Students Returning to Campus - COVID 19 | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Returning to Campus - Students

NWACC continues to plan the safe return of students to the college's locations under the guidance of the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health.

The college is currently offering summer courses online, with plans to offer flexible course options in the fall that are designed to support your academic experience as well as your personal safety. 


Fall 2020 Course Options

In the fall, course instruction will be offered on campus, online at a scheduled time and online anytime. The following summarizes the various types of instruction. 

On-Campus & Online Scheduled Time

Many labs and technical courses will include social distancing face-to-face instruction at a set time and on campus. Social distancing guidelines will limit the number of students in a classroom. Other courses will be offered through a hybrid approach which includes social distancing face-to-face instruction on campus and streaming instruction online.

Some examples of how this might be accomplished include:

  • When possible, offering larger classrooms to allow for social distancing.
  • Limiting the number of students allowed in individual classrooms and laboratories at one time.
  • Perhaps one-third of the students attend every third face-to-face class with the other two-thirds of the students streaming instruction online.
  • Classes will meet as scheduled with options to adjust modes of instruction.

Online Scheduled Time

Some courses will be offered to you online through a video conferencing tool at a scheduled time. The class will be streamed live and you will be able to ask questions and participate in discussions.

Some examples of how this might be accomplished include:

  • During a regularly scheduled class, you will be able to stream a live lecture and participate in discussions.
  • Classrooms will include camera technology that will allow you and other students to view the lecture in real time.
  • Classes will meet as scheduled with options to adjust modes of instruction.

Online Anytime

Many courses will be offered to you through online technology and NOT at a scheduled time. Instructors will be available to answer questions by email or other conferencing technology.

  • Offering larger courses online will allow classrooms to open up for smaller social distancing face-to-face courses.

Prepare for fall classes with the computer and technology that best fit your needs. Learn more about recommended computer specs such as RAM, operating systems and hard drives by visiting the Computers and Technology for College web page. 

Fall 2020 Academic Support Services 

The following NWACC academic support services will be available online and at NWACC locations for the fall 2020 semester:

  • Pauline Whitaker Library
  • Bentonville and Washington County Information Commons
  • Writing Center
  • Math Center

However, services will have limited hours of operation with a limited number of students, faculty and staff allowed in their physical locations. 

Safety Measures and Access:

  • Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all students, faculty and staff at all NWACC facilities. This includes the library, computer labs, Writing Center and Math Center.
  • Protocols and scheduling for cleaning throughout each day are currently being designed.
  • Where appropriate, these services will maintain both virtual/online hours as well as on-site hours. On-site hours will be limited, and in-person visits will require appointments in order to maintain social distancing.
  • Shared materials will be minimally available. This includes staplers, tape dispensers, writing utensils and computers. Disinfecting wipes will be provided for use between each user.
  • Library materials will be available but will be retrieved by library staff and delivered in a contactless manner.
  • Tutoring, class instruction and one-on-one instruction will only occur in spaces that can accommodate social distancing requirements.
  • Computer labs will be configured to accommodate social distancing requirements, and depending on demand, there may be time limits for computer use.
  • Technology help in computer labs may be limited or unavailable to accommodate social distancing.

Safety Measures & Guidelines:

Students and employees are asked to perform a daily health screening by utilizing the COVID-19 Daily Checklist before leaving home and arriving on campus.

There will be designated doors to each building. View campus map showing building entrances. Days and hours may be limited, but this will be based on class schedules, various department needs, and student services.

Parking for fall 2020:

Students: No parking permit or hang tag will be required for NWACC locations for fall 2020. Be sure to ONLY park in the student designated parking on the grounds and in the parking garage.

NWACC requires all students and employees returning to campus to wear a face covering upon entry/exit into buildings, while walking through any public or shared spaces, while using shared equipment, and when encountering others in the classroom or inside college buildings. 

Face coverings are to cover both the mouth and nose to minimize spreading respiratory droplets when talking, coughing or sneezing. Although not all face coverings may prevent the person wearing the face covering from being infected, they help stop the spread of respiratory droplets to others. Some infected people may be asymptomatic, so widespread use of face coverings can help slow the spread.

Students and employees are asked to provide their own personal face coverings. If you are not able to obtain your own, NWACC will make efforts to assist you with securing one. Please keep in mind that face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing, but to be used in addition to keeping space between others. Face coverings are not required when alone in enclosed spaces.

If you are wearing a homemade face covering, be sure it is properly washed/disinfected on a regular basis.

Students are to adhere to social distancing practices by keeping six feet from others whenever possible, avoiding large public gatherings in venues, and following proper personal hygiene practices. The goal of social distancing is to limit exposure to infectious bacteria and viruses. In addition to keeping space between individuals, students are to also wear a face covering to help reduce the spread of illness.

Students are to adhere to public health hygienic recommendations by washing hands regularly, especially after touching commonly used items or coming into contact with someone who may be ill. Proper hand washing involves scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If you are not able to wash your hands, hand sanitizer dispensers are available in all NWACC buildings. 

Please be sure to also avoid touching your face, nose and mouth and avoid rubbing your eyes, and practice proper coughing or sneezing etiquette.

NWACC’s custodial service has increased rounds of cleaning throughout campus to ensure common areas and classrooms are sanitized regularly. Additional disinfecting supplies will be provided throughout the college for students and employees to use for cleaning shared items such as keyboards and desktops.

 Follow these guidelines if you have symptoms / are diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, etc. – stay home from class and contact your medical provider.

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this information to Dean of Students Office at 479-619-4234 or 479-619-4237 or via email to The Dean of Students Office may require you to provide validation (written proof) from the Centers for Disease Control, Arkansas Department of Health, and/or from his or her local physician.

  • If you are at work and start experiencing any symptoms, please notify your direct supervisor and leave immediately, seeking medical help/advice if needed/required.

Follow these guidelines if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (this is considered a secondary contact):

  • If you have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (this is considered a secondary contact), please notify the Dean of Students Office at 479-619-4234 or 479-619-4237 or via email to
  • Once exposed, if you start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, etc. – contact your medical provider. If you are then diagnosed with COVID-19, notify the Dean of Students Office at 479-619-4234 or 479-619-4237 or via email to

Other notes:

The difference between quarantine and isolation: 

Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.

  • If you had close contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Stay home until 14 days after your last contact.
  • Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home.

If you are sick and think or know you have COVID-19, stay home until after three days with no fever, symptoms improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, stay home until after 10 days have passed since your positive test. If you live with others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Once a student reports a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the Dean of Student’s Office, NWACC will take the following actions:

  • Collect essential information from the individual in question for contact tracing purposes such as building, classroom and other areas they visited, who they came into direct contact with, what dates they were on campus, etc.
  • Contact the department’s cabinet representative
  • Notify the Arkansas Department of Health
  • Notify NWACC facilities for additional cleaning
  • Notify Department of Safety concerning potential room and/or building closure for cleaning.
  • Notify Risk Management and Public Relations
  • Notify exposed employees/students
  • Follow up with student’s dean for additional testing updates

NWACC understands that students and employees have many questions during these uncertain times. Feel free to visit the FAQ page and view answers that we are able to provide at this time.

NOTE: As further information regarding the return of students and safety measures are finalized, you will be notified through your NWACC email and this web page.