Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) officials are continuing preparations to safely re-open classes for summer and fall semesters in all programs. Plans are centered around having students on-campus and online as appropriate. In addition, the college plans to provide institutional aid to significantly reduce tuition for career and technical education programs and general courses in an effort to make classes more affordable for students who are dealing with financial hardship from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. General education courses are typically courses in freshman English, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. These courses are accepted at all Louisiana public colleges and universities including LSU of Alexandria, Northwestern State University, and Louisiana College.
“Currently CLTCC is offering essential CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) program trainings such as Nursing, Manufacturing, and Welding, to name a few,” said CLTCC Chancellor Jimmy Sawtelle. “We are conducting student training in an environment patterned after local business and industry following the appropriate safety measures, including use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), social distancing, thorough cleaning of high-traffic areas, and we have conducted specialized safety training for our employees.”
Sawtelle said online and hybrid (face-to-face and online) classes will continue to be the preferred option for many courses during the summer session, which begins June 1. But in many CLTCC disciplines, such as welding, nursing, and manufacturing, hands-on instruction is essential. “It is critical that we balance the safety needs of our students and our instructors with the educational objectives of the course to make sure our students get the best possible learning experience in an appropriate training environment,” Sawtelle said. “We are taking the necessary steps to safely use hands-on instruction where we determine that method is essential, and we are adjusting our procedures as needed. CLTCC is using screening, PPE, distancing and spacing strategies, increased cleaning efforts, and adjusting teacher-student ratios to minimize exposure.”
Also, Sawtelle said the school is making plans to be ready to welcome students back for a strong yet appropriate return to on-campus instruction for the fall semester, which starts Aug. 17.
For both summer and fall semesters, students will find opportunities for reduced tuition for many programs and general education courses. “We want everyone back, and, like everyone else, we want to see classes return similar to pre-COVID-19. But we understand many people throughout Central Louisiana have lost jobs, had their hours reduced, or experienced other financial challenges during the pandemic,” Sawtelle said. “We don’t want these life situations to be an impediment to someone pursuing their goal of going back to school, getting a training certificate, or working to increase their education and improve their life.”
As a result, Sawtelle said CLTCC will be significantly reducing tuition for general courses, such as English, Algebra and science. “We are all in this together,” Sawtelle said. “Central Louisiana has been so supportive and has really embraced CLTCC. In this difficult time, we want to do everything we can to give back and be supportive of our community. Whether it is making 3D printed PPE for local healthcare workers or reducing tuition to help during financial uncertainty, we’re proud partners with the communities in the 12 parishes we serve, and we are happy to do whatever we can to help.”