Healthy home

Health, Self-Care & Social Distancing

By Brian Woods

Students, staff and faculty are all experiencing changes in their normal routines during the coronavirus pandemic — from shifting schedules and social distancing to moving to virtual instruction. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 and temporary lifestyle transition is understandably stressful for many people. Fear and anxiety about the disease and what the future holds can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. 

Remember that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How one responds to the outbreak can depend on their background, community, personal health and more. However, coping with stress in healthy ways will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.

Healthy home

To address these issues, mental health experts recommend creating a daily stay-at-home routine. Build in three key elements to the routine to help maintain mental health; exercise, a mental health check and social engagement.

“Trying to preserve some sense of normalcy is really important for people’s well-being,” Dr. Russell G. Buhr, a pulmonologist at UCLA Health medical center, told the New York Times.

According to Buhr, maintaining a routine, like getting up and getting dressed at a certain time, can positively affect mental health.

Staying hydrated

“And good mental health promotes good physical health,” he added.

There are many things people can do to maintain their physical and mental health while staying at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following ways to stay healthy during COVID-19:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Turn off TV
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other addictive vices.
Meditating
  • Make time to unwind. After finishing your daily tasks, try to do some other activities you really enjoy. 
Listening to music
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you care for and trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Talking on the phone

Connecting with others is one of the most important ways people can stay healthy while social distancing. 

In fact, during the World Health Organization’s (WHO) press briefing on March 20, the phrase “social distancing” was replaced with “physical distancing”, to accurately highlight the need to physically separate from others, but still remain socially connected.

“We’re changing to say ‘physical distance’… because we want people to still remain connected,” Dr. Maria Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, said in the briefing.

Social interaction

“It doesn’t mean that, socially, we have to disconnect from our loved ones, from our family,” Dr. Kerkhove said. “…Technology right now has advanced so greatly that we can keep connected in many ways without actually physically being in the same space with people.”

The WHO stressed that keeping the physical distance from people is absolutely essential.

By practicing self-care, as well as continuing to follow health officials’ guidelines on proper hygiene procedures, physical distancing and other preventative measures, we can help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Remember to care for each other and stay connected out there, Rams, and reach out for support whenever needed. 

masks

‘Stitches of Love’: VVC staff and students donate masks to local hospitals

masks
Hospital staff members at St. Mary Medical Center accept a donation of masks from Victor Valley College.
EMS logo

With a shortage of surgical masks across the United States because of the coronavirus, Victor Valley College staff and faculty have stepped up to help supply local hospitals with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Along with nearly 6,000 N95 masks donated by the college’s Emergency Medical Services Department, more than 200 reusable cloth masks have been sewn by VVC instructors and students. The donations are benefiting Desert Valley Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center and Victor Valley Global Medical Center.

Eddie Hernandez, director of business development and marketing for Desert Valley Hospital, helps unload a donation of protective masks from Victor Valley College.

“We recognize the valuable partnerships that our local hospitals provide for our emergency medical technician and paramedic students each semester,” said Dave Oleson, program director and department chair of VVC’s Emergency Medical Services. “Providing these masks at a time when they are in such high demand and infrequent availability is just one small way we can repay the time and effort that the nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists and allied health professionals at these three facilities give to our students during their internships.”

Meanwhile, VVC Athletic Director Jaye Tashima and Athletic Trainer Amy Wilkin are sewing additional reusable masks to donate.

“While we staff the food pantry for VVC, we are sewing masks for our alumni from the nursing program who are working on the frontlines,” Wilkin said.

masks
Victor Valley College Athletic Director Jaye Tashima and Athletic Trainer Amy Wilkin are sewing additional reusable masks like these to donate to local hospitals.

Although VVC’s home economics classes have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the women who were enrolled in the machine quilting classes have also been busy sewing masks under the direction of instructor Pat Adams, who has been teaching at VVC since 1984.

Adams and her husband, VVC Alumni Hall of Fame member Larry Adams, were both part of the second graduating class of VVC in 1963.

Adams said she is proud of the women in her quilting classes for offering their time and services to support the cause. After a few of her students made masks and gave them to a friend of theirs who is a nurse at St. Mary, their friend’s supervisor requested 100 additional masks. 

An email was sent out to the five quilting classes with a face mask pattern. About a week later, all those who contributed met Adams in a large parking lot to safely transfer the masks to her.

“One by one the ladies dropped off their donations into the trunk of my car,” Adams said.

The grand total was 185 masks.

“This is a wonderful group of women that are very dear to my heart,” said Interim Dean of Humanities, Arts & Social Science (HASS) Jacqueline Augustine. “Their stitches in time and love that they give back to the community are a true reflection of the caring people here at VVC.”

bookstore

VVC Rams Bookstore Information — April 2020

rammy in bookstore

During the coronavirus pandemic, Victor Valley College’s Rams Bookstore is closed until further notice, but students can still place orders online and call or email to receive help from staff.

On the Rams Bookstore website, www.vvcrams.com , students can securely place their book orders online. Web orders will be shipped on Mondays. Web order pickup will be processed by appointment only.

Shipment tracking and order history is available on the website. All shipments are professionally packed to ensure the safety of your items in route.

For students without access to online payment sources, please send an email to RamsBookstore@vvc.edu or call (760) 245-4271 ext. 2259.

The bookstore would like to thank students for their patience, understanding and support during this closure.

Additional information, including how to sell books through the online buyback, how to find the right books for your course and how to process a return, can be found on the Rams Bookstore website.

Questions? Email RamsBookstore@vvc.edu or call (760) 245-4271 ext. 2259.

rams bookstore
VVC logo

Recent Updates from Victor Valley College – April 2020

VVC logo

This page is regularly updated with the most recent web links containing information for Victor Valley College students.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Web links to verified resources for the latest information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as the most recent VVC semester updates.

Last updated: April 2, 2020

Student Email Information

Directions on how to access your student email account.

Last updated: March 18, 2020

Special NOTICE: Excused Withdrawal

Information about special emergency provisions that allow students to request an Excused Withdrawal due to circumstances related to COVID-19.

Last updated: April 2, 2020

Library Virtual Services Information

Information on the virtual services available through the VVC library.

Last updated: March 30, 2020

EOPS student information 

Information for EOPS students about virtual and telephone services available.

Last updated: March 27, 2020

Tutoring & Academic Support

List of tutoring and academic support resources available to students at this time, including tutorials, workshops and computer/resource access.

Last updated: March 26, 2020

Guidance & Counseling Info

Resources to help students access guidance and counseling services online or by phone. 

Last updated: March 21, 2020

Financial Aid & VA Benefits Info

Information about Financial Aid disbursements and Veterans Benefits. 

Last updated: March 19, 2020

VVC Rams Bookstore Information

Information about purchasing books through the VVC Rams Bookstore.

Last updated: April 3, 2020

VVC Special NOTICE: Excused Withdrawal

VVC logo

Dear students,

Even as we are asking you to transition to a new on-line learning environment, know that many of our faculty and staff are as well. We are all working outside our normal routines and we share your uncertainty and frustration as we try to serve you in the ways that you deserve.

There are and will be many outstanding questions and we are working to resolve them as quickly as possible. Should you experience the need to withdraw because of circumstances related to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) please see the special note below regarding Excused Withdrawal (EW) (in red)  

The vvc.edu website will continue to feature additional information and access to resources that help you become successful on-line learners. Similar resources are being made available to our faculty and staff.

Thank you for your patience and commitment to your academic goals. We, too, are committed to you and want to do everything we can to help you complete the semester successfully.

We realize it will take time for you to adjust to your on-line classes. In consideration of this, the college has extended the date to withdraw:

Excused Withdrawal Deadline has been extended through June 13

· EWForm due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

It is our hope that you take a growth mindset, remembering that you can get better with time and practice. Success = Desire + Effort + Support. The website is your “One Stop” source of information, resources, and assistance.

Special NOTE:

Should you experience the need to withdraw because of circumstances related to the Coronavirus (COVID 19), special emergency provisions allow students to request an Excused Withdrawal (EW) which will not affect your financial aid, will not count against you for academic standing or enrollment attempts (Grades, Units taken or Units completed).

In addition, Students can retake a course attempted during the pandemic and will disregard the previous grade when computing a GPA once the course has been retaken and completed.

To request an Excused Withdrawal (EW)

·         Let your instructor know you plan to withdraw, and

·         Submit a Petition for EW due to COVID-19 and return via email to admissions@vvc.edu

Thank you, Rams.  We realize this is a complex, difficult, confusing situation, but we are consistently amazed at your dedication, flexibility and hard work. We are making it through this together, and we will all be stronger as a result.

digital learning

Tips for adapting in the virtual age of COVID-19

digital learning

By Brian Woods

In an effort to protect the health of students, employees and the greater community, Victor Valley College is transitioning its in-person operations to an online format. 

Beginning March 30, all lectures and labs that are conducive to online will have transferred to virtual instruction via Blackboard, Canvas or other interface specified by the course instructor.

Some students may feel unprepared for an online learning environment, which differs from the traditional classroom experience.

Students must become self-directed learners, manage their time efficiently and navigate a technology-rich environment that goes beyond social media and smartphones.

Here are some helpful tips from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office on how to succeed in the virtual age of COVID-19:

  • Log into your course ahead of time to review the learning objectives and any assignments. Assess the workload for the week and put the due dates on your calendar. Make a mental map of what’s ahead.
  • Aim to have all of your assignments done prior to the due date. Why? Because life happens, and when you wait until the last minute, you’re more likely to have problems meeting the due date.
  • Use the Canvas To-Do List and Calendar to track and stay current on your assignments. They are helpful tools in mastering time management.
  • If you identify a challenge with meeting a due date, or with understanding any course material, contact your instructor right away. Please remain patient, as instructors are currently transitioning to virtual mode along with you.

According to the state Chancellor’s office, all campuses have put additional resources and personnel in place to support students transitioning to online instruction. 

VVC recognizes that in order to maintain academic success during this transitional period, many aspects of student services must change too.

The Guidance and Counseling department has begun implementing new online services, such as email, phone and video conference appointments.

Online tutoring sessions in English and Mathematics are also accessible through the “Tutoring and Academic Support” tile on the Canvas home page. 

The remote video communications app Zoom is currently at the forefront of virtual instruction. Counselors and instructors are able to schedule interactive conference calls and class lectures on both desktop and mobile devices.

The Chancellor’s office is also working with the telecommunications industry to try to provide free internet services and computers for students in need during the upcoming months. 

Currently, Charter Communications announced that Spectrum will offer free broadband and WiFi internet access to K-12 or college students impacted by COVID-19. Spectrum’s services are available for free for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who do not already have internet through the company.

Similarly, education technology search engine ClassCentral has compiled a list of more than 450 free online courses from top universities and Ivy League schools. Educational publishing companies Khan Academy, Google and Scholastic have also opened up free virtual learning hubs with services and support for students currently transitioning to online instruction.

In a new era of online learning and virtual instruction, countless resources are available for students to be prepared and stay successful in their academic endeavors.

For further assistance, please contact the Guidance and Counseling department by filling out a Counseling Interest Form or visiting http://vvc.edu/offices/guidance_and_counseling/.

library

VVC Library Virtual Services Information – March 2020

library

During the coronavirus pandemic, the physical VVC Library is closed until further notice, but the library will support students and faculty through the following virtual services.

Reference Services

Our online librarian is available to speak with you through web-based chat, email,  interactive screen-sharing or phone using Zoom.

HOURS: Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Research

Online databases with full-text articles and electronic books are available 24/7 through the library’s website via OneSearch or the online databases page. Use your “MyVVC” credentials to log in to the databases. 

Reserve Textbooks

Many publishers have provided free access to digital textbooks during the pandemic. See the Library’s web page for links and instructions. If the ebook is not available and a print copy is in the library, use the reference chat service to request a scanned copy.

Library’s Website

On the library website are a variety of tools and resources to support student learning and success, including: getting started with research; support for remote access; evaluating websites and using Google Scholar; citing sources and avoiding plagiarism; recommended websites; and course-specific subject guides. 

Due Dates & Fines

All due dates for library materials have been extended. No late fees will be applied.

On-campus Services

The library is closed to protect the health and preserve the lives of students, employees and all of our families during this unprecedented pandemic. Please contact a librarian using the online chat if you need additional materials for research assignments.

Many publishers are providing free, open access to millions of books and articles to support virtual learning. If relevant materials are not currently available in digital formats, we will make every reasonable effort to acquire/purchase new materials in an electronic format to meet your research needs.

If a librarian has exhausted all digital resources on your research topic, we may seek approval for you to come to the campus library. On-campus library visits are limited to documented course research needs. You will be required to make an appointment with a librarian using the online chat service or via email. VVC’s Campus Police will be notified of your appointment time in order for you to gain access to the campus.  

eops

EOPS student information – March 2020

eops

Attention EOPS Students:

We hope this message finds you well. As everyone is aware, Victor Valley College is closed to the public, but will remain open for ONLINE services.

EOPS will continue to serve our students via telephone and/or video conferencing.

At this time EOPS is no longer accepting new applications for Spring 2020, we will resume accepting applications in July 2020.

If you are a current EOPS student, we have made some adjustments to our procedures to better deliver our services without the need for face
to face interaction. Please read the following new procedures for the services you are requesting:

If you are a continuing EOPS Student, you can schedule your appointment with your EOPS Counselor, please email your EOPS Counselor directly.
• Tamala.Clark@vvc.edu
• Manika.Record@vvc.edu
• Louis.Wright@vvc.edu
• Manuel.Gaytan@vvc.edu

If you have been accepted as a new student, please email us at EOPS@vvc.edu to schedule your first appointment. Once you request an appointment, your EOPS counselor will email you to confirm your appointment.

Please activate your VVC Email. For directions on how to do this, see this article.

How to prepare for your counselor appointment:
• First Download Zoom Video Conferencing APP onto your smart phone. Search “Zoom Cloud Meetings” in your App store.
• The Counselor will email you a link for an invitation for a counseling meeting. Please click on the link to accept invitation to session.
• Make sure you have all your documents with you in case you need to refer to them, ie. latest Educational Plan, general education patterns, and major sheets.
• Make sure you are in secure setting, as we will be discussing educational matters that are confidential. Please limit any distractions and interruptions.

EOPS Book Vouchers:
Continuing Students: If you are a continuing EOPS Student, and you have not picked up your Book Voucher, please email EOPS@vvc.edu to request Book Voucher credit at the Rams Bookstore.
• New EOPS Students: Once you have completed your first EOPS Counselor appointment, you will receive Book Voucher credit at the Bookstore. The EOPS Counselor will explain the procedure for picking up your books from the Bookstore.
• EOPS book vouchers will be valid until December 31, 2020, book vouchers can be used to purchase books for Summer 2020 and for Fall 2020 semester.

Progress Reports: All EOPS Students are required to submit a progress report by May 29. Click here to access the EOPS progress report. You must email a current registration statement in addition to your completed progress report. You can email your completed progress report and registration statement to EOPS@VVC.edu .

CARE Students — To receive a CARE Transportation Grant for spring 2020 you will need to complete the following, no later than noon, on Friday, March 27, 2020:
• Submit your CARE Untaxed Income Form
• Due to COVID-19, the SB County TANF office is closed. We will accept a current Passport of Services in lieu of the untaxed income form. You can access this document by visiting C4Yourself.com or clicking here.
• Complete one counseling contact with your EOPS counselor.
• Have a signed EOPS and CARE Mutual Responsibility Contract.

Cap and Gown Service for June 2020 Graduates (assuming graduation is not cancelled/postponed):
• Sign-ups for cap and gown will begin May 4th , you can request your cap and gown by emailing EOPS@vvc.edu. To be eligible for the cap and gown service you must complete the following:
• Two EOPS counseling appointments during the Spring 2020 semester (ie: in person, telephone, or video conferencing).
• A completed Spring 2020 progress report.

For all other questions and concerns, please contact us at (760) 245-4271 ext. 2422 or email us at EOPS@vvc.edu

support

VVC Tutoring & Academic Support – March 2020

tutoring logo

Victor Valley College has created a network of Student Success Centers — which offers free tutorials, workshops, and computer/resource access — to assist students in their academic development and success.

Online Tutoring Support

All tutoring normally conducted in the Athletics Center, Communication Center, Math Success Center, Tutoring and Academic Support Center, Veteran’s Resource Center, and the Writing Center can now be accessed in Canvas through the Tutoring and Academic Support tab.

We are updating and creating videos like this one about accessing Canvas for all Centers: Achievement Center, ATC Mall, Basic Skills, Communication Center and ESL Lab, Math Success Center, Tutoring and Academic Support Center, and Writing Center.

dashboard

Modules: Students can access the web pages to each center. In addition, we have learning resources like handouts, website links, and Directed Learning Activities (DLAs).

tutoring

NetTutor

From algebra to zoology, students have free online tutoring support. NetTutor offers live tutoring on-demand, question drop-off, and writing feedback. Over 150 subjects are offered, including live tutoring for Math, Writing, and Student Success available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

nettutor

A video tutorial on how to access NetTutor can be found here.

ConferZoom

Real-time tutorials and workshops in the Athletics Center, Communication Center, Math Success Center, Tutoring and Academic Support Center, Veteran’s Resource Center, and the Writing Center can now be accessed in Canvas through the Tutoring and Academic Support tab. 

conferzoom

Pisces Online Tutoring:

The Communication Center and Writing Center use Pisces for online real-time tutorials. Pisces can be accessed inside Canvas through the Tutoring and Academic Support tab. Select Pisces Online Tutoring. Then select Communication Studies or Writing.

pisces

Students then can enter a one-on-one live room, drop off a question, or drop off a paper for review.

live room

One-on-one live room:

one on one live room

Writing & Communication Centers

The Communication Center and Writing Center use Pisces Online Tutoring to offer real-time tutorials.

writing center

In addition, the Writing Center has online tutoring in writing in English classes and across the curriculum. For online tutoring, get access through our website here or directly through the online tutoring webpage here

The Communication Center also uses the commcenter@vvc.edu email address as a clearing house for student work through ConferZoom.

Phone-In Support

We are also available to support students by phone. This can include tutorials by phone.

call us

During our hours of operation, contact the extensions for the Centers below for phone support:

· Advanced Technology Center: Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2397 or 2793.

· Achievement Center: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2344

· Basic Skills Lab: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2595

· ESL Lab: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Closed from 12:30 p.m 1:30 p.m.) — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2597

· Math Success Center: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2941

· Communication Center: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Closed from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.) — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2820

· Tutoring and Academic Support Center: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2447

· Writing Center: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — (760) 245-4271, ext. 2607 

Face-to-Face Hours

Students who need to access a computer to complete VVC coursework should contact (760) 245-4271, ext. 2397 or 2793, or atcmall@vvc.edu to schedule an appointment.

Appointments will be made in two-hour increments Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

VVC Guidance & Counseling Info – March 2020

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Student Services Center is closed to the public.

The Victor Valley College Guidance & Counseling webpage has resources for students to access their services online.

However, essential staff will be in the office Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to answer emails and phone calls.

Attention Students: Face-to-Face Counseling Appointments Have Been Suspended Until Further Notice, But We Are Still Here to Help You! Read Below.

During this time, we still want you to know that we are here to help you be successful both in and out of the classroom.

In order to best serve you, we have developed an online interest form for you to fill out. The form can be found here.

Once your form is received, your information will be shared with a counselor so they can coordinate a meeting with you. 

Meetings will take place over the phone, video conference, or email- you choose! See the ZOOM Counseling link here for other helpful info. 

Before you meet with your counselor, please make sure you have the technological tools in place to ensure a successful meeting.

Please know that we are still here to help you with developing educational plans, speaking about transfer requirements, and any other questions or concerns you might have! 

While we are all adjusting to completing our work online, we wanted to share some valuable resources with you to help you with the transition to online classes:

ZOOM- “Video On How to Download Zoom” and  “How to join a meeting” 

Canvas- joining a canvas conference

Here are some tips for online success

Chrome extensions to assist students

On the main Victor Valley College Guidance & Counseling webpage, you will find all of these resources in addition to steps to follow to apply to VVC, log on to WebAdvisor, make a counseling appointment, view your class schedule, view the VVC Counseling YouTube channel, and find information on Financial Aid.

We also encourage you to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this time. Do your push-ups, eat healthy, exercise, take vitamins, be mindful, and engage in other stress reduction strategies to optimize your brain and body functions.

We will be in contact!

Sincerely,

Your VVC Counselors