Motlow State returns to normal

Motlow College’s Moore County campus recently returned to business as usual. The College recently moved to Pandemic Level 1, allowing it to open its campuses completely to students, staff, and visitors. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL EDUCATION NEWS — As vaccination rates continue to rise and case counts continue to fall, Motlow State recently announced that all campuses, including the Moore County campus, would return to normal operations effective immediately. The College recently moved to Pandemic Level 1, allowing it to open its campuses completely to students, staff, and visitors.

All student support services are now fully open. Walk-in service is available. Students are welcome to but are no longer required to make appointments for support. Libraries are open and computer labs are becoming available. Testing, counseling, and tutoring are also open on campus. Yet, all of these services will continue to also be available to students online for learners who prefer to seek support virtually.

As the College returns to normalized operations under its Pandemic Level 1 status, fall classes will be chiefly on-campus in traditional classroom settings. Fall 2021 classes begin Aug. 23. The move to chiefly on-campus instruction this Fall does not affect any class for which a student is already enrolled. It simply means that more on-campus courses will be added to the Fall semester. Likewise, the College will provide a robust list of online courses for students who continue to prefer to learn virtually.

Motlow’s summer classes are already underway. Classes began for the full term and 1st short-session term on June 1. Summer 2nd session classes start July 6. Summer courses will continue to meet as planned, with most meeting virtually, allowing a smooth phase-in of operations. Motlow has been very intentional in assessing, defining, and implementing health, safety, and wellness protocols. Decisions to move from one Pandemic Response Level to another are holistically based upon comparative data points that are fluid and subject to change. Motlow has made the current decision cautiously based on indicators that suggest the local health environment is stabilizing. The preponderance of indicators asserts that normalizing services, operations, and instructional delivery is in the best interest of the majority of stakeholders. 

At Pandemic Level 1, all campuses and grounds are now open and staffed. Students, employees, and visitors are no longer required to complete a daily health assessment before coming on campus. Mask wearing and social distancing are no longer required. However, the College encourages and supports all students in making personal mask-wearing decisions appropriate for their own needs.

Following CDC guidance, TBR and Motlow State recommend that individuals who have not been vaccinated do so as soon as possible. TBR and Motlow State also encourage those who have not been fully vaccinated to continue wearing masks and observing social distancing to protect themselves and others.

While moving to Pandemic Level 1 means that the College returns to near-normal operations, Motlow remains pandemic aware and will continue to stay ready to adapt further if needed. Motlow actively monitors a variety of data sets informing its pandemic response. In addition, the College is committed to ensuring that it acts based on the most up-to-date health guidance. As this guidance and local environmental factors change, College leadership regularly meets to re-evaluate how situational implications should inform its decision-making.

Motlow will continue to monitor local health department data and regional data to make the best decisions for its students and staff. If indicators were to change and the needs of students and staff shift, the college will remain prepared to pivot as appropriate. Motlow officials says their pandemic response continues to be informed by the TN Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the College’s Pandemic Emergency Response Team (PEMT) recommendation.

For more information about admissions, financial aid, new student orientation, and class registration, visit Motlow’s website or call 1-800-654-4877.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}