A Recap of RMC’s COVID-19 Response by Jocelyn Anderson

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

Rocky Mountain College has been working on campus-wide solutions due to COVID-19. When a pandemic breaks out, it can be hard to know what the best course of action is for an institution. Ultimately, the college should have its students’ best interests in mind, especially when it comes to their health and safety. Here is how Rocky has handled the virus so far:


MARCH 2, 2020 

The first notice that was sent out via email to RMC students, faculty, and staff was on March 2 from Executive Vice President and Dean of Student Life Brad Nason. Before any cases broke out in Montana, the College’s Emergency Management Task Force met to discuss and evaluate the guidance that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health officials were providing. The email provided the college with precautionary measures to prevent the flu and COVID-19.


MARCH 12 and 13, 2020

The next notices that were sent out via email to RMC students occurred on Mar. 12 and 13, and came from President Dr. Robert Wilmouth and Nason. These emails were sent out during Rocky Mountain College’s spring break. Both emails explained that the break would be extended two days and that there would be a shift to online instruction once the break concluded up until at least Apr. 13. 


MARCH 18, 2020

The next notice was sent out via email to RMC students on March 18 from Nason. He provided information about support services such as changes to tutoring services at the Academic Resource Center and the Writing Center, a video helping students navigate Moodle who might be unfamiliar or who have trouble, and changing information about the RMC Bookstore. Additional information was on fall registration as well as graduation application deadlines. This message provided the emails and phone numbers of people who would be willing to help any and all students during this transitional time.


MARCH 20, 2020

The next notice sent out via email to RMC students was on March 20 from Nason. He explained that students of the College had the option to choose to be graded through the traditional letter-based grading or through pass/no pass grading. Students get to choose how they are graded. They could have some courses graded as pass/no pass, some as traditional, or all as one or the other. The email gave guidelines and encouraged students to work with their academic advisers before making their final decisions.


A secondary notice was sent out by Nason again providing resources pertaining to food, mental health, housing, and academic resources for the students.


MARCH 23, 2020

The latest notice sent via email to RMC students was on March 23, 2020, from Wilmouth and Nason. The email explained that the college will continue to use online instruction for the remainder of the semester. It was explained that the college hoped to keep the residence halls and food services open for the remainder of the semester; however, it did encourage students to use off-campus alternatives, if available. 


In addition, Rocky Mountain College has been consistently updating its website with the newest information about COVID-19 and the measures being taken by the college. 


More information can be read on Rocky’s website at www.rocky.edu/coronavirus

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