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Classes go on at Bay — online

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Signage on the front entrance of Bay College’s Besse Center explains how members of the public can reach college faculty while Bay’s physical campuses are closed Monday. The campuses will be closed to the public through at least Monday, April 13.

ESCANABA — Bay College will continue to hold classes online for the remainder of the winter 2020 semester and is closing its physical campuses to the public until at least Monday, April 13, the college announced. However, Bay’s classes and services will continue to be available.

“The doors are locked … but we are a functional college,” President Laura Coleman said.

When Bay originally stated the majority of its face-to-face classes would be moving online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it was said the move would remain in place through at least April 12.

“The CDC is recommending that we keep in mind that the coronavirus is going to be moving through for quite a while,” Coleman said of the college’s reason for extending the move.

Tests and quizzes for classes at Bay will be delivered online, as well.

Coleman said a few of Bay’s classes involving lab work will be affected by the closure. Lab work for these classes will be put off until the end of the semester, as the college hopes to reopen its physical campuses by then.

Students in these classes will continue to learn in the meantime.

“Even the classes that involve lab work have also got lecture time, and so that lecture time will be … done online,” Coleman said.

Support services — including tutoring, supplemental instruction, advising, counseling, registration and more — will be available online, via email or over the phone. Additionally, Bay will use these methods to continue offering all of its other services over the campuses’ closure period.

“We’re going to be able to connect with our students and our community on a regular basis,” Coleman said.

Employees of the college will telecommute, and their work phones will be forwarded to their phones at home.

Summer classes at Bay are still planned to run as scheduled. Summer course registration is underway, and priority registration for the fall 2020 semester opens Monday, March 30.

Online resources are being offered for students looking for help with online classes and faculty seeking online teaching support. Contact onlinehelp@baycollege.edu regarding these resources.

Student events that were scheduled to take place on campus through the end of the semester will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. More information regarding events will be made available on Bay’s website.

Bay’s traditional commencement ceremony for graduates will not be held this year. Instead, a “virtual graduation ceremony” has been scheduled for May 9.

Bay is offering computer loans for students in need — to apply, send an email to libraryhelp@baycollege.edu. Additionally, Charter Spectrum is offering Wi-Fi services to students. For students without Wi-Fi availability, the college has a limited number of laptops that can be checked out; these students will be able to use Wi-Fi in parking areas.

Student housing at Bay College remains open to current residents, but Coleman said most students using the housing have already left. Outside guests are not allowed to visit campus housing.

Student mental health services are available remotely, and are free for Bay students. Call 906-217-4156; in case of a mental health emergency, call 911. Help is also available to Bay employees and their families through the Employee Assistance Program.

In an email sent to Bay students on the decision to extend online instruction, Coleman expressed her appreciation of how the college’s students and employees are handling the current situation.

“We cannot control the many changes the coronavirus has forced, but we all have the power to choose how we respond,” she said.

Updates on Bay College’s response to the pandemic will continue to be shared on the “Coronavirus” section of its website, located at www.baycollege.edu/coronavirus.

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