Remote learning expands student newspaper’s focus to stream news in a podcast

Georgia Highlands College’s student newspaper the Six Mile Post (SMP) has moved into streaming.

From politics to school news and Netflix, the SMP’s recent podcast series ran the gamut on hot topics as people everywhere had to acclimate to a new world of social distancing.

Students Carson Graham and Scout Hodgins, who both attend the Floyd site and are majoring in communications, created a new platform for the GHC community to be educated and entertained during this unique time.

Originally designed as an extension of the student newspaper, the podcast quickly grew in popularity as all students, faculty and staff at GHC moved to remote delivery starting on March 30 to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

“We started discussing the possibilities of a podcast in late February, but the first episode didn’t air until March,” Hodgins said. “We have recorded our final episode for the semester and ended with nine episodes overall.”

A podcast is a digital file posted online that often includes both audio and video. Podcasts serve as a medium for information and entertainment in the digital age, similar to radio broadcasts.

While both students say they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of creating and hosting the series, the work they have done also translates to their future careers in communication.

“I’ve learned a lot of production work. Carson and I both have planned and edited episodes,” Hodgins said. “I also composed the intro and outro music for the podcast, so learning to record and edit audio has been a big part of the learning process. I learned that I like to research topics heavily before I speak on them and I hope that I’ve gotten better at research. I also learned that I do like broadcasting and that maybe I should continue to be involved with broadcasting in some sense in the future.”

Graham said she enjoys doing the podcast because they are an extension of the SMP newspaper but can be more personal.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students and faculty,” Graham said. “The most important lesson I have learned is that despite circumstances, like the quarantine, it is still very important to keep busy with projects like podcasts to keep our mental health up.”

Graham and Hodgins were encouraged by faculty to create the podcast based on their talent and educational abilities. Both students spoke during the 90th Georgia Communication Association Conference, held in February at GHC’s Cartersville site, and were approached by Assistant Professor of Humanities and SMP Faculty Advisor Allison Hattaway about starting the podcast.

Graham said she was intrigued by the idea of having an extracurricular activity.

“I have always just been going to school, work, then home,” Graham said. “I was very excited and am very grateful to have something meaningful to do with my time.”

Graham and Hodgins each had favorite episodes they have produced.

“The first one that comes to mind is Episode 8, where we interviewed GHC President Don Green,” Hodgins said. “He’s a down-to-earth guy and I enjoyed talking to him about what’s going on at Georgia Highlands College.”

Graham said her favorite episode was one of the first.

“My favorite episodes were the ones toward the beginning when the U.S. presidential election was beginning to heat up,” Graham said. “I love talking about politics, so it was a great time to research and discuss the current events.”

Graham and Hodgins both said they appreciate the opportunity to work with the podcast. Hodgins said his experience with SMP has helped him to understand more what his future will be like in communications.

“It’s been great for me because now I have a better idea of what I may want to pursue as a career in the future,” Hodgins said. “I think that the community should know how much work goes into Six Mile Post productions. The staff takes pride in its work, and that shows.”

The podcasts are available by visiting https://sixmilepostonline.com/category/podcasts/

PICTURE: From the Six Mile Post’s “Starting a Podcast: A How To Guide,” Scout Hodgins and Carson Graham are the creators of the Student Spin Podcast: A Six Mile Post Production. (Photographer: Georgia Hamby)


First ever virtual signing highlights transfer partnership into a GHC four-year degree

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) made history this month after holding a virtual signing for an articulation agreement with Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC).

Students who earn an associate degree in applied sciences from GPTC will now have the option to transfer seamlessly into a bachelor’s in health science at GHC. In order to make this new transfer agreement possible for students without delay, GHC and GPTC participated in their first ever virtual articulation agreement signing.

“We are so excited to be completing this articulation agreement,” GHC President Don Green said in the virtual signing. “It provides great instruction at a low cost and a tremendous opportunity for students to get a pre-professional bachelor’s degree that allows them to move on to graduate school as well as the workforce.”

GHC Provost and Chief Academic Office Dana Nichols; GPTC President Tavarez Holston; and GPTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Cheree Williams also joined President Green on screen to express their eagerness to provide this new opportunity to students at both institutions.

“It’s a great way for our students, for when they complete their chosen pathway, to make a very seamless transition to another one of our great Georgia institutions,” President Holston said in the virtual signing. “I’m so excited about this opportunity for our students.”

The agreement is set to start in 2020.

Both institutions will work together to identify, recruit and select students who clearly demonstrate academic and personal competencies required to function as successful students and future health professionals, as well as facilitate the transfer of all viable college courses as required in the University System of Georgia core curriculum.

Students will take at least 61 semester hours of general education core curriculum and occupational courses in health track that are provided at GPTC, which includes receiving an Associate of Applied Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Health Track) degree upon completion.

Students will then complete an additional 61 hours of BSHS curriculum at GHC for a total of 122 hours that is required to receive a Bachelor’s of Science with a major in Health Sciences degree.

For more information, please visit highlands.edu and gptc.edu today.

 


GHC continues STEMFIT “math boot camp” virtually this summer

Following two successful years, Georgia Highlands College will again offer the STEMFIT “math boot camp” this summer, except this time in a virtual format.

The aim of the camp is to help incoming high school dual enrollment students or college freshmen start at a collegiate mathematic level of precalculus or higher.

“Over the past two camps, we have had a 100-percent pass rate for those who have completed the camp and took the exemption exam for college algebra,” Mathematics Division Chair Jayme Wheeler said. “Several of those students have chosen to also take the MATH 1113 Precalculus exemption exam.”

The online camp will be available June 15 to August 18. The course is built in the D2L online learning management system. Various dates will be available for students to take the exemption exam, and the exam will be given in D2L and proctored by a GHC professor via video conferencing software.

The course is available for any potential GHC student eligible to take the GHC College Algebra exemption exam. There will be no fee for STEMFIT this summer for students enrolling in fall 2020.

Sometimes students enter at the lower college algebra-level but can take an exemption exam if their SAT/ACT scores are high enough to start in precalculus instead.

“Participating in STEMFIT can save STEM students time and money by being able to begin at precalculus or higher,” Wheeler said.

STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM relates to academics and careers focused in corresponding fields.

“Students will have the opportunity to engage with college faculty while participating in activities to review concepts covered in the College Algebra course,” Wheeler said. “This year, we are excited to offer STEMFIT online, as we are hoping that it gives more students the ability to take advantage of our camp.”

The flexibility of the online “boot camp” will allow students to work at their own pace to complete the review material.

“Now that we have an online format, we hope to continue offering this camp year-round in both online and face-to-face formats for students enrolling in any semester,” Wheeler said.

The camp will continue to enroll students throughout the summer, and the last day to test for fall enrollment is August 18. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact STEMFIT@highlands.edu.

 

 


GHC puts students first in switch to remote courses

The classroom is empty. The chairs, tables, desks, and white board are empty. The professor’s podium is vacant. No one has shown up on campus. But Julie Kozee’s English course at Georgia Highlands College has started right on time.

The assistant professor of English is sitting at home. Her computer thrums to life, lighting her face, as she opens a virtual meeting platform now used to teach each of the students in her class.

On the other end of her screen are students on tablets, computers and phones, each waiting for this new type of lecture to start, once next to their classmates in a room, now side-by-side in virtual boxes on the screen.

On March 30, after a two-week suspension of classes to convert everything to remote delivery in the middle of the spring semester to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, GHC courses resumed in an online format.

Julie Kozee’s first virtual day of class wasn’t about assignments, deadlines, or tests. The first day was about the students.

She asked about their well-being, their confidence about finishing out the semester online and their perception of the clarity of the online interface.

“Let’s take the first day of the online class to share how we’re doing and any concerns we might have about the online classroom,” she told students. “This will give me an opportunity to make sure that everything in this class is set up in a way that best fits your needs going forward.”

Kozee said this exercise allowed students to open up about how they were doing during this period.

“None of my students had any concerns about our online classroom,” she said. “Mostly they were concerned with what their lives were like now.”

She said it was humbling to read what students are experiencing, and it made her aware of just how resilient and tenacious GHC students are, especially when faced with such difficulty.

Across the digital hallway in a math course also currently holding class remotely, math instructor Tracy Kight takes a similar approach in helping her students acclimate to the virtual classroom setting. She likes to begin her classes on a positive note.

“First, we start every class with some music,” Kight said. “As we wait for students to sign in, the first part of class is spent laughing, dancing or just getting in the positive vibe of being together in this new format.”

She said students have been able to reach her from 7AM to 9PM by text, phone, email or virtual meeting seven days a week.

“This is a transition period for all of us,” Kight said. “Sometimes, all we need is to know that it is all okay and we will get through this together. Communication is the secret to a great student-teacher relationship, and I want to be here for them throughout these challenges.”

Professors across all areas have converted all classes to remote delivery at GHC, utilizing learning management systems, video conferencing clients, and systems to view the course syllabus and supplementary resources, digital storage applications for assignment submission and feedback, as well as a digital gradebook so students can easily view their grade in the class.

In addition to all courses being offered remotely, GHC has also taken strides in offering all campus resources remotely.

“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,” President Don Green said in a video to students the day they started back. “Let’s continue to meet any obstacle the same way students and employees at our college always have: by charging ahead together.”

In its effort to help students, the GHC library has developed a student-focused video series to demonstrate how to use video conferencing programs, D2L, Office 365, Online Learning, and “How 2 Library.” The library is also staffing its phones and chat reference services remotely from 8AM to 7PM, ensuring students, faculty and community members can get direct assistance from a librarian.

Additionally, writing centers are now operational through video conferencing.

Staff and faculty advisors, as well as professional tutors, working within the college’s Academic Success Center quickly moved their appointment availability to online in a customized EAB Navigate platform.

Navigate is a digital platform designed to give students a college onboarding experience with tools that will help them create an academic roadmap to graduation and a timeline to degree completion, as well as serve as a primary communication channel with academic advisors.

“Students use Navigate to easily schedule appointments with advisors and tutors. Both advisors and tutors are meeting with students virtually, and the meeting information is relayed in the confirmation and student reminder emails students,” Director of Academic Success Jennifer Hicks said.

Hicks said from March 16 through April 8, there have been over 500 advising appointments and over 70 tutoring appointments. In addition to appointments, advisors are hosting drop-in sessions every Monday and Thursday through May 14. The host of these sessions moves an advisor and a student into a breakout room so students are afforded privacy when they are discussing their academic records and goals.

Director of Student Support Services Angie Wheelus said the department provides virtual counseling sessions to students on all GHC sites.

She said some difficulties students have discussed during the transition to online learning have been a decrease in personal finances, caring for children who are now out of school, as well as social isolation.

“We’ve taken our students that we have already been working with and have shifted them over to a virtual format to work with them online,” Wheelus said. “We are also able to help any student who has never been in our counseling before but who are struggling with some difficulties during this transition.”

To see all the resources made available to students at this time, please visit GHC’s information and resource page.

GHC 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.

Students who have been admitted to GHC for summer and fall will participate in a virtual orientation.

The deadline to apply for summer classes at GHC is May 15. The deadline to apply for fall is July 15. For more information and to apply, please visit highlands.edu

(Pictured: Professor Travice Obas prepares to teach her communication course at Georgia Highlands College through video conferencing and virtual tools made available to students during this time.)

 

 

 


April 2 Update – Remote Delivery Extended Through Summer

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.


GHC resumes spring semester with remote delivery this week, summer courses also to be converted to remote delivery

student working on ipad

Georgia Highlands College students resumed courses remotely this week after a two-week suspension of classes that started on March 16. All 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 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 provide our students’ resources in our new online format.

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.

The deadline to apply for summer classes at GHC is May 15.

For more updates or to apply, please visit highlands.edu

 

 

 


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

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!

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

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

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.