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Last updated: 10/30/2020 – 6 pm CST

Our highest priority is to keep our students and our staff as safe and healthy as possible. We are continuing to monitor changes to guidance and regulations, as well as local situations. To that end, we are taking action at two of our campuses. Effective Monday, November 2, the El Paso campus will be closed for all operations due to a 14-day stay-in-place order in El Paso. Classes will shift to an all-online delivery. Our plan is to re-open Monday, November 16, 2020.

Additionally, the state of New Mexico is also experiencing steep spikes in COVID cases. Due to escalated concerns, we are moving the Las Cruces campus to limited operations. Essentially, the only on-campus activities will be hands-on training classes for those programs that require them. Otherwise, all functions are off-campus, and most classes are online.

It may be difficult to reach anyone at the campus by phone. Students are encouraged to email their Program Directors or instructors with questions. Staff may email their manager or the Campus Director at their respective campuses.

 


 

Vista College staff and students worked together to achieve a successful transition to offering hands-on lab courses on re-opened campuses. Students in most programs are continuing to engage with theory learning via online delivery, while benefiting from hands-on practice on campus 1-2 days per week.

Our extensive cleanliness and monitoring protocols contribute to effectively maintaining the health and wellbeing of our campus learning communities. Stringently applied entry protocols keep students and employees as safe and healthy as possible. Rules continue to include wearing masks at all times on campus, social distancing in all campus spaces, room capacity maximums, enhanced cleaning processes (including equipment between users), and frequent handwashing. When social distancing is not practicable due to lab activities, we use industry standard personal protective equipment (PPE).

Additionally, our Salons by Vista are open and providing cosmetology services to our loyal clients. Salon protocols include entry procedures, masks worn by stylists and clients, and heightened cleaning and sterilizing of the facility and equipment.

Touchless temperature checks
Limiting capacity
Social distancing
Extensive signage

 

Consistent with state and local guidelines, Vista College will begin offering hands-on lab courses on our campuses starting on June 29, 2020. Theory components of the programs will continue to be offered via online delivery. Students in most programs will attend class on campus 1-2 days per week, depending on course and program. Programs* offering on-campus lab courses include:

Associate of Applied Science

  • Construction Management
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Laboratory Technician

Diploma

  • Construction Technology
  • Dental Assistant
  • Electrical Technician
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Assisting for Spanish Speakers
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Vocational Nurse
  • Practical Nurse

Certificate

  • Cosmetology

Seminar

  • Nurse Aide Training
  • Phlebotomy for Healthcare Professionals

*Not all programs are offered at all locations.

 

Reopening our campuses with extensive health & cleanliness protocols

Basic infection control procedures include good personal hygiene practices and keeping the workplace clean. Employees & students are responsible for complying with all required cleanliness and COVID-related protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus at Vista College, and to protect the health of our community of learners, Vista College has instituted numerous protocols that include:

  • Masks are required upon entry and while on campus
  • Social distancing is indicated with floor markings and by limiting furniture throughout the campus
  • Maximum allowable individuals per room
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, including cleaning of equipment and surfaces between users
  • Frequent hand-washing and availability of hand sanitizer
  • Staggered schedules for arrival and breaks to minimize gatherings of individuals

Additionally, Vista College requires the following mandatory entry procedures for all employees, students and visitors:

  • Individuals must self-monitor for COVID-19 health risks prior to entering the facility and stay home if sick
  • Upon entry if the response to either of the following questions is “yes”, the student, employee or visitor will not be permitted to enter:
    1. In the last 24 hours have you experienced:
      • A cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • A fever
      • Muscle pain
      • Chills or shaking due to chills
      • Headache
      • Diarrhea
      • Loss of sense of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
    2. In the past 14 days, have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Everyone will have their temperature taken (touchless) EVERY time entering the facility. Anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4o Fahrenheit (38o Celsius) will not be permitted to enter the facility

 


 

Important Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At Vista College, our top priority is maintaining the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff while continuing to deliver on our mission. We are monitoring the ever-changing COVID-19 public health crisis, and are making daily decisions, some of which may continue to develop and change. We commit to providing you with the most current information possible on this site. Below, you will find important information regarding campus operations as well as links with information to help you stay healthy and limit the spread of this disease.

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – Student Aid

Campus Operations

For all campuses, we are offering classes in an online or hybrid format using video conference software. The courses are occurring at their regularly scheduled days and time. If the individual campus is not under a “shelter in place” official order, it will remain available to a limited number of students who do not have the use of a computer/internet at home. A small number of employees will be at the campus to assist students with completing their programs. We are following social distancing protocols and cleaning/health guidance from the CDC and local/state health departments. We are committed to continuing to provide a quality education to our students and to support their successful program completion.

The majority of employees already are working remotely, while others are in the process of shifting to a remote environment. Campus events such as graduation ceremonies, job fairs and community events are postponed or cancelled at all campuses.

Campuses currently closed due to county/state orders to “shelter in place”:

  • El Paso, Texas
  • College Station, Texas
  • Killeen, Texas
  • Lubbock, Texas
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Longview, Texas
  • Beaumont, Texas

Campuses not currently under “shelter in place” orders:

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas

 

FAQs

How will I access my course?

Courses are taught using the video conference software “Zoom”, and other program-specific software.  You will be sent a link to access the Zoom class during the regularly scheduled class time.

What equipment do I need?

A computer with internet access is required. Audio is available by computer with a microphone and speakers, or by telephone. A webcam is preferred but not required. Zoom does not require a student to download or install any specialized software.

New students are provided a Chromebook which may be used to access Zoom and other course materials and contains a microphone and camera. Students will need internet access to use a Chromebook to access online courses.

Who is available for help?

You will receive a high level of support, guidance and training regardless of the training delivery mode.  Your instructor, Program Director, Student Services Coordinator and Director of Education are available to assist you. Expect communication from at least one Vista College employee on a regular basis.

How do I contact people when I need help?

Communication is by email, phone calls and Zoom meetings.  You will be invited to an online orientation session prior to starting class.  The invitation will include orientation access information and contact information for the Director of Education, Program Directors and Student Services Coordinator.  Your instructor will email course information, including their contact information.

What is the online course structure?

Zoom is live in real time, so you can see your instructor and shared visuals such as PowerPoint, pictures, videos, diagrams and other typical classroom materials. The theory portion of the class will nearly be the same as the on-ground classroom experience. Zoom will allow students to break into small groups to interact with each other to complete group projects and discussions.

Labs include a variety of learning methods including simulations, demonstrations, specialized software and at-home kits, depending on the program.

Do students need to attend at specific times?

Yes. Classes are conducted at the same time and days they would be if the schools was open for on-ground classes.Attendance is recorded each hour and students are expected to attend every hour of class.

How do students and the instructor interact with each other?

Just like a classroom, Zoom allows multiple users to interact at the same time. Students ask questions and participate in discussions.  There is also a “Chat” feature in Zoom where students and instructor interact. The instructor may use break-out groups so small groups of students can interact with each other inside Zoom.  The instructor can join each individual break-out group.

Will I earn grades for the online courses?

Yes. Grades will be assigned for every course including classes taught online. Each course has a variety of graded material which may include tests, quizzes, in-class assignments, out of class assignments, and projects.

How are assignments completed?

Students will submit assignments by attaching documents to emails and sending to their instructor.

How are tests/quizzes completed?

Instructors will email tests/quizzes to the student. Tests and quizzes will be timed and the student must email their answers to the instructor within the time limit.

Can I get tutoring if I need it?

Yes. Instructors are available for online tutoring just as they would be in the on-ground environment. Zoom and telephone communication will be used for tutoring, which may be individual or in small groups.

How will I get lab experience?

The majority of labs can be completed online; most programs have software that includes virtual lab exercises. The online labs are often simulations that mimic the lab experience and may also include exercises to practice virtual lab techniques. Your instructor may demonstrate lab activities using a live feed or videos. Students in some programs may receive a small kit to complete labs at home following along with the instructor in Zoom.

How will I get hands-on experience?

When campuses are reopened for on-campus course delivery, students will have the opportunity to experience lab activities in the physical labs. Vista will provide lab workshops for courses that have been completed online.

The Cosmetology program requires each student to complete the minimum number of hours in the Salon. Students will complete theory hours online, and then complete their remaining theory hours and Salon/Lab hours at the campus when it is reopened.

What happens when the Covid-19 crisis is over?

Vista is teaching classes online temporarily to continue students’ programs while maintaining compliance with COVID-19 guidance. Once the COVID-19 guidance allows a return to normal operations, all classes and labs will be conducted at the campus, at the regularly scheduled days and times.

 

Useful Links About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Guidelines

How to Protect Yourself

Coronavirus Symptoms

What to Do If You Are Sick

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