The semester will still end as planned on May 12th.

Notification

If you are tested for COVID-19 please let us know.  Please notify us at COVID.Notification@ppcc.edu .  We would also like for you to let us know if you are self-quarantining because of contact with a person who has tested positive.

Transitioning to Online

Our goal is to assist our community and state in reducing transmission of COVID-19 while maintaining the highest quality of education for our students. Therefore, after spring break, beginning on March 30th many of our classes will transition to online format through D2L.  However, we will also have many classes, especially classes with active hands-on engagement, that will not transition to the online format. For example, welding, auto mechanics, nursing, and other similar programs are not transitioning to online instruction, while classes like English, history, and philosophy will transition to an online format.  All PPCC faculty will communicate via D2L and college email to their students about whether their class will transition to online format, hybrid format, or continue on campus.  For those classes that remain on campus we are working to create as much social distance between students as possible.

College Services

  • The college will remain open with all student services available including:
  • Learning Commons Computer and Tutoring Support
  • Advising
  • Testing
  • Counseling
  • Food Service
  • Disability Student Services (Accessibility)
  • TRiO
  • Student Life
  • Community Table (Food Pantries)
  • Veteran Services (Military and Veteran Programs)
  • Financial Aid
  • Student Success Center functions including coaching
  • PPCC Police Department
  • Computer Labs
  • Enrollment Services
  • Bookstore
  • Records
  • Dean of Students
  • Computer Labs

Computer labs are especially important because we know some of our students do not have computer access at home.  Our plan is to keep all computer labs open, as well as computer equipped classrooms.  We will remove some of the chairs and cover some computers to create distance between computer users to reduce risk of Coronavirus transmission between students.  In addition, we instituted an aggressive sanitation policy including disinfecting keyboards and surrounding work areas frequently.  Today we authorized the college to add temporary custodian positions to assist in our sanitation efforts.

Public Gatherings and College Events

Most events and public gatherings that are not part of a college course are canceled for the upcoming weeks.  We are trying to make cancellations of events at least two weeks prior to the event to give people time for alternative plans.  We know that a lot of work goes into events like our annual student theater production, music productions, art shows, Multicultural Affairs Conference, and other student life events. I am truly sorry for the possibility that we will be unable to hold these events for live audiences.  We are looking into possibilities for Facebook live streams or other video technology to capture performances for a virtual audience.  We have not altered plans for our commencement ceremony, however, conversations are underway about possible changes to make the event safer for attendees or other ways to create a meaningful event without risking the health of students, guests, faculty, and staff.  I’m very interested in gathering feedback from students on this issue.  We would love some creative ideas!  You can send us your ideas for making commencement meaningful while also reducing the possibility of disease transmission.  Submit your ideas here: Graduation.Ideas@ppcc.edu

If you have questions about PPCC COVID-19 related policies or response please contact us here: COVID@ppcc.edu

We will continue to update you as new information emerges about the Coronavirus that may affect our plans.  This is a rapidly evolving situation and more changes may be implemented over the spring break, so please stay connected to us by email, website, and Facebook for real-time updates.  We remain committed to your success.  Especially for students in classes that are transitioning to an online format, we are committed to working with you to help you successfully complete the semester.  

We can get through this together and keep you successfully on the path to college completion!

March 12, 2020

Human Resources, Letter from Dr. Bolton

Team,

The rapid changes in state policy, instruction plans, and both global and local news creates uncertainty and anxiety.  We want to help allay some of your concerns by addressing work and employment issues at the college.  Below is some overall guidance and our plan by employment category:

Overall Guidance for PPCC Employees

The college is open, please plan to report for work.  Exceptions to reporting for work include if you are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate you should not be on campus.  Please communicate with your supervisor and HR if either is the case.  Supervisors please let your Directors, Associate VP’s or VP’s know of any of these instances.  Requests for accommodation based on underlying health conditions must be accompanied by documentation which may consist of a statement from the employee for now.

As we transition into more online instruction and less students on campus some work areas will allow folks to transition to working from home.  Some areas may also allow team shifts of some folks coming into the office on certain days and staying home on certain days.  For example, Team A might work on campus on M,W, F of next week and Team B might work on campus T, and TR with teams swapping the following week.  Teams staying home would hopefully still be working from home.  PPCC employees who are unable to be present at work, nor work from home may be eligible for administrative leave as outlined below.  Administrative leave means an employee is paid and does not have to use sick or annual leave.

Guidance by Employee Group

Faculty – Faculty in collaboration with their Deans will make determinations about whether to maintain on-campus classes (primarily CTE programs) or to transition to online.  Options are available between these two as well in the form of hybrid classes that might meet in person less frequently and combine online instruction with classroom meetings.  Faculty members may choose to work from home if they are equipped to do so.  If they make that choice then it is imperative they provide students with contact information since they won’t be keeping office hours.  Faculty may also choose to work from their offices or even from classrooms on campus.  If a faculty member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their Department Chair and Dean.  If the faculty member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and also experiences technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  Faculty will not be required to take leave in either instance.

Instructors (Adjunct Faculty) – Guidance is exactly the same as for regular faculty above. 

Classified Employees – Classified employees should report to work as usual.  However, they may make work from home arrangements in collaboration with their supervisor; supervisors should notify HR and their leadership of these arrangements.  We are seeking to create social distancing between folks, so flexible and creative work arrangements that may mix work from home with different work on campus schedules are likely.  If a classified staff member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their supervisor.  If the classified staff member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  Classified staff will not be required to take leave in either instance.

APT Employees – APT employees should report to work as usual.  However, they may make work from home arrangements with their supervisor; supervisors should notify HR and their leadership of these arrangements.  We are seeking to create social distancing between folks, so flexible and creative work arrangements that mix work from home with different work on campus schedules are likely.  If an APT staff member is sick with Coronavirus symptoms or has underlying health conditions they should stay home and provide written notice to their supervisor.  If the APT staff member cannot work from home because of illness/underlying health conditions and technology limitations then the college will provide administrative leave.  APT staff will not be required to take leave in either instance.

Hourly Employees – Hourly employees should report to work as usual unless they are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate they should not be on campus.  If an hourly employee cannot work on campus they should contact their supervisor and provide written notice.  The supervisor may offer work from home options depending on the individual circumstances.  Hourly employees are eligible for administrative leave based on an average number of hours worked in previous pay periods through the end of the current semester if they are unable to work on campus nor from home; these circumstances will be evaluated and determined case-by-case.  Please contact your supervisor and HR for more details.

Federal and State Work Study – Federal and State Work Study – Work Study students are encouraged to report to work as usual unless they are sick or have underlying health conditions that indicate they should not be on campus.  If a work study student cannot work on campus they should contact their supervisor and provide written notice.  The supervisor may offer work from home options depending on the individual circumstances. Work study students will be eligible to receive their funding for the Spring semester even if we are unable to make accommodations for their work.

  • Many PPCC employees may be deemed “Critical Personnel” meaning their work is critical to operational continuity.  Supervisor teams are working now on creating their “critical personnel” lists.  These folks will receive top priority for distance working technology or isolated work spaces on campus if either is called for based on the employee individual circumstances.
  • It is not our intention to provide for accommodations based on family member circumstances, only employee conditions.  We simply cannot account for all employee family, friend, roommate, and other relations.  
  • All instances of requests for accommodation to work from home or administrative leave are subject to case-by-case review.
  • The practices outlined within this note are aligned with current COVID-19 best practices and subject to change at any time.

Please notify Carlton Brooks and me if you have questions about the personnel practices described above. We will compile questions and respond as quickly as possible.  Our intention at PPCC is to take the best possible care of our employees.  We know that in doing so our faculty and staff will take the best possible care of our students.

Thank you for your support and cooperation.  We will get through this difficult time!

Lance

March 12, 2020

Employee Travel Guidelines, Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

Official Travel

Effective immediately we are restricting out of state travel by PPCC employees on official business to “Essential Travel” only.  Essential travel requests must receive prior approval by your supervisor, their senior leader (VP), and me (the president) prior to traveling.  In-state travel is allowed, but attending large meetings is discouraged.

Personal Travel

Of course personal travel is still allowed and constitutionally protected.  However, we do have a duty to keep our college safe, therefore we are making the following restrictions and requests:

  • International Travel to CDC Level 2 or 3 countries requires notification to your supervisor and chain of command.  It also requires a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine upon return.  An employee may work from home during the self-quarantine period, but may not visit campus.  Violation of this policy makes an employee subject to discipline, including up to termination.  Advanced notification of your travel plans to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country is required.
  • Domestic Out of State Travel to any Area that has Declared a State of Emergency or International Travel to CDC identified countries that are not Level 2 or 3 requires the employee to notify their supervisor and chain of command.  PPCC will follow CDC recommendations for self-quarantine.  Situations around the world and even within the United States are very fluid.  We will follow CDC guidance at the time of the individual’s return.  If the CDC is recommending self-quarantine, then PPCC will make that requirement.  Please let us know about your plans prior to traveling if possible.

We view Spring Break as a likely time for acceleration of the spread of coronavirus.  Please take precautions to keep yourself safe, and do recognize that CDC guidelines regarding various regions may change very quickly.  

In addition to these guidelines, we are also notifying students of PPCC travel policies pertaining to them.  We will ask students to self-report travel and insist on 14 days of self-quarantine for any student who reports traveling to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country.  We are also reviewing our policies for international students.

Please contact your supervisor with questions; Supervisors please send your questions to Carlton Brooks and me.  We will compile questions and respond as quickly as possible.  We do recognize of course that Colorado has declared a state of emergency, but travel within the state need not be reported.  Our intentions are to stay aligned with the rapidly changing guidelines from the CDC.

Thank you for your support and cooperation,

Lance

March 12, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

All PPCC campuses will remain open.

The college's spring break begins for in-person classes one week earlier than planned on March 16th.  That means spring break will be two weeks long, from March 16-27. (The semester will end as scheduled, May 12. Online classes will continue through the week of March 16th with regularly scheduled spring break the week of March 23rd. The Child Development Centers will be open March 16-20 and be closed, as scheduled, March 23-27.

We have two key North Star goals associated with this action:

  1. Maintain high quality instruction meeting expected learning outcomes and supporting student success.
  2. Reducing risk for transmission of COVID-19 among faculty, staff and students.

Faculty and staff are expected to report during the week of March 16th.  Our goal is to use that week to prepare to shift as many classes as possible to online instruction.  We expect that to begin on March 30th, however, we are prepared to shift the date depending on public health information and advice.  We will also consider ways to reduce risk for classes and labs that must meet in-person.  During the class break our Facilities Staff will undertake deep cleaning and sanitizing of the campus.

There are many issues to consider including our concurrent enrollment students, labs, clinicals, hands-on instruction in CTE programs, etc.  Also, there is summer and fall registration to consider along with advising, tutoring, faculty office hours, providing student access to computer labs, reducing large gatherings, and travel policies.  We will continue to provide specific information on these issues.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 or our policies, please visit our COVID-19 webpage: https://www.ppcc.edu/covid

If you have questions beyond the information available on our website, then please email us at:  covid@ppcc.edu.

Stay safe

Wash your hands thoroughly and often

Stay home if you’re sick.

March 12, 2020

Press Release from the Colorado Community College System

CCCS Prepares Transition to Remote Instruction

13 colleges take steps to mitigate spread of COVID-19

March 12, 2020 (Denver, CO) – To ensure the health and safety of campus communities across Colorado, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) activated its emergency operations team focused on coordinating the system’s response with the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the guidance provided by the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) on any CCCS campus, preparation continues to receive the highest level of attention from college leaders and system administration.  

“The health and safety of our 125,000 students and 20,000 employees is our highest priority as we coordinate our response and take informed actions,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS chancellor. “Our thirteen college presidents and I are having regular, ongoing conversations and heeding the guidance of public health experts and the CDC.”

Immediate actions taking place across all thirteen colleges include limitations on large group gatherings, implementation of restrictive travel policies, and the possible extension of Spring Break for students. Staff and faculty will utilize the extra time to transition appropriate courses from in-person to remote instruction and exams, and implement risk reduction plans tailored for each campus.

Due to varying institutional size, location, and programming across CCCS colleges, some courses may not be appropriate to transition to remote learning, such as welding and nursing labs. To provide students with the opportunity to continue their educations in which they have invested so much time, money, and effort, while ensuring safety for students in these career and technical education programs, courses will be held in spaces that allow for adequate social distancing.

“We are prepared for this fast-moving, fluid situation and are implementing appropriate plans at each of our colleges to keep our communities­ safe and avoid interference with student academic progress,” said Garcia.

CCCS hopes to keep offices and colleges open, but also wants to ensure alignment with best practices to promote a healthy environment such as implementing plans to allow employees to work remotely and ensuring paid sick leave.

March 10, 2020

Letter from Joe Garcia, Chancellor, Colorado Community College System

Dear CCCS Community,

I know that the developing news about Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has generated a great deal of concern throughout our communities and campuses and that many of you have legitimate questions about how we will continue to serve our students while doing all we can to protect everyone’s health and safety. I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the steps we are already taking based on what we know now and what our plans are to respond to the rapidly evolving situation that seems to change hourly.  

I am working closely with the System Office leadership team, including Greg Busch, CCCS Emergency Management Director, and our college presidents to address COVID-19.  We are also working closely with and taking guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in implementing the System and College emergency preparedness plans for potential pandemic incidents. Staff on the CCCS Executive Team are taking the lead in developing plans that fall in their various functional areas.  Specifically, the System is developing plans and guidance for continued academic instruction; official System and College travel guidance; personnel related questions; and IT support of students, staff and faculty.  This information will be refined, in collaboration with College Presidents and their staff, and you can expect more direct guidance and communications from your college leadership. 

Please see the links below for the most current information about ways to protect yourself from COVID-19:

We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation and I ask that you watch for continued updates as the situation changes.  In our effort to provide you with real time information as it develops, you should expect to hear from me and/or your college president on a regular basis, perhaps as often as several times a week until the situation is resolved.  CCCS has made preparing for COVID-19 a top priority and we are committed to ensuring that our offices and campuses are safe for employees and students. 

I do not intend to minimize the severity of the current situation, nor do I want people to be unduly alarmed.  As many others have said, the best thing we can do now is not to panic, but to prepare.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation, for sharing your ideas, and for working together in the best interests of our students and our college families and communities.

Joe Garcia

Chancellor

Colorado Community College System

9101 E Lowry Blvd.

Denver, CO 80230

303-595-1552

March 9, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC Team,

Since my last update on Friday, we have one presumptive positive coronavirus case in El Paso County, CO; the case was announced late Friday afternoon.  The person is in quarantine.  No other cases were detected in El Paso County over the weekend.  Attached here is a link to the El Paso County Public Health webpage.  It provides a wealth of information about this illness.  https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/services/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

One question that’s arisen is about the name of the illness.  Coronavirus and COVID-19 are synonymous terms; both cover the current disease outbreak.  COVID-19 is the specific name of the coronavirus that’s causing the global outbreak. 

Our leadership team met this morning at 8:00AM and reviewed developments since our last meeting at 8:00AM on Friday.  Our next meeting is planned for Wednesday morning at 8:00AM.  I will update the college on any changes after each of these meetings.  Key efforts right now include completing our updated pandemic plan and having it posted on the web tomorrow and identifying essential personnel for purposes of our pandemic plan.  As of now, we are continuing normal operations for all college activities.

This afternoon Police Chief Barrentine will attend a county public health update.  In addition, much of our monthly college president’s meeting tomorrow is devoted to discussing the outbreak including planning for continuity of operations, options for students who may be ill, and HR policies for employees.  I will report again Wednesday on any developments.

Remember:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Best,

Lance

 

March 6, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As you’ve probably seen on the news, Colorado has two “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. There are no known cases in El Paso County, but we’re preparing for that possibility.

Our leadership team met on Thursday and again this morning, examining developments and updating plans. Our Emergency Management Team is updating the college’s Pandemic and Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan; we will post that to the campus community on Tuesday.

 

Our custodial staff is stepping up efforts to disinfect our classrooms, restrooms and common areas, paying particular attention to keep high touch surfaces (ie. door handles and handrails) clean and sanitized. They’re also placing more of the mobile, stand-alone hand sanitizer stations throughout the campuses. 

One major concern in this quickly evolving situation is travel. Students, staff and faculty planning to travel internationally (or even domestically to areas hardest hit by the virus) are encouraged to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) travel alerts (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) and the health departments in the areas to which they’re traveling. Keep in mind, it might be possible to travel to a particular destination, and experience challenges returning if new travel restrictions are put in place or flights are canceled.  Employees with college-related travel plans should keep in touch with the supervisors in deciding whether to change those plans.

PPCC’s Study Abroad plans to Europe and South America in May are still in place, but, as we continue to monitor the spread of the virus and travel restrictions, those plans may change.

The Leadership Team this morning exercised our pandemic preparedness by meeting via video conference using the cloud-based Microsoft TEAMS app.  This is available to all employee groups and is much more efficient than VPN.  IT can assist with quick tutorials to get your teams connected via TEAMS if you anticipate needing remote meeting capabilities.

As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, this is a time to prepare, but not to panic. Telemedicine may be a viable option for some folks to avoid healthcare environments and get more information on any health-related issues they might be experiencing. Below is information provided by Human Resources to assist with telemedicine options.

Through this situation, our goal will be to keep our campus community safe, and I plan to keep you informed with as much transparency as possible, about developments with the virus as well as our plans at the college. In addition to these regular emails, we will post updates on our website. 

 

Stay safe. Wash your hands. And don’t panic.

 

Best,

Lance

 

Employees can use Telemedicine benefits provided by their medical carrier.  The CDC recommends that anyone experiencing symptoms (that are not expressly urgent) should use a form of telemedicine as their first point of care to “talk through” symptoms with a health care professional before showing up in-person.  The more contact a person has with “sick environments,” the more likely they will unwittingly participate in the spread of a disease.  All of our medical carriers provide various telemedicine platforms (see below for contact information).

 

Anthem – Customer Service, 800.542.9402

24/7 NurseLine, 800.337.4770

Video Visit, www.livehealthonline.com

Email, www.anthem.com, log into your account to email your doctor

 

Kaiser – Customer Service, 303.338.3800

Phone visit, 303.338.4545 to schedule

Video Visit, 303.338.4545 to schedule

24/7 nurse line, www.kp.org, Appointment Center to schedule

Email, www.kp.org, log into your account to email your doctor

 

UHC – Customer Service, 877.283.5424

24/7 nurse line, 866.402.0006

Virtual Visits, 877.283.5424 to schedule

Email, myuhc.com, log into your account to email your doctor

 

Lance Bolton, Ph.D.

President, Pikes Peak Community College

March 2, 2020

Letter from Dr. Bolton

Dear PPCC students, staff and faculty,

Coronavirus is raising anxiety across the nation as the story continues to rapidly evolve and expand over the weekend.  We now have confirmed cases in multiple states including Florida, New York, Washington State, California, Texas, Oregon and Rhode Island.  Public health officials in Colorado and across the nation are working hard to gather and disseminate useful and actionable information. Perhaps what makes us most fearful about this disease is the unknown. 

 

We are unsure just how dangerous the disease is, and we don’t have good information about person-to-person transmission.  Drawing on my background in microbiology and disease transmission, but certainly no insider information, I will note that 16,000 Americans have died this year from Influenza and 29,000,000 have been sickened.  Those numbers dwarf coronavirus, but we face more uncertainty with coronavirus as it’s a novel illness, and we’re accustomed to the impacts of Influenza.  All of this to say, that panic and tremendous anxiety are neither warranted nor helpful, but we do understand people are anxious.

 

Basic measures to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy are warranted now. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly (with soap) is a great defense, not just against the new coronavirus but against regular colds and flus. Be assured that the college is doing what we can, working with local health officials to update our emergency protocols.  

 

Our culture places great value on toughness and grit.  Many of us grew up believing that we demonstrate commitment and toughness by showing up and working even when we are sick. That is not helpful!  Showing up sick means not doing your best work, and it means spreading your illness.  Let’s start shifting that culture here at PPCC.  If you are sick, please do not come to work/school.  Faculty, if you have students who are sick, please suggest ways for them to stay home and still be successful in your course.  Let’s all take responsibility to not transmit illness to others.

 

PPCC is taking seriously the need to prepare for coronavirus in Colorado and any potential impact on the college.  As of this morning, there are no known cases in Colorado, however, that could change quickly and we must be prepared.  We are planning in collaboration with CCCS Leadership, Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Colorado Public Health officials.  We have a Pandemic Plan that we are reviewing and updating; Instructional Services is taking the lead there.  We are also monitoring and acting on any recommendations from public health officials.  Below is a note from CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia regarding statewide communications and efforts to ensure preparedness.  His note is forwarded from the Colorado Department of Higher Education; it was sent to all higher education leaders in the state.

 

Please note this Colorado Department of Public Health Fact Sheet.  It’s an excellent source of basic information about the Coronavirus.  I will keep the college posted as more information becomes available.

 

Best regards,

Lance

 

Pandemic Plan

PPCC officials have updated our Pandemic Plan. We see this as an evolving document, so if you have anything you think should be changed, added or deleted, please email our communications director, Warren Epstein at warren.epstein@ppcc.edu.

Download Plan

Recommendations from Health Officials

Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

  • Practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, use hand-sanitizer; use a tissue or your elbow or sleeve to cover coughs and sneezes 
  • Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about working from home if necessary.
  • We advise Coloradans to always be prepared for an emergency and have a plan for your family. Coloradans can visit the CDC’s website for more information on how to create a plan.  
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email  COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more. Coloradans can also visit the CDCand CDPHE websites for more information on best practices.