Butler closes out spring semester, continues enrollment for summer, fall classes
Some classes return for spring to finish coursework with safety protocols in place
EL DORADO, Kan. – Despite COVID-19 and the spring semester going fully online, Butler Community College continues to operate remotely in all facets. While classes are concluding for the semester, the student services division is busy managing financial aid, advising and enrolling students in summer and fall classes.
A look at the numbers show the financial aid office awarded aid to 944 students from mid-March to the end of April. They also handled 1,635 financial aid phone calls with students. Advisors served 3,670 students from mid-March to May 5; 2,412 of those were phone and email appointments and more than 1,030 were released to enroll online. Over the month of April, 1,000 students were admitted and ready for enrollment.
“We’re working hard to answer all of their questions,” said Deann Shimp, director of advising. With so much uncertainty we want them to remember how critical their education is for their own future, and that while this world has certainly changed, that doesn’t mean they have to stop their journey.”
In addition, the college has waived all late fees for the spring 2020 semester, and payment plans have been flexed as needed without penalty in an increased effort to assist students financially.
With the lightened restrictions set forth by the State of Kansas, a limited number of Butler Community College students are returning to campus in May. Most coursework was completed online between March and May. These students are only completing about two to four weeks of lab requirements in order to complete required hands-on training for their credentials and national certifications. This only applies to various lab settings for students in a limited number of courses offered within the divisions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; Health Sciences; and Education and Public Services.
Welding, Auto Technology, EMT and Fire Science students returned with various protocols for entering buildings. Once inside, students and instructors are required to remain so until the daily training is completed. Some students are bringing snacks and lunches as needed.
“We have steps we’re taking to ensure their safety as well as the safety of our instructors,” said Lori Winningham, vice president of academics. “Students are having to sign a statement each day acknowledging they are taking seriously the social distancing protocols. In addition, we are taking their temperature each morning and they are wearing face masks.”
As the summer and fall semester enrollments continue, Butler recently announced all summer courses will be delivered remotely and fall classes will resume face-to-face instruction. Summer courses begin as early as May 18 with the majority starting in early June. Some short-term courses also start in late June and early July. Another institutional effort to support students and families was the recent launch of the SummerPlus Initiative which awards students with three free credit hours when they enroll in six summer credit hours.