USC Salkehatchie Campus Status
USC Salkehatchie is currently operating in Phase 2 of a four phase reopening process. This means that
- The campus remains closed to visitors.
- Most employees will continue to work remotely, if feasible.
- Essential personnel will be allowed on campus.
- High-risk employees will be allowed on campus, if they have a compelling reason.
- NO students are allowed on campus.
- Employees that are selected to return to campus must
- receive a letter from HR
- participate in mandatory online health training
- complete a health self-assessment form each day
- set a work schedule with HR at least seven days prior to the returning to campus
- USC Salkehatchie is currently offering Summer II classes online.
- In person classes will resume in mid-August.
- The Fall 2020 academic calendar will include two changes: first, there will be no Fall Break and second, we will conclude face-to-face instruction at Thanksgiving Break.
Messages to our Community, Students, Faculty and Staff
As we continue our work on preparing campus for this fall, I wanted to provide you with a few updates. Last week President Caslen announced plans for reopening USC Columbia. As you know, our Salkehatchie task force, along with its various working groups across campus, has been at work on our plan that is specific to our campus, in conjunction with the other Palmetto College campuses. While this plan has many elements in common with the Columbia campus plan, there are also important differences--primarily because Columbia is a residential campus, and we are not.
Next week I anticipate the release of our comprehensive plan, which I will share with you, and which likely will be accompanied by a press release for our local newspapers and media outlets summarizing the important points. In the meantime, I wanted to clarify some differences in our plan (as well as some items in common) with what USC Columbia is doing.
- Testing will NOT be required for employees or students returning to campus at USC Salkehatchie, nor at any of the other USC system campuses besides Columbia. Instead, we will follow guidelines set by the CDC and SC DHEC on how we will screen students and employees for symptoms, and where and when testing will be encouraged or required. More details on testing options are in the forthcoming plan.
- Face coverings will be required in classrooms by students and instructors. Face coverings will be required in all campus buildings by students at all times, and by employees when they are not in their own office. Washable cloth face coverings will be provided to all students and employees. Clear plastic face shields will be provided to instructors teaching live classes.
- Classrooms are being configured to allow for six-foot spacing between all desks and the instructor. Most classrooms will be at 30%-50% of their usual capacity. All classrooms are being outfitted with web cameras to record lectures for those who may become ill and need to stay at home, and to make remote attendance possible.
- In addition to moving large classes into larger classroom space, some classes may also be required to use a “hybrid” model of half-live and half-online instruction, while other faculty may choose to teach additional classes fully online this fall. Dr. Love is working with the faculty Academic Advisory committee on this plan and with each instructor on their options.
- Student lounges and common areas will be closed. Pedestrian traffic patterns within buildings will be configured to maintain social distancing. Additional protections will be installed for employees who engage with students or with the public.
- We have educational videos for students that are being shared during orientation, and are developing more for our website and to send out via our texting platform and through social media to all students soon. The videos are designed to educate students on the importance of safe protocols when they return to campus, and that personal responsibility to care for themselves and each other is key to maintaining a healthy campus.
- We have engaged a contractor to perform a thorough deep-cleaning of all buildings, offices, and classrooms before the end of the current phase of our reopening plan. We have hired additional custodial staff and intend to maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule throughout the fall and as long as necessary afterwards. Each department will be provided a kit of cleaning supplies to distribute among employees for use in their offices. Additional hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout campus buildings. All classrooms will be supplied with additional cleaning and sanitizing items, and students will be asked to use them to wipe down desks at the beginning and/or end of each class.
There are many more points and details in our comprehensive plan, but I wanted to provide you with some highlights for now. I understand everyone is interested in getting as much information as possible, and I will share it as it becomes available. However it is important to keep in mind that this is a dynamic environment, and decisions we make now about the fall may require further adjustments in the future as circumstances change.
I hope everyone remains healthy and safe as we look forward to celebrating July 4th next weekend!
USC Salkehatchie has launched a Campus Reopening Task Force to develop protocols and procedures necessary to safely open its campus to faculty, staff, and students.
“The safety and health of our campus community is our utmost concern and responsibility and will guide all our decisions as we move forward,” Dean Chris Nesmith said. “Numerous details need to be addressed. As with everything related to this current health crisis, much will depend on developing conditions. We are all hopeful the spread of COVID-19 will diminish, and conditions will improve. However, we are planning for the opposite and will continue to make all preparations to provide as safe a working and learning environment as possible this fall.”
USC Salkehatchie is working in concert with the university, multiple government agencies, and public health experts to determine best practices for the safest and most effective route forward. The task force will develop criteria and ensure these criteria are all met before students, faculty and staff return to campus.
USC Salkehatchie’s planned reopening will take place in 4 phases:
Phase 1: June 1 - June 21
- Campus will remain closed with admission and financial aid staff available remotely.
- ONLY essential staff will be allowed on campus--facilities and maintenance, etc.
- Non-essential employees will continue to work remotely.
Phase II: June 22 - July 13
- Most employees will continue to work remotely, if feasible.
- The campus will likely remain closed to visitors.
Phase III: July 14 - Aug. 3
- More staff and administration may be brought back to campus as needed with safety and health being the primary considerations.
- Campus possibly open to students and visitors with protocols in place.
Phase IV: Aug. 4
- Campus reopens with new social distancing protocols in force throughout the fall semester.
Although the USC Salkehatchie campus is currently closed, admissions and financial aid staff are available by email Monday through Friday to assist students who need to enroll or complete financial aid requirements. Summer classes are currently available for students to take online. Information and resources can be found uscsalkehatchie.sc.edu.
You can email them at the email addresses below: