Lakeland News Posting

Lakeland Community College looks back on one year of operating during the pandemic

Posted: March 17, 2021

Photo: A screen shot of the 2020 Student Leader Banquet that was held virtually.

This upcoming week marks the one-year anniversary of the Lakeland community transitioning to remote work and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following recommendations from the state and health officials, Lakeland made the decision to move in-person classes to remote learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On-campus classroom instruction was suspended March 14-20 to give faculty some time to adapt in-person classes to online formats. All classes then resumed via remote delivery March 21, 2020. When the state's Stay-at-Home Order went into effect March 23, 2020, all office personnel moved to digital formats also. Only essential police and facilities staff were permitted on campus.

The college operated from the realms of cyberspace and adapted to a new way of keeping the college running – and students learning and engaged. This led to an increased use of remote college services and creation of additional online resources.

Although limited in-person classes and operations resumed for fall 2020 and spring 2021 with recommended social distancing protocols, most meetings and gatherings were still held online.

Here is a snapshot of how the college adapted to support students throughout the past year as communications went digital, students sought help and all things virtual became the new normal.

Communicating digitally

  • More than 36,000 meetings were held via Webex, totaling over 2.24 million minutes.
  • In the past 180 days, Microsoft Office was used to send/receive over 3 million emails, complete 8,300 forms, and facilitate 328 shared team sites. The college added two terabytes of file storage, which now totals eight terabytes of data for 2 million files.
  • Over 9,169 streaming videos were viewed on Techsmith Knowmia.
  • More than 433 e-newsletters and e-postcards were sent to over 39,261 recipients, resulting in over 65,3693 views and 7,594 web views.

Meeting student needs

  • Chromebooks were provided free of charge to students who need them and were borrowed 946 times (Spring 2020–247; Summer 2020–142; Fall 2020-378; Spring 2021–309).
  • CARES Act Emergency Grants distributed to 1,244 students totaled $1,536,947; additional federal emergency grant funds were awarded for a total of $16,438.
  • Immediate Needs funds were awarded to 92 students and totaled $33,073.
  • More than $18,000 in gift cards was distributed to 121 students while the Lakeland Cares Cupboard was closed.
  • Three Greater Cleveland Food Bank distributions were held on campus serving hundreds of households.
  • Enlightened Navigator volunteers reached out to check on students and direct them to college resources: First outreach - 1,600 students (approximately 8,000 points of contact); second outreach - 422 students (approximately 500 points of contact); third outreach - 500 students (approximately 1,500 points of contact).

Keeping students engaged

  • New Student Orientation fully transitioned from in-person gatherings to flexible online learning.
  • The Student Leader Awards Banquet and other events and activities such as virtual game night, Balance Matters Week and Halloween programs were held online.
  • Leadership building programs such as the Lakers Crew, Emerging Leaders and Leadership Skills 101 were redesigned for remote delivery.
  • Student clubs met virtually including Lakeland Student Association, Gamers' Guild, Lakeland Signers, Hispanic Club, Construction Management Student Organization, Student Veterans of America, as well as monthly inter-club council meetings.
  • Campus Connection was redesigned to directly connect to virtual programs more easily. A special Black History Month Campus Connection edition featured educational resources, books, movies, tv shows, podcasts, local resources and virtual events.

Supporting remote learning

  • The remote learning concierge provided 191 students with individual assistance. Support also comprised Early Alert participation and Civitas follow-up, Live Chat response, referrals, study skills intervention and connection to campus resources.
  • "Crash's Camp for Remote Learning" video modules have 5,377 combined views.
  • Top five areas online learners needed assistance with were Blackboard navigation, basic computer skills, referrals for academic learning support (tutoring), personal issues (counseling), and help with time management (study skills).

By: Jessica Novak

Media Contact:
Kerry Jonke