Important Updates and Messages to the GHC Community

August 12 Update – Return to Campus

August 12, 2020 8:24 am

A Message from President Don Green:

I wanted to take this time to thank you for your patience and determination as we move forward into a new semester at Georgia Highlands College.

Our goal is to Charge Ahead with each of you safely while helping you work toward degree completion and your graduation goals.

Please watch this “Return to Campus” video to learn more about how we can all work together to continue Taking Charge of the future at GHC.

You can find additional details about GHC’s Return to Campus Guidelinesthe Fall 2020 Class Options, and the increased Health and Safety Measures across all our locations by visiting chargeahead.highlands.edu

July 30 Update – GHC creates flexible class options, extra health and safety measures ahead of return to campus in August

July 30, 2020 1:17 pm

Students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will have a number of options to choose from when taking classes during the upcoming fall semester, including both online and in-person as well as hybrid formats, depending on the student’s preference. Additionally, GHC has posted new guidelines and taken extra health and safety measures to ensure students and employees can proceed with the fall semester while continuing to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia.

GHC and each of the University System of Georgia (USG) institutions are proceeding with a return to campus for the upcoming fall semester set to kick off in August should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

GHC faculty have adapted fall classes to fit a number of variations for students to choose from.

Fall 2020 Class Options:

  • In-person: Classes meet on the days and times listed in “Course Offerings” at the location detailed. Social distancing measures are in place, so the class size will be smaller so students can spread out.
  • Hybrid: Classes meet in person on the day, time, and location listed in “Course Offerings,” and there is also a required online component, typically delivered via D2L (an online student learning platform).
  • Web-Based: Classes do not meet at a designated location or time. Students log-in to D2L to complete coursework. Students should be motivated and great at time-management. Much of the work is self-paced, but assignments and assessments must be completed by due dates outlined in the course syllabus.
  • eClassroom: Classes meet live online on the day and time listed in “Course Offerings.” Students must use GHC’s Zoom web meeting system, which is a free application that can be accessed via a computer, tablet, or phone.
  • eCore/eMajor: Online classes that are offered through a partnership with the USG and are taught by faculty from various institutions in the USG.

Additional information and details about these types of classes can be found by visiting GHC’s Return to Campus page at chargeahead.highlands.edu and clicking “Fall 2020 Class Options.” Guidelines for returning to campus as well as additional measures GHC is taking can also be found on this site.

“We understand the COVID-19 situation is fluid and we will continue to work with the University System of Georgia in relying on expertise and guidance from the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the CDC,” GHC President Don Green said. “Our full return to campus will require patience, adaptation to change, and deliberate implementation as we move forward.”

“The highest priority in our plan to return will remain the health and safety of our students, employees, and community,” Green added, “as well as our mission to graduate our students.”

GHC has also taken extra health and safety measures at each of its locations, including providing access to over 7,000 cloth masks for students and employees and nearly 300 clear masks and face shields for classroom instructors; an additional 750,000 disinfectant wipes for increased cleaning, including disinfectant spray bottles and wipes for exercise facilities; plexiglass stations in main offices; increased sanitizer stations; extra nightly cleaning measures including the use of disinfectant foggers on restrooms, hallways, and classrooms; and much more. GHC will continue to evaluate and add more health and safety measures as needed throughout the semester.

Additionally, all USG institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required when alone in an enclosed office or study room or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

You can learn more about the details regarding face covering at usg.edu/coronavirus

Note: All USG institutions switched to remote delivery for courses in March and continued this way for the remainder of the spring and summer semesters to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. Please visit GHC’s information and resource page, which includes FAQs for prospective students, current students, and employees and is reviewed and updated frequently.

July 6 Update – Updated Guidance on Age, Underlying Medical Conditions, Use of Face Coverings

July 6, 2020 8:01 pm

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for managing COVID-19 related issues. Among the changes are to definitions for people who will need extra precaution due to age and underlying medical conditions. In response to those changes from the CDC, the University System of Georgia is providing updated guidance on the wearing of face coverings and for who is eligible to seek alternate work arrangements due to falling into one of these categories.

Use of Face Coverings

Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Read the full update at usg.edu/coronavirus

May 21 Update – Virtual Commencement Details

May 21, 2020 10:53 am

We wanted to update everyone on the upcoming virtual graduation planned for July 25th. The virtual graduation will be aired on July 25th via YouTube and Facebook. More information will be shared by email and social media as we get closer to that date. While this approach is different than a traditional ceremony, it is a great opportunity to honor and celebrate our 50th graduating class.

Here are some important items regarding graduation:

Herff-Jones Cap and Gowns

Any student who ordered regalia online should read the attached document and make a selection. Regalia will be shipped to you free of charge or you can request a refund. If you have already completed the form and made your selection, you do not need to do this again. Students who placed an order prior to today should be receiving their orders within the next couple of weeks if they haven’t already.

As far as refunds, please know that we are processing those refunds as quickly as possible. Herff-Jones has built and implemented a new system as of last Friday to greatly speed up this process and are now processing about 1,000 refund requests a day.

If you would still like to order a cap and gown, you can do so through June 30th and it will be shipped at no additional charge directly to you. You will need to do so through this website: https://herff.ly/georgiahighlands

Diplomas

The mailing of diplomas will depend on when we are able to return to campus. Ideally, May graduates should all be awarded by mid-June; therefore, those diplomas will be mailed in early August. Summer graduates will not be awarded until early September and diplomas will not be mailed until late September. Please reach out to the GHC Registrar’s office should you have any questions at registrar@highlands.edu.

Photo Submission for Virtual Graduation – Deadline is Friday, June 19th

It’s time to celebrate your success at GHC! By visiting commencement.highlands.edu and clicking on “Photo Submission” at the top, then completing the form and submitting a photo, your friends and family will get to see your face during GHC’s Virtual Commencement ceremony on July 25th.

Send us a picture that showcases who you are and what you’ve accomplished at GHC. Submit your best cap and gown selfie or a picture in your favorite GHC shirt. We want to celebrate you by giving everyone a chance to see your face during the virtual commencement! Submissions will be accepted through June 19th.

Video Yearbook Submissions – Deadline is Friday, May 22nd

New and special to this 50th graduating class, GHC is putting together a 50th Celebration Video Yearbook featuring you, the Class of 2020! These videos will be showcased on our commencement website and become part of GHC’s history. You are invited to join your fellow graduates by submitting a personal video by visiting classof2020.highlands.edu or through the 50th Celebration Video Yearbook submission form. Submissions will be accepted through May 22nd.

Please continue checking your student email account for further updates on the 2020 commencement ceremony.

May 15 Update – Commencement, CARES Act, & Plans for Summer and Fall

May 15, 2020 9:49 am

We want to start by thanking you again. Our students are well on their way to completing the spring semester. Our faculty continue to work closely together to carry on with the tradition of quality instruction GHC is known for. Our staff continue to find new and exciting ways to ensure all campus resources are available remotely.

Thank you to our students. Thank you to our faculty. And thank you to our staff.

 

April 2 Update – Remote Delivery Extended Through Summer

April 2, 2020 2:06 pm

We want to take this time to thank all our students, faculty, and staff for working through the first week of resumed classes at GHC. As you know, GHC students continued courses remotely on Monday, March 30, and will continue this way for the remainder of the semester.

Additionally, GHC and the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely during both the May and summer semesters.

USG institutions are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

In the interim, all institutions have been asked to continue their current telework and flexible work strategies for faculty and staff. USG institutions overall have remained open, with only minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

GHC continues to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty and staff as we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia and fulfill our mission to graduate our students in these challenging times. Along with the change in class delivery, GHC additionally made the decision to extend certain deadlines, delay the upcoming commencement, and reimburse a number of fees to students for this semester.

More information on those decisions and an overview of student and employee resources for migrating to remote learning can be found on GHC’s information and resource page, which includes FAQs for prospective students, current students, and employees and is reviewed and updated frequently.

GHC class registration will be temporarily closed on April 3 to convert all schedules to online classes for Maymester and summer. Registration will reopen on April 4.

April 1 Update – Partial Refunds Issued to GHC Students this Semester

April 1, 2020 1:51 pm

Over the past few weeks, we have seen our Georgia Highlands College family adjust and adapt to an ever-changing environment as we navigate our way to delivering remote instruction for the remainder of Spring 2020 semester.  

At this time, all 26 University System of Georgia institutions are working as quickly as possible to issue partial refunds to students due to this change in course delivery.

GHC will refund students who have paid or been assessed the GHC parking fee, GHC student activity fee, or the Spring 2020 meal plan fee, with the following considerations:

1.      March 16th is considered the last service date for refunds.

2.      For those with GHC meal plans, 39% of the respective Spring 2020 rate will be refunded

3.      For GHC Parking Fees and Student Activity Fees, 46.28% will be refunded, based on the number of days remaining in the term from March16th forward.

Consistent with the USG guidance, GHC will not provide refunds for tuition, the Special Institutional Fee, the Technology Fee, or other fees not previously mentioned as these remain critical in supporting continuity of instruction and associated support. Separately, students who choose to withdraw entirely will be refunded in accordance with GHC’s normal refund schedule.

We expect to begin issuing refunds the week of March 30th. Refunds will be processed to the refund method that students have previously selected. Please note that direct deposit is the fastest refund method. For information about refunds or how to update your refund preference, please visit GHC Refunds Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you may have questions about this process, and we invite you to visit GHC’s Business Office page for more information, or for all Student Account related questions, please email bursarsoffice@highlands.edu

Once again, thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented and challenging time.  We look forward to continuing to work with you on achieving success here at Georgia Highlands College.

March 30 Update – Charging Ahead!

March 30, 2020 9:13 am

We wanted to take this time to let our students, employees, and community know Georgia Highlands College is Charging Ahead!

 

The way we teach, advise, support, and much more may change for a little while, but one thing remains true: whether we connect in person or remotely, we care about you, and we care about your success here at GHC.

Let’s continue to meet any obstacle the same way students and employees at our college always have: by Charging Ahead together.

March 23 Update – New Deadlines

March 23, 2020 4:26 pm

In an effort to increase academic success and degree completion, GHC will be extending a number of deadlines at this time. We believe this will help students focus on the transition to remote delivery set for March 30.

The last day to withdraw from classes without academic penalty is outlined here:

 

 

PART OF TERM

LAST DAY TO

WITHDRAW

FULL SESSION

MARCH 30, 2020

2nd  PART OF TERM

APRIL 29, 2020

4th PART OF TERM

APRIL 13, 2020

5th   PART OF TERM

APRIL 20, 2020

 

Additionally, the new summer term payment deadline will now be May 19.

We understand you may still have many questions. Please visit GHC’s dedicated page for Frequently Asked Questions here for information as it relates specifically to GHC.

If you don’t find the answer to your question, please speak to your instructor about anything related to your classes or academics, and for other questions, please feel free to use GHC411.

You may also find resources for GHC students and employees by visiting this Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources site.

GHC’s information and resource page and FAQs page will be reviewed and updated frequently.

Again, we want to thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. Georgia Highlands College is working to keep you informed while we continue to diligently address challenges surrounding COVID-19 together.

March 23 Update – Commencement Questions

March 23, 2020 4:24 pm

Graduation is an important time of year, and we are always very excited to celebrate your academic success.

As you know, GHC will be postponing the graduation ceremony set for May 16 and nursing pinning set for May 15, but that doesn’t mean we are not going to commemorate your special moment.

At this time, we are working to have a commencement ceremony and nursing pinning ceremony later this summer. We will be rescheduling these events for a later date when we are confident of the safety and well-being for our graduates and their guests. We will begin posting additional details as they become available.

The decision to postpone commencement ceremonies is due to the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance to avoid gatherings as well as for the need for increased social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 at this time. You may read more about this decision on the University System of Georgia website.

For now, here are a few answers to some of your immediate questions:

  • Does this mean I can’t graduate?

Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but the actual ceremonies will not be held as originally scheduled. New ceremony dates will be announced as soon as possible.

  • What if I already ordered regalia for graduation?

Great news! Graduation is still going to happen! If you have already ordered your regalia, that order will be held for you. We will open registration for additional orders at a later date.

  • How do I get my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed directly to you. Please make sure your current address is consistent with our records by reviewing your information. Students can update their contact information on Banner through SCORE, if needed.

  • How do I get a diploma cover?

As usual, diploma covers are provided to students who attend graduation. You will receive our special 50th anniversary commemorative diploma cover at your commencement.

Please also visit GHC’s dedicated page for Frequently Asked Questions here for information as it relates specifically to GHC or you may also find resources for GHC students and employees by visiting this Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources site. These pages will be reviewed and updated frequently.

Again, I want to thank you for your continued support and patience. We will continue to keep you informed as we address these challenging times together.

March 20 Update – Commencement Postponed

March 20, 2020 11:29 am

Per the guidance of the University System of Georgia, Georgia Highlands College will postpone the graduation ceremony set for May 16 and nursing pinning set for May 15. Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but the actual ceremonies will not be held as originally scheduled.

The USG and GHC continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to avoid gatherings.

We will be rescheduling the 2020 graduation ceremonies, including the nursing pinning, for a later date when we are confident of the safety and well-being for our graduates and their guests. We will begin posting additional details as they become available.

Please read more about this decision on the University System of Georgia website.

Additionally, as a reminder, GHC will be implementing a new directive from the USG to complete the Spring 2020 semester through remote learning programs. No classes will be held in person on any of GHC’s locations for the remainder of the semester.

Please note that all remote learning for GHC students will begin on Monday, March 30 and continue for the remainder of the semester.

GHC will remain open but will operate with minimal staffing on campus to ensure the continuity of critical services. All other services are available in a remote setting.

As we work to keep you informed and we continue to diligently address challenges surrounding COVID-19 together, please continue to speak with your instructors or immediate supervisor about any questions you may have.

You may also visit GHC’s dedicated page for Frequently Asked Questions here for information as it relates specifically to GHC or you may also find resources for GHC students and employees by visiting this Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources site. These pages will be reviewed and updated frequently.

As always, your health and safety are our highest priority, and your success here at GHC remains our biggest mission. We will continue to work together to achieve completion, graduation, and academic success goals.

March 17 Update – Remote Delivery Set for March 30

March 17, 2020 10:28 am

We want to thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. Georgia Highlands College is working to keep you informed while we continue to diligently address challenges surrounding COVID-19 together.

Your health and safety are always our highest priority, and your success here at GHC remains our biggest mission. Just like every semester, we will work together to achieve completion, graduation, and academic success goals.

Per the USG instructions, classes are suspended effective Monday (March 16) for two weeks. Students should not return to campus until they receive permission from their institution. Students should wait for GHC to contact them about returning to the campus via their student emailD2LNavigate, or the GHC Notify system.

Additionally, institutions will continue to have minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

At this time, GHC is planning and intends to convert all classes to remote delivery on March 30. We know these are unusual and ever evolving circumstances for all and we appreciate your patience as we work through this together.

Due to the unscheduled suspension of instruction for two weeks, and in an effort to keep everyone on track this semester as well as for each student’s success, GHC will be moving its currently scheduled Spring Break from April 6-12 to March 23-29, as well. Because of this change, GHC will seek to accommodate scheduling conflicts that any students and employees may encounter. You may learn more about Spring Break information and the change by visiting GHC’s site here.

We understand you may still have many questions. Please visit GHC’s dedicated page for Frequently Asked Questions here for information as it relates specifically to GHC.

If you don’t find the answer to your question, please speak to your instructor about anything related to your classes or academics, and for other questions, please feel free to use GHC411.

You may also find resources for GHC students and employees by visiting this Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources site.

GHC’s information and resource page and FAQs page will be reviewed and updated frequently.

Please also note that no students will be penalized for missing a currently published deadline as we work to address any questions or concerns. Updated deadlines will be provided accordingly. Deadlines regarding coursework should be discussed with instructors.

In the end, we want to ensure that our faculty, staff and students are safe; that we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia; and that we fulfill our mission to graduate our students even in the face of these challenging times.

March 13 Update – Events Postponed

March 13, 2020 1:00 pm

As you heard on Thursday (March 12), Georgia Highlands College will temporarily suspend classes, including online classes, for all students effective Monday (March 16) for two weeks.

Please note, if you are a student of eCore or eMajor, your classes will resume as scheduled.

The reason for the temporary suspension of classes is to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

All on-campus student-sponsored events, meetings, and activities will be postponed until further notice.

We understand you may have a lot of questions.

Your instructors will begin to reach out to you with specifics, and we will update you with more information no later than Tuesday afternoon (March 17). Please continue to check your GHC student email and highlands.edu for updates as they become available.

As always, the health of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority, as well as each student’s academic success and future. We will continue to work with the University System of Georgia leaders in collaboration with state officials and Georgia Department of Public Health to act on the most up-to-date guidance available.

March 12 Update – Classes Temporarily Suspended

March 12, 2020 4:57 pm

Following Governor Kemp’s press conference on March 12, Georgia Highlands College will continue to work with the University System of Georgia to provide updates as they become available. At this time, starting Monday (March 16), all University System of Georgia institutions, including Georgia Highlands College, will temporarily suspend classes for students for two weeks as the institutions continue to work on their business continuity plans. Please check highlands.edu for updates and additional details as they become available.