Coronavirus Update: Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.

 

May 29, 2020 Update

 

Dear Scorpion Family,

I want to begin by congratulating you on finishing the spring semester Scorpion Strong! While we faced great uncertainty as we left for spring break this year, our Scorpion family rallied as students, families, faculty and staff bound together to rapidly convert to remote operations while holding down their responsibilities at home. This hard work paid off, culminating in 424 students graduating this spring and thousands more maintaining momentum towards their academic goals.

At Texas Southmost College, we are fortunate to be able to continue the majority of our work remotely, allowing families to maintain social distancing as necessary to protect their health and safety. We will continue remote instruction through the summer and remote operations through June 30, as we monitor national, state, and local guidance in navigating the pandemic. Health Professions students enrolled in clinical, practicum or laboratory courses this summer will be contacted directly by their instructor regarding class information.

In the midst of this unprecedented crisis, I have never been so proud of our comprehensive community college’s mission and to be an anchor institution in our region. TSC continues to offer an affordable pathway to economic prosperity for our students; at the same time, we are on the front lines of helping our local businesses navigate a new environment. Our Workforce Training and Continuing Education division has developed a comprehensive series of courses to assist businesses of all sizes in reopening and successfully operating in a post-COVID environment, such as COVID-19 Disinfection Specialist Training. This week TSC was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to offer this training at no cost to businesses that qualify, making it even easier for business owners to access this training for their employees. If you know of any businesses that might benefit from this training, have them reach out to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Finally, don’t forget that the Take 6 On Us campaign, which the TSC Board of Trustees approved to offer full or partial tuition waivers for up to six credit hours for all Texans this summer, is still in effect for Summer II courses. Students may register for the Summer II semester through July 6.

Once again, I extend my congratulations to the entire Scorpion family in finishing the spring semester strong, and I thank you for maintaining your energy and dedication throughout the summer. I look forward to our future with great optimism.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2020 Update

 

Dear TSC Scorpions,

As communities across Texas begin to cautiously ease shelter-in-place restrictions, Texas Southmost College will continue alternative operations through May 31. The exception is two workforce programs that will resume campus instruction under strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Students in the Basic Peace Officer Certification training program and in specific Emergency Medical Science classes will be returning to campus for skills demonstrations and assessments. Students in these programs will receive instructions directly from their instructors.

Protecting the health and safety of our campus community continues to be our first priority at TSC. At the same time, we are doing all we can to ensure you maintain momentum towards graduation and finish this semester Scorpion Strong.

Please continue to reach out to your instructors and Student Services team with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2020 Update

 

Dear Scorpions,

One month into alternative operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, I remain truly thankful for the strength, optimism, and support of our TSC family.

In our continued effort to protect the health and safety of our community, we are postponing TSC’s Spring 2020 Commencement until July 11, 2020. Students who meet the eligibility requirements to graduate will still be conferred degrees upon completion. For more information on degree conferral, please visit the TSC Student Services website or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Online registration for the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters is underway, and student services and business services ontinue to be offered remotely via phone, email, and teleconferencing. Students are encouraged to reach out to staff for assistance to plan and register for the upcoming semesters.

As the TSC administration and I continue to track national, state, and local guidance for protecting the safety and health of our campus community, updates to alternative operations are as follows:

  • Online and remote course instruction will continue through all summer sessions.
  • For academic support services such as tutoring and the digital library, as well as student services such as advising and registration, TSC will continue remote operations through May 5th, in alignment with local ordinances.
  • I continue to encourage workforce students who have laboratory classes, clinicals, practicums, cooperative education classes and internships to stay in close contact with your faculty as they restructure coursework to adapt to the new environment.
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We understand that it has not been easy to continue your studies in the face of this national emergency, and I am extremely proud of the entire college community for swiftly pivoting to tackle this challenge.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2020 Update

 

Dear Scorpions,

As we near the end of our first week of alternative operations, I am thankful for students’ patience and persistence as we engage in remote instruction. I recognize it is not easy to carry on daily life during this national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I sincerely applaud your efforts to stay current with assignments and navigate new instructional technologies while caring for your loved ones. Your collaboration with faculty and each other continues to prove, Together, We Are Scorpion Strong!

Online registration for the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters also launched this week and is off to a strong start. Student Services and Business Services are being offered remotely via phone, email and teleconferencing. Students are encouraged to reach out to staff for assistance needed in planning and registering for the upcoming semesters.

Moving forward, we will continue to track national, state, and local guidance for protecting the safety and health of our campus community. To do so, TSC alternative operations will be as follows:

  • Classes which are already offered online or through remote instruction, will continue, as previously stated, through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • For academic support services such as tutoring and the digital library as well as student services such as advising and registration, TSC will continue remote operations two more weeks through April 21, in alignment with local ordinances.
  • For our workforce students who have laboratory classes, clinicals, practicums, cooperative education classes and internships, we understand remote instruction has been particularly challenging. Protecting your well-being is our first priority, and I encourage you to continue to stay in close contact with your faculty as they restructure coursework to adapt to the new environment.
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Bonding together to face challenges head on has always benefitted this community and has created a very special place to live and work. Staying focused on our mission will help us weather this unusual time and ensure we are well-positioned to thrive into the future.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

 

 

March 29, 2020 Update

 

To All TSC Students, Faculty and Staff:

 

TSC kicks off online learning tomorrow, Monday, March 30.

The college has moved to alternate operations this week. Students can CALL IN to get information on financial aid, advising or admissions. Phone numbers to different student services can be found on this link: http://tsc.edu/index.php/current-students/division-of-student-services.html.

 

March 27, 2020 Update

 

Dear TSC Community,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As we anticipate resuming the Spring 2020 semester, I wanted to reach out to you with the most current information regarding TSC instruction and support services, based on our continued monitoring of the rapidly changing situation.

  • On March 30, remote instruction will begin.
  • On March 30, student services and academic support services will be offered remotely via phone, email, and teleconferencing. This includes services such as financial aid, advising, admissions, digital library and tutoring.
  • On April 7, the on-campus component of hybrid coursework will begin. This means some workforce students may need to come on campus to complete labs.
  • On April 7, all student services and academic support services are scheduled to be available on campus.

Again, I thank you for your continued patience as we partner with our state and local officials in planning how to best keep our community healthy. Please work closely and communicate regularly with your instructors about concerns you have. We will continue to provide updates through TSC social media, email and the TSC website.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

March 25, 2020 Update

Dear TSC Family,

The Texas Southmost College administration has been monitoring information at the national level and engaging state and local officials to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, with our TSC Board of Trustees, we have been working diligently to carefully evaluate the situation and its potential impact on our college community. We understand the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty our campus community is experiencing during this unusual time. The college has prioritized protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, and, together, we have been weighing the best solutions for supporting our students and employees while balancing the educational services our community is counting on us to provide. Our student population is diverse—made up of parents, caregivers, traditional recent high school graduates, and family breadwinners. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to address students’ needs while recognizing the urgent civic duty we all have to help stop the spread of the virus, yet we remain hopeful in our ability to work together to protect our community’s well-being. Therefore, the TSC Board of Trustees passed a Resolution at a special board meeting held yesterday, March 24, granting special considerations for emergency operations at the college, which allow for alternative operations.

In order to keep our college community safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Southmost College is taking the following precautions:

Course Delivery: Courses will be delivered through remote and hybrid delivery for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. By March 30, instructors will notify students about how they will organize instruction for the remainder of the semester, as well as the best way to communicate with them. The vast majority of courses will be offered remotely. A few courses—because of accrediting agency regulations, the nature of the course material, and/or the type of equipment needed to demonstrate mastery of skills—will be offered in a hybrid format, meaning parts of the course will be offered remotely and for other parts, students will need to schedule a time to come to campus. Additional details about course delivery will be sent out to students tomorrow.

Employee Return to Work: TSC will follow the guidelines of the Cameron County Shelter-in-Place order, which is scheduled for further review in 14 days. TSC employees should work with their supervisor to determine whether their duties may be completed from home or require campus access. When on campus, please maintain the social distancing requirements.

Employees may access computer devices and servers remotely through the college’s remote VPN system. Departments are encouraged to use Microsoft TEAMs, a feature of Microsoft Office 365, for instant messaging, chatting and conferencing. More information for these resources may be found here: http://tsc.edu/index.php/current-students/it-help-desk.html

Academic Supports: Digital research resources (http://www.tsc.edu/index.php/library.html) and face-to-face and online tutoring services (http://www.tsc.edu/index.php/learning-lab/tutoring-services.html) are available. Students who need access to a computer and/or the Internet may visit the Open Computer Labs during regularly-scheduled hours. The Labs will strictly follow social distancing and disinfection protocols after use by each student. Thus, the number of students accommodated at any one time will be limited. For more information, please call (956) 295-3484.

Student Services: The following offices will be open using social distancing protocols in the Oliveira Student Services Building: Financial Aid, Admissions & Records, Advising, Testing, Veteran Success, and Recruitment. However, students and visitors are encouraged to access services via phone, email, or video conference appointments when possible. Dedicated email and phone numbers may be found here: http://tsc.edu/index.php/current-students/division-of-student-services.html.

The Office of Student Life will also support students working remotely. For example, Career and Employment Services will assist students with career exploration, resume writing, and interview preparation via video conference meetings. The Recreation Center staff will work with the Extramural Committee to host several online competitions for students and provide workouts that can be done at home without any equipment. Ongoing information about activities may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/TSCStudentLife/

Payroll: TSC is committed to processing payroll according to the regular distribution schedule. While most payroll is processed electronically directly to employees’ bank accounts, employees choosing processing via paper checks will receive them through the mail following each payday. To avoid any possible delays in receiving checks through the mail service, employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for direct deposit using this link: http://www.tsc.edu/images/Departments/HumanResources/Direct_Deposit_2017-2018.pdf

Campus Access: If you are an employee or student identified as requiring campus access, please follow the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control to include social distancing:

  • Stay at least six feet apart from others and refrain from any personal contact.
  • Remember no more than 10 people should congregate in any one given area at a time.
  • And follow all recommended CDC hygiene guidelines.

The TSC Board of Trustees has been very complimentary of the extraordinary efforts underway to plan for alternative operations and extends their thanks for the college community’s work, commitment, and focus during this uncertain time. We all appreciate the continued support from the campus community as we navigate this very unusual period in time. Altered operations will continue through the Cameron County shelter-in-place order period through April 7. The TSC administration will continue to assess the situation and provide another update by April 7. While we don’t know how long the shelter-in-place and other precautions will last, we are certain the resiliency of the people of the Rio Grande Valley will prevail, and we are committed to supporting each other through these trying times. Please continue to stay tuned to TSC social media, your email, and the TSC website (http://tsc.edu/index.php/current-students/news-and-events/coronavirus-update-stay-healthy-stay-safe.html) for resources and updates.

 

Stay safe, healthy and hopeful,

Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

March 23, 2020 Update

 

TSC Scorpions:

As we work to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and as institutions of higher learning around the country transition to online learning, many internet providers are now offering free internet service for students. These plans are in line with the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected initiative.

 Hundreds of companies have signed the pledge to keep Americans connected during these exceptional circumstances. Here is a list of some of the companies in our area offering free or discounted internet access:

 VTX1

Through its newly launched COVID-19 Internet Relief Plan, VTX1 is offering plans to assist students for   the next 90 days. These plans include free installation and access to VTX1’s exclusive Managed Services. Call 1-800-446-2031 for more information or go online at: http://www.vtx1.net/covid-19-irp-students.

 Comcast

Comcast will make it easy for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign up by offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service.

 They are also increasing Internet speeds for the Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward. In this way, they will ensure that Internet Essentials customers will be able to use their Internet service for all their increased needs as a result of this health crisis.

 Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit online here.

 AT&T

AT&T is waiving data overage fees to all customers so that families and students can stay connected during the pandemic. The company is promising not to terminate the service of any customer over the next 60 days.

All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program. AT&T is also providing free access to its public WiFi hotspots.

 Spectrum

Spectrum will provide free internet access to students. The company will install broadband and WiFi in new student households free of charge and provide access for 60 days. The offer is available to families with both K-12 and college students. The company says it will also open its WiFi hotspots to the public.

 

Kind regards,

 Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

TSC President

 

 

March 16, 2020 Update

 

Dear TSC Scorpions,

With the COVID-19 situation evolving and with your safety and well-being our top priority, the TSC administration has decided to extend Spring Break through March 27. TSC faculty will use this extra time to migrate select courses to online, hybrid, or other alternative teaching formats. We anticipate classes will resume on March 30. 

 

All Dual Credit courses held at high school campuses will resume on March 23, depending on school districts’ course of action regarding COVID-19. 

 

All campus and community events, as well as, college-sponsored student travel are cancelled until further notice. 

 

Again, we cannot stress enough that prevention continues to be the best protection against any respiratory virus. You are urged to follow the CDC recommended health guidelines, including to wash your hands often and practice social distancing. Other recommendations and the latest information can be found on the CDC website:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. 

 

Please continue to stay tuned to TSC social media, your email and TSC website for any future updates or announcements. 

 

Kind regards,

  

 

Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez

President, Texas Southmost College

 

 

 


March 13, 2020 Update

 

To All TSC Students:

 

TSC sends you off to Spring Break 2020 with best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable week off from college life. Because we care about your health and well-being, we are urging you to keep up with the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak.

The TSC administration has been and continues to monitor the situation closely, consult with local and state health officials and work on contingency plans that include different teaching approaches, such as online learning.

Please stay tuned to TSC social media, your email, website and local media for updates or announcements that will come during the break.

It bears repeating that prevention continues to be the best protection against any respiratory virus. You are urged to follow the CDC recommended health guidelines, including to wash your hands often and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Other recommendations and the latest information can be found on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

 

Again, have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break!

 

 

March 10, 2020 Update

 

Texas Southmost College Administration and Risk Management and Safety officials have been meeting daily with local, state and federal health officials to stay abreast of the latest information on coronavirus and to ensure the uncompromised safety of our TSC students, faculty and staff.

Prevention continues to be the best protection against any respiratory virus. Everyone is urged to follow the CDC recommended health guidelines listed here:

 

·  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

 

·  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

 

·  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

 

·  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue in the trash.

 

·  Stay home if you are sick.

 

TSC continues to monitor CDC recommendations regarding cleaning and are training staff to make adjustments as needed. Cleaning staff will continue to wipe down classroom surfaces, elevators, hand rails, tables, and chairs and other common areas daily with disinfectant and will conduct a deep clean during spring break.

Finally, TSC has been giving out hand sanitizers to employees and will have some available for students at tomorrow’s Spring Break Safety Fair to be held at the SET-B Lecture Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Again rest assured, TSC continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as needed.

 

For more information about COVID-19, visit the following CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

 

 

March 4, 2020 Update

 

Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to provide information regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Texas Southmost College is sharing the following everyday preventative recommendations from the Center for Disease Control to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

 

·  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

 

·  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

 

·  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

 

·  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

 

·  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.).

 

·  Stay home when you are sick.

 

 

For more information about COVID-19, visit the following CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2020 16:39