Nitasha Lewis, a manager with the Upward Bound program at Peninsula College, uses a paper valise to keep her head dry as she walks across the college’s Port Angeles campus on Feb. 6. The college is going to online classes for the entirety of the 2020 spring quarter. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Nitasha Lewis, a manager with the Upward Bound program at Peninsula College, uses a paper valise to keep her head dry as she walks across the college’s Port Angeles campus on Feb. 6. The college is going to online classes for the entirety of the 2020 spring quarter. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Peninsula College goes online for 2020 spring quarter

The academic year at Peninsula College is moving forward — a week later than planned and with instruction going online for the entire spring quarter.

College officials announced the shift to online classes on April 2.

The quarter will start on Monday, April 13, and end as planned on Saturday, June 13.

Commencement is tentatively planned for Saturday, June 20, with a decision about commencement details to be made closer to that date, PC representatives said.

Faculty members are using the week of April 6-10 to prepare for spring quarter instruction, PC representatives said, including how to delivery of lab and clinic elements of courses.

“We are at a critical point in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” College President Luke Robins said.

Noting Clallam and Jefferson county health officials’ recommendations to “flatten the curve” of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Robins said, “As a college community, we can do this by eliminating face to face work conditions where possible, observing appropriate social distancing when interacting with others, and continuing to observe universal precautions and enhanced cleaning protocols.

“We have an ethical responsibility to do whatever we can to help slow the spread of this pandemic — but we also want to continue to serve our students and our communities during this challenging time. We are continuing to process admissions applications and financial aid requests and we are registering students.”

In a recent email to PC students Robins wrote, “Your academic success continues to be our top priority. The COVID-19 situation changes almost hourly, and I appreciate your patience as we prepare for a Spring Quarter unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Please take good care, get plenty of rest, and keep an eye out for updates via social media, our website and email.”

For more information, call Pirate Central at 360-452-9277.

Resources for students included are included below.

PC resources

• Bookstore

Textbooks can be ordered online at bookaneer.pencol.edu/Home. The site also includes information on rental returns. Free shipping withing Washington state has been extended on all orders placed on the website. For help placing an order, call 360-417-6440 and leave a message or email to cwonsey@pencol.edu.

• Business office

PC is working to really limit/eliminate cash payments to the college for the foreseeable future. Students can convert cash to cashier’s checks free of charge at local First Federal branches (students do not need to have an account). To find the nearest branch, visit www.ourfirstfed.com/home/locations. Payments can then be mailed to: Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

• Community Resource Database

A collaboration between the college’s Workforce Programs ABAWD Navigator and the school library has created a resource database to connect students and the community with supports from housing to healthcare. See https://bit.ly/2wrtpxf.

• Financial assistance

Financial aid for spring quarter was scheduled to disburse to eligible student’s billing accounts on April 6. Financial aid refunds will be generated and sent to eligible students (via refund method student selected) by Friday, April 10; paper checks may take a few days longer, PC officials said. Email to financialaid@pencol.edu for more information.

• Pirate Pantry/Student Food Bank

The Pirate Pantry closed with the end of winter quarter, but is open again this week (April 6-10), subject to health regulations). For a list of community food resources, visit http://bit.ly/2J28K5A.

• Worker retraining

Peninsula College’s Worker Retraining Program helps students with tuition, textbooks, childcare, transportation and more. Go to pencol.edu/worker-retraining for more information.

PC Foundation establishes COVID-19 relief fund

with support from area donors, the Peninsula College Foundation has provided funds over the past few years to cover emergency expenses that would otherwise cause students to drop out of college.

Now those funds are being shifted to help those affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, foundation officials said this week.

“Nearly every student helped by these funds is successful, which means they either graduate or they stay enrolled and continue on with their education,” said Getta Rogers Workman, executive director for the Foundation. “We are hearing of new and greater challenges for PC students, as this global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plays out. Students need financial help, and they need it quickly.

“We work with the College to keep this from happening, by getting aid immediately to students with need.”

Donors wishing to offer emergency funds for Peninsula College students can give to Peninsula College Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Relief Fund at pencol.edu/foundation/give, or by sending a check to: PC Foundation Relief Fund, 1502 E Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98362.

Every dollar given goes toward student support, foundation officials said.

“We need help from community partners to make sure that we can support these students,” Workman said.

For more information, email Workman at grogers@pencol.edu.

Nursing, medical assistant students get boost

Each nursing and medical assisting student attending Peninsula College for the 2020-21 academic year will receive a scholarship from the Peninsula College Foundation, thanks to its many donor partners, college officials announced this week.

Newly-enrolled students in the Medical Assisting Program and Medical Office Assisting Program will receive $2,000, and all 64 Nursing Program students will receive $1,000 each.

Find more information about additional foundation scholarships at www.pencol.edu/scholarships.

The Medical Assisting Program is accepting students for fall 2020. Get information about the program and how to apply at pencol.edu/proftech/medical-assisting. Prerequisites and general education courses are all available online. The Nursing Program application process is also online, though the program has more applicants than available spaces for fall 2020. Students with general education credits who are unable to get into PC’s nursing Program can transfer these credits to the Medical Assisting Program.

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