Sandburg’s trustees go online

Classes at Carl Sandburg College aren’t the only thing that went online at the community college.

Last week, Sandburg’s Board of Trustees held their March meeting online using Zoom teleconference in an accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for social distancing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made earlier in the month to move classes online exclusively for the remainder of the spring semester. Faculty and staff also made the transition to working from home, shifting virtually all student service operations off-campus in less than two weeks.

Dr. Seamus Reilly, Sandburg’s President, said the college is still working with the state to determine guidelines for students in programs with clinical settings, such as nursing.

Additionally, Sandburg is communicating with leaders at the state and federal level about potential resources available to assist the school as the result of the coronavirus.

In a release from Sandburg, Reilly praised the efforts made to deal with the virus, “It’s been an absolutely incredible effort. The Board should be aware of the incredible response that we’ve had and the positive attitude,” Reilly said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the students have the best possible rest of the semester. We realize that it’s incredibly disruptive, especially with regard to events on campus that we are all excited about having and planning for. That, first and foremost, is what has been consuming all of our efforts over the past couple of weeks.”

The Board approved a five-year contract extension with Follett Bookstores to continue operating the bookstore located on the main campus and the online bookstore services. The agreement will see the community college receive a 10 percent commission on all commissionable sales and $2,000 in textbook scholarships to provide to students at its discretion.

The initial contract was set to expire in July of this year but now runs through July of 2025.

The board also learned from Kris Gray, dean of health professions, that Sandburg’s EMS/Paramedic program has received full accreditation, a process that lasted more than two years.

The program itself is designed to prepare graduates to become an entry-level paramedic in the State of Illinois and to administer emergency care to critically ill or injured in pre-hospital settings.

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