We haven’t seen this before. While Alabama’s community colleges have often doubled as polling places, high school classrooms, or shelters over the years for different circumstances facing their communities, it’s seldom that we have found ourselves in a common situation to shut doors or modify instruction.

But we’re making it happen. And it’s working.

Alabama’s community college leadership, faculty and staff are creating some of the most ingenious methods to effectively remain laser-focused on our students’ experiences. We’ve transitioned to online learning for all classes and continue – in line with local, state and federal guidance – to ensure that our current students have the resources they need to succeed in their classes. We’re also ensuring that future students are well taken care of and informed about their next best step toward any one of our colleges.

Here are just a few ways that our colleges are responding.

As internet providers announced free services for students nationwide while schools were closed, Coastal Alabama Community College was among the first to remind students of internet access on campus – in the parking lots.

Wallace Community College implemented not only student training, but also instructor training to make sure that everyone was on the same page when assisting students. Wallace State offers a live chat on its website for questions.

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Interim President Chris Cox took to Facebook for a 10-minute video assuring every LBWCC student that they’d be contacted by someone from the campus to follow up on any academic plans. Cox also plans to implement a “hotline” for residents inquiring about college services while we’re out.

Bishop State Community College created a video with instructors encouraging students to know “we’re all in this together.”

Central Alabama Community College is among others that have provided virtual tours and simple infographics for the services available. Our colleges also have specific websites you can connect to from our page for the latest information regarding COVID-19 response.

Northeast Alabama Community College has some trendy ideas for social media. On Instagram, NACC created a poll to find out what students are using their time for. Some of the best responses? Learning to draw and paint, baking, hiking and reading, according to Meg Nippers, the college’s Director of Promotions and Marketing.

Enterprise State Community College President Matt Rodgers penned a letter to students and the community assuring them that the college is doing everything it can to make changes as seamless as possible. In addition, aviation instructors have gotten creative with their lab instruction. Kathie Pattie, an English instructor at ESCC, even reads stories on YouTube.

The lists goes on for how creative our colleges are being in the new territory we’re all facing. The one thing that is consistent, though, is that all of our colleges are here for their communities. Don’t hesitate to connect to your nearest community college with any questions you may have about processes or upcoming events. And continue to watch accs.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates.