Academic Continuity for Faculty
What is Academic Continuity?
Academic Continuity refers to the continuation of academic services and support at Rappahannock Community College through the use of instructional technology tools and online teaching & learning strategies during an emergency event or extended college closure. Help your students succeed by being proactive and knowing what to do during an emergency and how to do it.
Tips for effectively communicating with students online:
- Be consistent with the digital tool selected for online communications, and be sure to post this information in a prominent location, such as the Syllabus page in Canvas.
- Set expectations for how students should engage in the communication, including how they should contact the instructor.
- Set expectations with students for how quickly the instructor will respond to online communication.
Delivering a Virtual Lecture
There are many ways in which instructors can host lectures with their students, either synchronously or asynchronously with tools provided by the VCCS. For a virtual, synchronous meeting Zoom web conferencing is a great solution. In a Zoom meeting, both instructors and students can share audio, video and screen presentations. There is also an option for the host of a Zoom video to record the session, which can be saved and posted to Canvas after the session ends.
To optimize your synchronous Zoom lecture, we recommend:
- Use headphones or earbuds with a microphone to minimize surrounding noise and maximize your voice.
- In your Zoom settings, opt to Mute Participants upon entry into the meeting. As the host of the meeting, instructors are able to mute and unmute participants at any point.
- As the host of the meeting, instructors can turn on the Breakout Rooms feature in Zoom settings for group discussions. In a Breakout Room, instructors can split a large class meeting into separate rooms for small groups of students to work collaboratively.
As you begin transitioning your course materials online for remote instruction, please consider the following:
- Communicate with your students early and often. Demonstrate that you are present with the students in a meaningful way.
- Focus on learning outcomes even if you need to adjust specific activities that contribute to those outcomes.
- Prioritize course activities and focus on delivering the ones with the most significant impact on learning outcomes.
- Maintain normal course scheduling as much as possible. Try to hold synchronous activities during the normally scheduled campus class time, to avoid putting students in the difficult position of having to choose between simultaneous activities for different classes.
- Convert synchronous activities into asynchronous activities to ease scheduling challenges, as long as the new asynchronous activity promotes the same learning outcomes.
- Rearrange course activities if needed to delay specific activities where face-to-face interaction is crucial.
- Replace physical resources with digital resources or OER where possible. Remember that some students who are not on campus may not have access to all of their course resources.
- Use RCC supported tools and commonly used resources that are readily available and familiar to you and your students.
Academic Continuity for Students
Academic Continuity for Students
Continuing Your Studies Online
Here is how you should be prepared to successfully participate in your courses: clear communications, reliable Internet and device access, knowledge of Canvas, familiarity with creating files for online submission and a commitment to accessing and completing online assignments.
Contact your instructors via your VCCS email or messaging in Canvas.
- If you do not have all of the required technology and access to complete online coursework, be proactive in communicating this to your instructor and in finding solutions (see links below).
Internet and Device Access
When classes are changed to an online format, consider the following to be prepared.
- Ensure you have access to a computer or a mobile device that includes reliable access to the Internet.
- Ensure you have speakers and a microphone, or a headset with microphone.
- Ensure you have a webcam, either built into your computer/mobile device, or USB webcam.
- Use Canvas Resources and make sure you are getting instructor notifications and announcements.
- File Types: You may be asked to submit PDF or Microsoft Office files. Office 365 and Google Docs allow you to save your files as PDFs. (For information on Google Apps, please visit https://www.rappahannock.edu/helpdesk/)
- Software: As a Rappahannock student, you have access to free instructional software at https://www.rappahannock.edu/helpdesk/software/
- Daily Check-in: Expect to check your email and Canvas courses daily, and be prepared to attend live video sessions online via the Zoom web conferencing tool that may be scheduled during your regularly scheduled campus class time.
See the RCC Help Desk page at: https://www.rappahannock.edu/helpdesk/
- Notifications: Reading announcements and assignment notifications are crucial to having a successful online learning experience.
- Time: Expect to spend as much time with your courses online as you would on-campus.
- Office Hours: Take advantage of any online office hours offered.
- Communicate: Take the time to promptly communicate via Canvas or email with your instructors. Ask for feedback or clarification; be open to phone conversations and video conferencing.
- Course Support: Before spending too much time on tasks, be sure to ask for assistance if you have questions or are unable to access course content. Canvas courses need to be published in order for you to see them. If you cannot see your course on your Canvas dashboard or Courses menu, contact your instructor to make sure it has been published.
- For help, contact the RCC Help Desk at 804-333-6786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpful Links and Information from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
COVID-19 Resource Links for Colleges, Businesses and Individuals
Thursday, March 19, 2020
COVID-19 Pandemic Information
For information regarding the global pandemic and the latest guidance from Virginia public health officials,
The New York Times is providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help readers understand the pandemic. Sign up with an email address to read all the articles on this page. https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus
Unemployment and other Public Benefits
Virginia Governor’s Office Guidance: https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates/
Virginia Chamber COVID Resource Center: https://www.vachamber.com/covid-19/
Virginia Employment Commission: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/
Virginia is in the process of applying for small business administration emergency loans. Reference here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
For unemployment benefits, individuals can apply online at: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/node/11699. The Governor has waived wait times and called for expedited processing of claims.
To determine eligibility for any and all social services programs, individuals can apply via CommonHelp or by phone at 1-855-635-4370. They are processing claims for assistance.
Virginia Career Works centers have limited access right now.
Online Connectivity for Students Who Lack It
- FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for two months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.
- Charter Free Internet offer for two months
- AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families.
- Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers. Started Tuesday, March 17, 2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- Altice/Suddenlink response: offers 30Mb internet to any new subscriber free for 60 days. No late fees or terminations for existing customers. Applicable to some rural localities.
Minimizing Your Risks of Getting COVID-19
What students can do in the wake of a natural disaster: https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/natural-disasters/
How to cope emotionally in the wake of a disaster:
You’ll probably still need to go to the store and open doors. Here are ten ways to help avoid coronavirus when you must leave the house: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/10-ways-to-help-avoid-coronavirus-when-you-have-to-leave-the-house/
If you’re feeling stir-crazy from being cooped-up and cut off from the outside world, these links offer some sanity relief: access to some of the world’s most beautiful art galleries and natural parks via online virtual tours.
Five top world art galleries:
Twelve amazing livestreams of animals around the world:
Virtually tour of US national parks:
The Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums, galleries, gardens and National Zoo have temporarily shut their doors. But, while these brick-and-mortar buildings may be closed, the Smithsonian remains active in the digital space, making it easy for museum lovers, creatives and lifelong learners to experience its offerings from home.
Interim Rappahannock Community College Guidelines: Instruction, Events & Travel
UPDATE: MARCH 27, 2020
Rappahannock Community College is Closed Until Further Notice
Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, all campuses and sites will be closed (Glenns, Warsaw, Kilmarnock, King George, New Kent and Montross). Access to the buildings will not be permitted. This includes the Libraries and the Testing Centers.
In order to assist those without strong Internet connectivity, RCC has extended WiFi access to the following areas (see maps):
Glenns Campus: Parking lot area, closest to the nature trail entrance.
Warsaw Campus: Driveway loop at end of Rte 360 entrance, near the flagpoles.
Kilmarnock Center: Parking lot area closest to the front of RCC Workforce Development.
Additional locations (click here to open Google Map of locations) throughout our service region where students can find free WiFi. Some may require a purchase (coffee or cheeseburgers) in order to use. We ask that anyone using WiFi in any of these areas to maintain adequate social distancing for the safety of others.
Originally scheduled for May 8, 2020 and the Nursing Program Pinning Ceremony, originally scheduled for May 7, 2020, are canceled. RCC may hold a commencement ceremony at a later date and that information will be communicated here. Please remember that once a student completes all the requirements for graduation, he or she will be a graduate.
All in-person classes have been canceled. Instruction will be delivered online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester as well as the Summer 2020 semester. All RCC students are urged to remain in close phone and email contact with their instructors for class schedules, lessons, assignments and grades.
All Rappahannock Institute of Lifelong Learning (RILL) classes are canceled. The Preakness Party, scheduled for May 16, 2020, has been canceled.
Call the RCC Food Pantry at 804-333-6732 or email email@example.com to discuss options for possible pick up.
Message from President Shannon Kennedy
March 12, 2020
Dear RCC Community,
As we closely monitor COVID-19 (Coronavirus), RCC is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and state and local departments. We are guided by four key goals: safeguarding the health of students, faculty, staff, and the community; ensuring instruction continues; maintaining the College’s operations; and joining in the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to use these goals to guide our best judgment as new information is released.
Shift to Remote Learning:
Out of an abundance of caution and in support of CDC guidance regarding social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, RCC will shift to remote learning.
- On-campus classes are cancelled on March 16 and March 17 to allow for the transition. Classroom instruction and student advising will be conducted virtually starting Wednesday, March 18 until Saturday, April 4. Online classes will continue without change.
- College events are suspended from March 16 to April 4. This includes events sponsored by any recognized student organization and other affiliated groups.
- The College will revisit the situation and provide further communication no later than March 27.
- RCC campuses and sites will remain open unless otherwise noted. Our libraries, including the Richmond County Public Library, housed on the Warsaw campus, will remain open.
- Keeping the campuses open allows faculty to develop and deliver lessons and materials electronically and students to access computers for learning, if needed. RCC is diligently disinfecting common areas, door handles and computer keyboards. Tissues and hand sanitizer are available throughout all campuses and sites.
- Employees are expected to continue working during this period, observing proper health protocols and with modifications as needed and approved by supervisors. We ask that employees who are feeling ill to please remain at home. All non-essential travel is suspended.
Our understanding of this COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. At this time, prevention and preparation are the best courses of action, and RCC asks all students, faculty, staff, and community members to follow the CDC recommended hygiene and social distancing practices. Your success matters to us! Please stay safe and healthy!
To stay informed:
- Call 804-333-6761 for the latest RCC information.
- Refer to www.rappahannock.edu/health for additional information and resources, including free health care providers in our service area.
- RCC students/staff: Sign up for the RCC Alert System: https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085614989#/login
Sign up as a NEW USER and set up your account and profile
Shannon L. Kennedy, Ed.D
Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Rappahannock Community College and other educational institutions are closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (“2019-nCoV”).
We are all interested in staying abreast of developments relating to the novel coronavirus and to keep our College community informed, we have created this webpage where we will communicate with you about the coronavirus and how it could affect our community.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, “Common coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, like the common cold. Symptoms include fever, cough and trouble breathing; it can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. Anyone experiencing symptoms should visit a doctor immediately.”
As precautions, the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health and other agencies recommend steps that everyone can take to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Please visit the links provided for additional information on the virus and steps you can take to help prevent its spread.
- CDC’s Handwashing
- VDH – Fact Sheet for Coronaviruses
- CDC – 2019 Novel Coronavirus FAQ
- CDS – 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- World Health Organization – Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Please stay informed and stay well. We will provide updates whenever they become available.
Free Health Care Providers
Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic
Kilmarnock (Main Clinic)
51 William B Graham Court
Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Monday 8:30 – 5:00
Tuesday 8:30 – 8:00
Wednesday 8:30 – 5:00
Thursday 8:30 – 8:30
Friday 8:30 – 4:00
Westmoreland Outreach Clinic
Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church
16340 King Highway
Montross, VA 22520
Every other Thursday 8:30 – 1:00
Middlesex Outreach Office
Feeshade Community Center
1544 Regent Road
Syringa, VA 23169
Every Thursday 12:30 – 4:30
Tappahannock Free Clinic
317 Duke Street
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Central Virginia Health Services—Fredericksburg/Westmoreland
1965 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
18849 Kings Hwy.
Montross, VA 22520
Southeastern Virginia Health System—Town Center Physicians
Community Health Center (CHC) for insured, uninsured, and underinsured
10980 Buckley Hall Road
Mathews, VA 23109
Middle Peninsula Northern Neck CSB
530 General Puller Highway
Saluda, VA 23149
Three Rivers Health District
Info on Coronavirus in our 10-county region
Protect Yourself and Others From Getting Sick