Gazebo Gazette

Remote learning for Career and Technical Education (CTE) students at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College just received a big boost thanks to the new CTE Student Kits and laptops for remote learning, which was implemented at all of the college campuses during Fall 2020.

During the Fall 2020 semester, students have had the option to check out laptops from the Learning Resources Centers on each campus, but now, CTE students can check out kits that allow them to continue skills-based learning at home.  The CTE Student Kits allow students to complete hands-on objectives.  Examples of such remote learning include the following: electronics kit for Instrumentation and Controls Technology; a portable welding machine for Welding Technology; and marble slabs, mixers, and decorating sets for Baking and Pastry Arts Technology.

“MGCCC wanted to plan for continued rigorous, high-quality instruction in the midst of intermittent shutdowns and reduced classroom capacity in accordance with CDC guidelines,” said Dr. Erin Riggins, Associate Vice President of Teaching and Learning. “In conjunction with classroom technology, the laptops and CTE Student Kits will allow a student to complete many of the hands-on objectives remotely.”

Paid for through CARES Act for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the CTE Student Kits were made available for checkout and distribution for use in coursework prior to Thanksgiving break. Funds received through the CARES Act were also used for classroom technology for virtual delivery of instruction.  Some examples of classroom technology purchased through CARES funds include the following: Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) technology for virtual training (i.e., EON Reality); HyFlex classroom technology; SmartBoards; laptops; and the simulators for industry-driven training such as the Heavy Equipment Operator training offered Fall 2020.

“Students in career and technical programs are required to demonstrate skills-based competencies in order to complete the CTE programs,” Riggins said.  “That presented a challenge for instructors during the COVID-19 shutdown that began in March.  These CTE Student Kits will help faculty to maintain the rigorous instruction and hands-on skills practice needed for students even when stricter CDC guidelines are in place, whether that means social distancing and reduced class sizes or whether the College experiences another shutdown.”