Remarks from the President

Dear STCC Community and Colleagues,

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has prepared this return to campus plan with significant consideration of current COVID-19 pandemic conditions, as well as input and perspective from our many valued stakeholders. The purpose of the 2021 COVID-19 Campus Repopulation Plan is to describe our ongoing effort for the continued safe return to expanded campus operations.

With a great deal of diligence, STCC utilized the summer of 2021 for a transition to increased levels of on-campus support services and learning. The process has been intentional, and with a remarkable level of communication and employee engagement across departments, offices and divisions. We continue to monitor the outlook offered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to keep our campus, and community, as healthy and safe as possible. You are our top priority.

Last year in July, STCC issued a “Campus Repopulation Plan,” which helped establish a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This updated Plan, “COVID Repopulation Plan/2021” capitalizes on the effort over the past 16 months to reimagine the function and operations of STCC. The 2021 Plan will continue to be revised and updated as we receive new information about the pandemic, vaccination, and again, guidance from federal, state, and local officials.

Related, STCC continues to participate in vaccination efforts, and strongly encourages vaccination as the best means to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For this reason, the College will continue offering an on-campus vaccine clinic throughout the month of September, with efforts to keep a clinic for as long as needed. Clear guidelines and protocols for employees, students, and any visitors to campus, are also described in the Plan, including an indoor mask requirement, regardless of vaccination status. In accordance with the City of Springfield mask mandate, masks must also be worn outdoors if six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

In the spirit of collaboration, our continued work and engagement with one another enables STCC to find new and innovative ways to help students learn, persist, and graduate. The parameters in place through 2021 allow the college to remain flexible pending ongoing pandemic conditions. STCC may need to revise, scale back, or otherwise take all necessary actions to ensure health and safety remains our top consideration.

The commitment and dedication of STCC staff and faculty is, and remains, remarkable. Our close partnerships with the Springfield Department of Health & Human Services, elected officials, community-based organizations, local school districts, and business and industry partners are also remarkable. Together, we will continue to move forward our mission of access, equity, affordability, and helping students transform their lives.

John B. Cook, Ph.D.