State Fair Community College announced Tuesday it will close its campuses including Sedalia, Boonville, Clinton, Eldon, Whiteman Air Force Base and Lake of the Ozarks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The decision was made following SFCC’s spring break March 16-20 and will remain in effect until further notice to current students and employees from SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson. 

“This all happened so quickly and our faculty and staff have truly done amazing work in the last few weeks,” Anderson told the Democrat. “A lot of people worked tirelessly over spring break to make adjustments and although it may be challenging at times I believe we are in a position to successfully complete this semester.”

While all campuses have previously closed due to severe weather, this is the first time the campuses have closed for an extended period of time such as the remainder of the semester. 

In a news release, college officials pointed out “it is important to note the campus is only closed to the public right now – most offices are operational remotely, as we are working this week to get courses established for alternative delivery.”

SFCC faculty and staff resumed work schedules remotely on March 23. According to the release, faculty and staff will work March 23-27 on converting classes to alternative online formats in order to resume classes on March 30 for the remainder of the semester. Faculty and staff also will communicate with students through student email and Canvas to help students transition to alternative learning environments. 

The release states staff will be available by phone and email to respond to inquiries in addition to working toward providing the college’s programs and services such as tutoring, financial aid, Campus Store, and business operations to online access.

SFCC Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Henderson explained faculty will be teaching their courses through alternate modalities. 

“Faculty and staff are transitioning to working from home now,” Henderson explained. “There will be a few on-site essential employees that will be working from campus intermittently.

“The goal is to obviously not cancel any courses,” he continued. “We are working this week on some of the logistics to accommodate technical training classes, such as welding and precision machining, but we hope to have solutions in place soon that respect the CDC recommendations and federal government guidelines.”

The Career and Technical Center that serves high school students will be following the leads of the K-12 sending schools, which are closed.

According to the release, all remaining spring 2020 events, including commencement ceremonies, are canceled. If possible, SFCC will have a graduation celebration or make plans to include spring graduates in later ceremonies or pinnings. The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art is closed until further notice. Campus tours, Roadrunner Preview Days and The LearningForce noncredit classes also are suspended.

Anderson wished to thank all involved including the faculty and staff and the communities served by SFCC during this time.   

“This truly has been a team effort and everyone is pulling through the best they can in the midst of this pandemic,” Anderson said. 

Individuals can apply for admission for summer and fall semesters by going to www.sfccmo.edu/admissions or calling 660-530-5833; there is no application fee. The course schedule will be available for viewing at www.sfccmo.edu/search-for-classes on March 31 and enrollment will open April 7.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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