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Saturday, November 28, 2020

School to receive federal funding

Pierce College will receive a federal fund of about $7 million, as announced at a faculty Zoom meeting on April 17. 

The fund is part of a stimulus package that was previously approved.

About 50% of the fund will go directly to students. 

The remaining half is planned to be split, with about 30% going to further assist students and 20% to offset debts incurred from the campus closure due to COVID-19 prevention. 

“We want to make sure that it goes to the neediest students, in particular making sure the funds go out to our BOG [also known as California College Promise Grant] eligible students,” President of Pierce College Alexis Montevirgen said. “We can get those funds immediately to them so they can use the money that they probably already need.”  

The exact date that students will receive the grant will be determined at a later time. 

About 180 people joined the Zoom meeting where Pierce faculty also discussed campus cleanliness, maintenance and the challenges students are experiencing as they transition to online learning.

Visitors and staff are now required to wear masks and gloves when on campus for cleanliness and safety. Tabletops are being wiped down and carpets are being shampooed frequently.

“We haven’t had the exposure some other colleges have had to date,” Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said. “We’ve done a great job safeguarding our faculty and staff and our students.”

Faculty also discussed student unresponsiveness as they transition into online classes, with some students not completing work and others not logging in. 

Academic Affairs Advisor Malina Koani informed faculty of an email that will be sent to unresponsive students. She said that there are about 51 students who need to be contacted immediately. 

The faculty also spoke about being understanding of students who may have issues attending lectures during the scheduled class time.

Distance Education Coordinator Wendy Bass suggested professors record their lectures so that students who are unable to attend can view them at a later time.

“Just because they are home does not mean they still have that time available,” Bass said. “They may be sharing bandwidth with their kids or sharing a computer.”

Montevirgen ended the meeting by showing his gratitude to the staff at Pierce for their efforts in making the transition to online as smooth as possible. 

“I applaud our faculty, our staff and constituency groups for continuing to hold our different meetings,” Montevirgen said. “I have never been prouder to be President of Pierce College, because of the fact of what I have seen and witnessed first hand, in terms of our entire campus community, coming together and wanting to pitch in any way they can.” 

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