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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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Maryland Innovation Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD 21046
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In Their Own Words

How have issues of social injustice, political division, and the pandemic shifted your teaching and services to be more responsive to students or employees?  

“Our staff dove into conversations with students about how the pandemic could impact their studies. Among their questions: does switching to online classes affect my student status, and should I stay in the U.S.? Staff worked tirelessly to remain updated regarding travel limitations and changes to government guidance. They also used an existing Canvas [learning management system] course to keep students informed. When we return to campus, we’d like to continue offering some remote advising.”

Lori Hartley, Associate Director of Admissions, International

“A lot of our students in Ambiciones [a supportive community for Hispanic/Latinx students] are essential workers, so their responsibilities changed with the pandemic. We took a step back and said, ‘How can we be more accommodating?’ We went from offering evening hours once a week to three evenings a week. We also requested additional scholarship funds to help students. Moving forward, we will incorporate this flexibility into our planning and continue to offer virtual appointments.”

Sandy Cos, Assistant Director of Ambiciones and Completion Specialist

“As different things have occurred such as the insurrection, the elections, the killings of unarmed African Americans by the police, we provided a forum called HCC Student Talking Circles for our students to process the information and talk about how it’s affecting them personally, educationally, economically… Students connect on Zoom with other students, faculty and staff experts. The circles offer support and guidance. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in an environment where you can openly discuss your feelings.” 

Schnell Garrett, Director of Student Life

“The most significant shift has been voicing the need for more equity and inclusiveness from my peers as they continue to serve students and work with our colleagues. I’ve been practicing being a mindful, equitable, and inclusive instructor since I started at HCC. I’ve learned each year how to do that better than the year before. As a Black woman in an industry with not too many full-time faculty members who look like me, I chose to be a professor because I understood the importance of representation and equity.”   

Crystal Walker, Assistant Professor and Co-Coordinator of Communication Studies, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair

Howard P.R.I.D.E. is an academic support and mentorship program for minority males. Before the pandemic, most of our interactions were face-to-face with students. When that disappeared, we made sure we were accessible throughout the day and night on Zoom. Along with having cohort check-ins, we have fellowship hours where students can hang out and attend tutoring sessions. Students also have our cell numbers in case of an emergency. They say that helps ease their anxiety.”

Terrell Bratcher, Howard P.R.I.D.E. Completion Specialist

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