Coronavirus: Keeping Our Community Safe

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Latest Updates

July 9, 2020

College to Hold Virtual Graduation

While the college had been hopeful that we could hold an in-person graduation ceremony by postponing it from early May to the end of July, it has become evident that it would not be responsible or safe to hold an event that brings a large group together at this time. We have, therefore, made the decision to hold a virtual graduation ceremony. The college knows this decision will be disappointing to many of our students and their families. However, we must err on the side of caution for the health and safety of our students, employees and the community.

Through our virtual ceremony, we look forward to recognizing each graduate’s accomplishment. More information about the virtual ceremony will be sent to graduates via their Senators email account. Please continue to check the Walters State website and social media for more information and updates regarding the virtual ceremony.

Also, in addition to participating in the virtual ceremony, spring and summer 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to participate in the college’s December 2020 in-person graduation ceremony.

June 26, 2020

Walters State Announces Fall Reopening Plans

For its fall semester, Walters State Community College will resume a limited selection of in-person classes in small groups as well as continue to offer a mix of hybrid, virtual and online classes. The college’s fall semester will begin on Aug. 24.

“Our goal has been to create a safe, high-quality learning environment that engages our students and provides them with the opportunity to continue their education this fall without interruption,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State. 

“For many years, Walters State has been at the forefront of providing online learning for our students, and this past spring we were well prepared to move to an online-only environment.”

“Our plan for this fall is to open back up to students with small, in-person classes, most of which will include an online component. If needed, we are well positioned to shift to online-only instruction,” Miksa also said.

Social distancing measures will be followed in all in-person classroom settings and at all times on the college’s campuses.

In addition to in-person classes, classes will be held in the following formats:

  • Hybrid These courses offer part online and part virtual instruction and/or face-to-face instruction in a classroom. Faculty provide students with clear schedules of days and times for class meetings, whether virtually or face-to-face. Students attend class virtually or within a classroom setting. The hybrid format is good for students who want some in-person classroom instruction.
  • Virtual Through web-conferencing platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, virtual classes will meet on scheduled days and times. This format allows students to engage in virtual classroom interaction without having to attend class in-person.
  • Online These classes do not meet on a certain day or at a certain time. Walters State’s online courses, which are “Quality Matters” certified, provide students with clear expectations and guidance, meaningful and purposeful content, and engaging activities. Online classes are ideal for students who enjoy learning with online tools and who are self-motivated.

The college is in the process of updating its fall class listings/offerings to reflect the different modes of delivery. For students who have already enrolled, they will need to check their schedules by August 1 to review which format their classes are being offered. All classes, including in-person, will include an online component. Students will need computer and internet access. The college does have a limited number of laptops available for students to checkout.

Walters State has re-opened its campuses in phases over the summer. Employees returned to campus on a rotational basis on May 11. Since June 1, the college has been open to students by appointment for student-related services such as admissions and financial aid. Appointments can be made Monday-Thursday.

On June 15, the college started holding portions of summer classes, such as science labs, on campus to small groups of students. While on campus, students must wear masks and practice social distancing. They must also complete a coronavirus screening every day they are on campus. 

Registration for fall semester classes, which begin Aug. 24, is under way. Students can register at ws.edu.

For more information, contact admissions@ws.edu or call 423.585.2685.

June 20, 2020

Important COVID-19 Update

On June 19, Walters State received its first report of a positive COVID-19 case. The individual who self-reported the positive case attended a one-night, non-credit class on Wednesday, June 17, in the college’s Public Safety Building on the Morristown campus.

The college began contacting all of the students in the class on June 19. The college has contacted the Hamblen County Health Department about the case and will follow its recommendations for keeping the campus community safe and healthy.

No other classes have been held in the affected classroom. The classroom will remain closed for the next week while the college conducts a deep cleaning following CDC guidelines.

Walters State has been offering classes online since March. Following CDC guidelines for social distancing and COVID-19 screening, the college recently opened its campuses to small groups of students enrolled in classes that include skills-based labs, such as science, health, and public safety courses. All individuals who visit a Walters State campus or attend a class are required to complete a daily COVID-19 screening, wear a mask while on campus, and follow social distancing measures.

June 15, 2020

Walters State is excited to have students returning in small groups for certain summer classes to campus. To ensure your health and safety, each day you visit a Walters State campus you must answer coronavirus screening questions at the following link: https://ws.edu/coronavirus/screen/student. The coronavirus screening questionnaire is also available on the Walters State app (look for “Covid Screening” under the College Resources main menu link). The Walters State app can be downloaded at https://ws.edu/mobile-app/.

If you answer “yes” to all of the screening questions, you will receive a green check mark that you will need to display on your phone when entering one of the following check-in entrances:

  • Morristown Campus Dr. Jack E. Campbell College Center
    Main Entrance

    R. Jack Fishman Library
    Side Entrance at Lower Level Facing Parking Lot R

    Look for banners with the word "orientation" at each end of the Morristown entrances.
  • Claiborne County Campus Main Building Entrance
  • Niswonger Campus Main Building Entrance
  • Sevier County Campus Maples-Marshall Hall
    Main Entrance

While on campus, you are required to wear a mask and follow social distancing practices and measures such as maintaining six feet of distance from others.

If you cannot answer “yes” to all of the coronavirus screening questions, do not come to campus and contact your instructor via email.

If you have technical difficulties completing the online coronavirus screening, a Walters State employee will ask you to complete the screening on paper at the check-in entrance.

If you are person with disabilities and need assistance accessing the campus, please call the Office of Disability Services at 423.585.6893.

May 27, 2020

On June 1, Walters State will begin the next phase of the college’s re-opening plan with student services offices opening at all campuses by appointment only. Services that will be available by appointment at the Morristown Campus include the following:

To make an appointment for student services at one of Walters State’s other campus sites, call or email the campus directly:

Individuals who make an appointment to visit a campus will be required to complete a coronavirus screening and wear a mask while on campus. Social distancing of at least six feet apart and no more than 10 individuals per room will be maintained.

All of the college’s services remain available online, as they have been since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the safety and health of its students, employees and the community, Walters State has implemented a phased-in approach to reopening its campuses. The first phase included the return of employees to each of its campuses on May 11. To maintain social distancing and limit the number of individuals on campus, employees are working staggered schedules. The second phase for re-opening includes student services offices opening on June 1 by appointment only. The college has established a re-opening task force that is planning for the next phases of the reopening process.

Registration is under way for the June and July summer semester sessions as well as for fall semester. Classes will be offered in a variety of formats to accommodate student needs.

April 24, 2020

Message from Dr. Miksa about Graduation

After much consideration and based on student feedback, the college has decided to reschedule commencement exercises for July 29 and 30, 2020. Graduation was originally scheduled for May 9. Health programs graduates will participate in the July 29 ceremony and all other graduates will take part in one on July 30. Both ceremonies will be held at the Morristown campus.

These dates are subject to change based on the coronavirus situation and the status of restrictions on large public gatherings at the end of July. If the college is unable to hold commencement on July 29 and 30, spring 2020 graduates will be invited to participate in the college’s December 2020 graduation ceremony.

While our official celebratory ceremony has been rescheduled for the end of July, degrees and certificates will be available for pickup in June.

Also, the college is planning cap-and-gown pickup days in May at each of our campuses. More specific information about the cap-and-gown pickup will be provided soon.

While we are disappointed that we had to reschedule our commencement, I want to assure each graduate that we are committed to honoring this tremendous milestone in your life with a ceremony that you, your fellow classmates and families can celebrate together.

March 31, 2020

Based on the latest state and federal guidelines regarding the coronavirus situation, and as part of our effort to keep our students, employees and community safe and healthy, Walters State will not open facilities on April 6 as previously intended. However, the college will continue to hold instruction, student services and other college operations online for the duration of spring semester. Faculty and staff will continue to work remotely until further notice. Students should continue to check their eLEARN for course assignments and Senators Mail, the Walters State website and the college’s social media for further updates.

March 27, 2020

Message to Students From Dr. Miksa

Dear Students,

We have almost made it through two full weeks of complete online instruction. I have had the opportunity to review and say “hi” to one of our classes online via Microsoft Teams. I have witnessed and heard about the great things you are doing and the efforts you are making to succeed in our online learning environment. Remember, our faculty are doing everything possible to make your online learning experience as enriching and rewarding as traditional  face-to-face classes.

In case you missed it, Dr. Angi Smith, our Vice President of Student Services, did a Facebook Live event yesterday in which she answered student questions, talked about support services available online, advising for summer and fall semester registration, and many other important topics. You can watch the recorded video on the College’s Facebook page.

For more information about our student support services, additional resources that may help you during this time, and the latest updates from the College on the situation, please continue to visit this Coronavirus Update page.

And remember, if you are having any difficulties, please contact your instructor or someone in Student Services. We are here to help.

I feel extremely privileged to be leading such an awesome college with the best students!!!

#WSFinishStrong

Dr. Tony Miksa
President

March 19, 2020

All Walters State instruction will remain online through the end of the spring 2020 semester. This means students will not be coming to campus for in-person classes for the rest of the semester but will continue instruction online. However, the college plans to re-open all campuses on a limited basis to students on April 6 and remain open thereafter. Campus hours starting on April 6 will be from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Following federal, state and local health department guidelines on social distancing, students will be able to visit computer and tutor labs. Instructors might also request a student to visit campus to demonstrate a skill or perform a lab experiment, for example. Our plan to re-open campuses effective April 6 on a limited basis could change depending on how the coronavirus situation evolves.

At this time, all campus events and activities are canceled for the rest of spring semester. Sadly, this includes athletic games, concerts, plays, and all other events. Degrees and certificates will be awarded at the completion of graduation requirements and a decision on when and how we hold commencement will be made soon.

Remember, we are all in this together and we are committed to helping you finish the semester strong.

March 16, 2020

Message to Students From Dr. Miksa

Dear Students,

I hope by now you have been engaging with your instructors online. I know this is not what you expected at the start of the semester but, as you are well aware, we are going through a very challenging time in our country and around the world. We chose to transition to all online instruction for your safety and in an effort to minimize the disruption in your educational progress.

Please be assured that WSCC will do our very best to provide you with an excellent educational experience during this unprecedented time. I know that our faculty and staff all want you to succeed and are here to help you. 

Continue to check your eLEARN for information about course assignments and check Senators Mail and the college’s website for further updates.

Please know that I am thinking about each and every one of you. I look forward to seeing you reach your educational goals!!!!

Dr. Tony Miksa
President

March 12, 2020

In response to the evolving situation of the coronavirus and to protect our students, employees, and community, Walters State will transition all face-to-face classes to online instruction effective Monday, March 16, which follows the college’s spring break. All instruction will continue online March 16-22. This means all Walters State classes will continue online.

All Walters State campuses will be closed March 16-22. A decision on when to re-open the college and return to regularly scheduled face-to-face instruction will be made on Thursday, March 19.

Students should check eLEARN for information about course assignments and check Senators Mail and the college’s website for further updates.

All college events scheduled for the week of March 16-22 are cancelled. Events for this time period scheduled at the Walters State Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center are also cancelled.

Keep in Touch

We are here to help you complete your semester

Campus Screening for COVID-19

All individuals visiting a campus must complete a Campus Screening Form for COVID-19.

If you receive a green check mark you will be allowed to enter campus at a designated check-in point. You must display your results.

Please choose Guest if you are a Workforce Training Student, otherwise please select from the following options:

WiFi Access

Campus Hotspots

Other WiFi Resources

  • Charter

    1.844.488.8395

    Free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps.

  • Comcast

    1.800.934.6489

    Xfinity WiFi is free for everyone via hotspots. Discounting data limits.

  • AT&T

    1.800.288.2020

    Free access to its public WiFi hotspots.

  • T-Mobile

    1.800.937.8997

    Unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days.

Local Area Food Banks

Daily Bread
serves a hot meal daily

Suicide Prevention

  • Text “TN” to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line and to immediately be connected to a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
  • The Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800.273.8255. If preferred, you can go to the website and participate in a chat feature. Also, the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Phone Line number is 855-CRISIS-1 or 855.274.7471.
  • Visit Mental Health America for free, anonymous, evidence-based screenings for anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. Parents can take a screening to determine if their children are showing symptoms of depression or anxiety. The back-end of the screenings provides local resources and do-it-yourself exercises to help.
Wash Your Hands

Additional Information

For more information on the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

You can also find information at the Tennessee Department of Health