Staying home doesn't mean you can't stay in school
April 15, 2020 by Kevin
These are strange, uncertain times, but that doesn’t stop the Community Colleges of Spokane from welcoming back their students in style. Leading up to the start of what would have been just another busy and educational Spring quarter, students and teachers were gearing up for the classes ahead when the unprecedented happened. COVID-19 took our communities by storm, and we’ve all had to get creative and adapt. CCS was no exception. They needed some encouraging, creative, and timely messaging, and they needed it promptly, to encourage the will and can-do spirit to take all spring classes online.
Fortunately, the good people over at the Community Colleges were already on top of it, gathering hundreds of iPhone videos from faculty members, teachers and staff to welcome back the students to this brave new world of remote learning. They were so excited to welcome their new and returning students and the fact that they couldn’t do it in person wouldn’t stop them. With tons of content, that was bursting at the seams with optimism and positive energy, it was no easy task distilling it all into two, relatively short welcome back videos (one for each campus) that encompassed the wide swath of personalities and messages, ranging from kitchen serenade sessions to coffee-cheers from the seat of a tractor.
We were provided footage on Wednesday morning, and made it to approval after two drafts with revisions, to have them live on Friday. Classes began on Monday, and the videos had received thousands of views each by Tuesday. Woot!
The message that struck me the most was the encouragement to the students during this new and challenging time to keep persisting in classes and education; to overcome and find a way to accomplish their goals. Community College students are facing unique challenges right now and some are being forced to choose between school and everything else. They might be someone with vast life experiences, or the primary provider for their family, or someone who went into the workforce and then back to school years, or even decades, later. It’s already hard enough to keep the motivation and the drive going with mouths to feed and full-time jobs without a pandemic thrown into the mix. These teachers and faculty at CCS knew their students and the unique challenges and choices they were being asked to make. The overwhelming message was that ‘this is where you belong!’ and, ‘we’ll get through this together!’ In a world full of negativity and panic, this was a breath of fresh air from our friends at CCS.
With the new Spring quarter now underway, I imagine all of the students that are bravely leaning into this learning curve and continuing to pursue their dreams, alongside the people that are there to support and teach them… It’s an inspiring and beautiful thing to see in this time of doubt, and I hope we can, in our own ways, all give that to each other.