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NPC rolls out plan for Fall Semester

Hot Springs, Arkansas – National Park College (NPC) shared plans for delivering instruction and student resources this fall during its May regular meeting of the NPC Board of Trustees.  
The College closed its physical campus and transitioned to a remote learning environment in March in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
Blake Butler, chief information officer described the virtual classroom initiative that will bring video conferencing capabilities to classrooms with the goal of giving students as many options as possible to keep up with their coursework and ensure their success.  The College’s IT and online learning departments are collaborating to demo and procure software and associated hardware to install in the classrooms giving students the capability to connect remotely through video to the live class sessions. Faculty will also have the ability to record and post their classroom sessions on the web for later viewing.  
Butler said, “While adapting to the new technologies will be a challenge to the faculty and to the teams supporting it, we feel it will be a vital tool to keep our students engaged. Plans are in the early stages but I hope to return later this fall to give you an update on this project.” 
While the College plans to resume normal operations this fall, faculty and staff will be prepared to assist students who wish to enroll in online classes versus physically attending on campus.  Virtual advising and tutoring will continue to be available this fall. 
“Our goals are to continue to improve the quality of education that students receive regardless of the delivery method while also using technology to help students stay engaged in classes and overcome obstacles that may prevent them from attending class. We believe this added flexibility will pay off in terms of persistence and completion in the long run,” said Dr. Wade Derden, vice president for academic affairs. 
Dr. John Hogan, president added, “I was very impressed with the creativity of our faculty and staff to quickly transition us to a remote environment two months ago.  While we weren’t ready, we were prepared.  We are now working to equip our students with all the resources needed to be successful in their classes this fall, no matter how they choose to attend those classes.” 
The College plans to begin reopening campus June 1 in a phased approach.  A drive-through commencement ceremony is scheduled for June 13. 
 
National Park College was established in 1973 and is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The College enrolls over 7,500 credit and non-credit students per year. NPC is a comprehensive two-year institution offering associate degrees and certificates as well as continuing education, community services and workforce training. 

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