For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2020
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
“Make this upcoming year count for you,” Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser says. “We’ve set up our classes so you will not have to miss a step in your educational journey.”
With the continued uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic, some students who had been planning to go away to a four-year university may be thinking of taking a “gap year.” President Blosser urges them to look a little closer to home to meet their educational needs.
With the health and safety of our students and employees being our top priority, Laurel Ridge faculty, staff and administrators have spent countless hours planning the safest possible return to campus for a selection of in-person classes starting Aug. 24. Likewise, careful planning has gone into our large selection of online classes.
For Laurel Ridge’s online classes, students will be able to choose among three formats:
- These classes are designed to be taken any time from anywhere. Instructors will present all of the class materials in the college’s online learning platform, Canvas, while also presenting some lectures and other learning tools through video conferencing. Students who are able to are free to participate in those conferences live, or view the recordings at their convenience.
- In these courses, students and their instructors will meet at designated times online. This style is the most similar to a traditional in-person class.
- Synchronous optional. Instructors leading these courses will livestream the class at a designated time, but the conferences will be recorded for later viewing if necessary.
For those classes which require in-person learning, such as some labs, trades programs and healthcare-related courses, Laurel Ridge is following the latest guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Students attending these courses will be required to sign an agreement, which among other precautions, states they will not come to class while sick or if they have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, they will inform their instructor if they recently attended class and have been diagnosed with the virus, they will wear a mask while in class and in college buildings, and they will practice social distancing.
Laurel Ridge will maintain social distancing through rearranged furniture, modified classroom layouts and staggered class times. There will be additional hand-sanitizer stations throughout the buildings. The gym, Subway and common areas in the Student Union Building on the Middletown Campus will remain closed, as will the dining establishments on both campuses.
There will be enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures at all of our campuses and sites. Classrooms will be sanitized before every class. Face coverings will be required in classrooms and in all public areas of buildings, unless an accommodation has been approved through Laurel Ridge Accommodations and Disability Services.
All of our student services, from registration, to advising, to financial aid help, are offered virtually. The Financial Aid Office has even set up “Drop-in Zoom Meetings” during business hours. These meetings will happen in the order in which the student entered the virtual waiting room.
Our Student Life and Engagement Team will continue to offer ways for students to be involved and feel supported with a series of online events, contests and giveaways.
And, for those who prefer to come on campus, our offices are open to help prospective and current students. Additionally, students are welcome to come on site to use the computer labs and wi-fi. There is wi-fi access in the parking lots for students who prefer to stay in their vehicles.
In addition to the Aug. 24 start date, some classes will begin Sept. 8, with another set of classes starting Oct. 19.
Visit laurelridge.edu/fall2020 for more information.
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected], 173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.