Lamar State College Orange students who graduate in May will receive diplomas and certificates through the mail, but will participate in the August commencement ceremony with summer school graduates.
LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson told Gary Stelly about the plans Wednesday on KOGT’s Morning Show.
Johnson gave Stelly updates on how the college is adapting to academics during the pandemic. LSCO has had the Blackboard online communications system for several years and has used it during storm disasters. He said the system has been updated to allow virtual classrooms. Students can see teachers and teachers can see students.
Governor Greg Abbott has ordered schools closed until May 4, with a possibility of extending the order.
Johnson said most LSCO students have internet services and computer. Students without access to the internet may go to the college, stay outside, and use the school’s wi-fi. He has seen students sitting in their vehicles in parking lots using the wi-fi on smartphones or other devices.
He praised the LSCO faculty for ideas to help during this period. He said Doreen Babcock set a desk up outside her classroom door for a student without a computer or internet. The student can then see the lesson that is broadcast online and still meet the rules for distancing and crowds.
Dr. Suzonne Crockett has implemented ideas to help students online, including a question and answer program on the college’s Library Learning Center. Johnson said a student can write a question and someone will be available to answer.
High school students registered to earn college credits through LSCO are continuing their classes online and will receive earned credits.
The college is currently registering students for summer sessions and “mini-mesters.” The mini-mester is an intense three-week course between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the summer.
Johnson said people are looking more at LSCO for fall courses, too. Because of Covid 19, some parents and students do not want to go off to school. Plus, some may not be able to afford to go off.
He pointed out that last year LSCO had a 25 percent reduction in tuition and an average class size of 17.