Last updated: 6/18/2021 – 9am CST
EFFECTIVE ON JUNE 28, 2021
All of us at Vista are committed to doing our best to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We have monitored COVID guidance as it has evolved, and are striving to evolve along with the guidance. Since March 2020, we have been steered by the CDC guidelines, and our revised protocols effective June 28, 2021 reflect that guidance:
- Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals.
- Mask are required for unvaccinated individuals.
- Vaccinations are not required.
- COVID reporting will continue.
- Entry temperature checks will continue. Students and staff will self-monitor for symptoms/illness (and stay home if ill/symptomatic).
- Social distancing is no longer mandated.
- Enhanced cleaning and personal hygiene protocols will continue.
We will continue to monitor the pandemic through the emergence of variants and as we move through the seasons. We will adjust protocols as required by changes in the COVID environment.
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.
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
- 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
- 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:
- 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
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- In the past 14 days, have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
- In the last 24 hours have you experienced:
- 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.
December 1, 2020
After the remaining student funds allocated for leave of absence students was disbursed to those returned students, there remained a $1,103.62 balance. Vista determined to combine that remaining amount with $573,096.38 of the institutional portion for a final CARES fund distribution to students. In December 2020, the funds were distributed to 948 students who had started school August 2020 through November 2020, and who were still actively attending, totaling $574,200.
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
How will I access my course?
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?
How do I contact people when I need help?
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?
Will I earn grades for the online courses?
How are assignments completed?
How are tests/quizzes completed?
Can I get tutoring if I need it?
How will I get lab experience?
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?
Useful Links About Coronavirus (COVID-19)