Tyler Junior College students, staff and faculty have adapted rapidly to the current challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spring classes are being delivered online or remotely, and the College continues to provide important services to students.
In a recent letter to TJC constituents, TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “Managing the complexities of our College is vast and requires careful and diligent efforts.” He noted that TJC is an open-access institution with over 13,000 students, many of whom do not have personal laptops or internet access at home.
A unique service aimed at addressing TJC student needs is the recent addition of campus parking lot “hotspots,” where students can access Wi-Fi while remaining in their vehicles.
According to TJC’s Chief Information Officer Jeff Hassett, “TJC fast-tracked the enhancement of outdoor Wi-Fi in these lots due to the challenges of student access due to COVID-19 related restrictions. Fortunately, students with little to no accessibility to Wi-Fi away from campus now have a place to complete their online coursework without compromising social distancing.”
Hassett added that all students using the parking lot “hotspots” are asked to stay in their vehicles.
In addition to the availability of Wi-Fi, students can also access most services by phone, email and virtually. There are a limited number of essential personnel continuing to work from their offices while adhering to CDC guidelines for physical distancing.
TJC student/community-facing departments offering support mainly by virtual means include Apache Enrollment Center, Advising, Admissions, Registrar, Scholarships, Financial Aid, Business Services and Dual Credit. During the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, students can interact with these departments in real time via telephone or email. During times outside of these hours, students can send emails or leave voice messages, which will be answered or returned the next business day.
Hassett said, “TJC continues to work with our students, finding alternative ways in the middle of this crisis to help them succeed. We continue to bring as many services available remotely as we can.”
Mejia said, “Throughout TJC’s 94-year history, we have had a heritage of creativity in crisis, and we will successfully navigate through this challenge. That’s our promise. Our continued commitment to student and community success will prevail beyond this difficult chapter. Our students continue to communicate with us that they miss the magic of being at TJC, and we look forward to the time ahead when we will benefit from the return of our students, alumni and our community.”
For questions about student services at TJC, visit tjc.edu/coronavirus.