Resilience: Community Colleges Respond to COVID-19
Keeping Students Connected
Providing Equitable Access to Remote Learning and Student Support Resources
The challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic are certainly unprecedented. At Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) we remain true to our mission. We strive to be responsive and resilient in providing our students with the resources for learning and student success.
As the College mobilized our COVID-19 response plan, our response plan was holistic, with a deep understanding that our students may be disproportionately impacted by the outbreak. We have tapped into the vibrancy of our diverse communities and their cultural wealth, and added our own resources serving as centers for learning and as social hubs for our entire community.
Prioritizing Safety and Success
Ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our top priority. Frequent communication to the BHCC community and an up-to date webpages on how we are responding to COVID-19 remains a great resource to students, faculty and staff. While normal campus activity could have very easily come to a screeching halt, our administrative teams and faculty members have worked tirelessly to transition over 1,700 sections of our academic programs and courses over to a remote learning format.
In safer times, students come for social events, classes, computer and WIFI access, food pantry and other services for basic needs. Our emergency Single Stop Office provides students with housing and transportation support, remains open and in full service.
“We strive to be responsive and resilient in providing our students with the resources for learning and student success.”
A new Student Resource Center was quickly developed to help students navigate this transition to a remote learning model as seamlessly as possible. This collective effort has been imperative to providing our students with an uninterrupted learning experience, and has allowed us to continue supporting their academic progress, even in the midst of a global crisis.
Securing Student Resources
Adopting a remote learning model involves much more than converting courses to an online format. In order to truly ensure the success of every student, we’ve had to make sure they have immediate and reliable access to the tools and technical support they need.
Regrettably, some of our students have faced tremendous financial hurdles created by the pandemic. In an effort to mitigate as many of those burdens as possible, the BHCC Foundation created a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund, which allows us to loan electronic devices like Chromebooks to students who would otherwise lack access to these technologies. With the generous support from our foundation and other supporting parties, we have funds for 800 Chromebooks for our students. BHCC also works with students to ensure that they have stable internet and Wi-Fi access. Additionally, our faculty and administrative teams continue to host online advising and tutoring services for a vast majority of our program offerings.
Resilience and Progress
These times have demanded unforeseen levels of dedication, versatility, and tenacity from us all. Above all else, it is the immeasurable resilience and the extraordinary progress of our students that has inspired me the most. I’ve witnessed firsthand their unwavering dedication to their personal academic achievement, as well as a heightened commitment to their communities on and off campus. Their potential is our future, as a vast majority of the workforce in Greater Boston, including the first responders who are key to our survival during this pandemic, got their start at Bunker Hill Community College. As we navigate through these unchartered times, the BHCC program offerings in healthcare will continue to remain a stable and affordable choice.
While I believe that this resilience and strength of character has always existed in community college students, seeing these qualities amplified in the midst of this crisis has been humbling, empowering, and truly inspiring. I am incredibly proud of each and every member of our BHCC community, and am confident that if we continue to support one another, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome.