At Treasure Valley Community College, we are working hard to help keep our campus and community healthy – especially as we wind down in-person instruction for the quarter. All in-person classes will end the day before Thanksgiving with everything moving to a virtual format for the last two weeks of the term, including all final exams. Under NWAC athletic rules, all practices for athletes must end by Nov. 20th, but we’ve already begun transitioning to individual conditioning for most sports.

College areas including the library, computer labs and other student services will remain open, but several other buildings, including the gym, will close Nov. 26th until winter term begins January 4.

Although Malheur County is under the Governor’s order to “pause” social activities and gatherings for the next two weeks, TVCC’s resumption plan already complies with these restrictions. But students and employees are being encouraged to reduce social gatherings and activities to limit the continuing spread of Covid-19. Our daily focus is just getting to Thanksgiving without an outbreak on campus.

So far, we’ve been fortunate and we continue to be grateful for our partnership with the Malheur County Health Department and their support of keeping students on campus for in-person classes.

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

In the spirit of being thankful, I wanted to share some great news. TVCC is one of three colleges in Oregon to receive a prestigious Talent, Innovation & Equity grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, with funding through the Lumina Foundation. The grants were also awarded to Portland Community College and Portland State University.

The $55,000 award to TVCC will help us be able to collaborate with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization/Four Rivers Welcome Center (IRCO/FRWC). IRCO is a nonprofit organization serving the holistic needs of Oregon’s immigrants, refugees, and community members, and Four Rivers Welcome Center specifically assists refugees/immigrants in Malheur County to find the resources they need to build successful futures in our community.

Specifically, the funds will help support critical wrap-around services for students, relationship-building, and data-driven best practices to increase the completion of degrees and credentials and eliminate barriers for students of color. This grant will also showcase our equity efforts statewide.

TVCC’s visibility across the state was also enhanced this past month when our Board of Education Vice Chair Stephen Crow assumed the role of Board President for the Oregon Community College Association. The OCCA Board is comprised of the presidents of each of the 17 Oregon community colleges, as well as a Board of Education member from each school. Crow has served on the Treasure Valley Community College board since 2017, and has been TVCC’s representative on the OCCA Board since that time.

In addition to increasing TVCC’s visibility statewide, Stephen’s leadership is already making a difference. One of his first duties as Board President was to appoint Board members to standing committees for the year. Stephen was also responsible for planning and leading OCCA’s statewide conference held last week. The event was completely virtual and he led the three-day event with professional finesse. I’m excited about all that he is doing to elevate the discussions and collaboration among our 17 community colleges statewide.

Finally, I’m so grateful to the many donors who supported the TVCC Foundation’s virtual Gala to raise money for student scholarships. It was a fun event, but I truly missed being able to being with everyone and can’t wait to celebrate in person someday. In the meantime, I’m so appreciative of the continued generosity we receive from our amazing community.

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