Coronavirus (COVID‑19) Information and Resources
West Georgia Technical College has returned to normal operating hours at our campuses and other locations. View our WGTC Return to Campus Plan for more information. Please scroll down for the latest updates.
West Georgia Technical College has no higher priority than the health and safety of members of our community.
We recognize that this is a rapidly evolving situation and that the recommendations of the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can change frequently.
We encourage all members of the College’s community to monitor the CDC website as it provides the most current reference information.
Prevention is a key strategy with any virus, such as influenza or this coronavirus, so it is important to both protect yourself and take measures against spread to others. Updates are posted below as they become available.
- Email Contacts During Closure
- WGTC COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- WGTC Return to Campus Plan
- COVID-19 Notification Steps
- The Centers for Disease Control has a fact sheet that answers many basic questions about coronavirus.
- You can also explore the CDC’s Coronavirus website if you want more in-depth information.
- Georgia Department of Public Health has a Coronavirus website which provides information about the virus.
- Student Support Resources
- Financial Resources
- Health officials worldwide are closely monitoring the outbreak of illness caused by the newly identified coronavirus (COVID 19).
September 16 – COVID-19 Update
September 9 – COVID-19 Update
September 8 – CARES Funds Disbursement Report Update
September 2 – COVID-19 Update
August 6 – Welcome from Student Affairs
Welcome to Fall Semester 2020! The first day of classes is Monday, August 10 and we anticipate a fun, safe and productive semester. First, allow me to explain the fun. We intend on welcoming you in royal fashion with a Mask-uerade Party. Yes, you’ll receive your official West Georgia Technical College mask at the campuses and some more goodies (I can’t spoil all of the surprises!) to help you be prepared for this most interesting semester during Weeks of Welcome. And for those who will participate online, there are opportunities to win other prizes including a T-shirt that will be mailed to you. There will also be bi-monthly newsletters packed with additional opportunities to engage so the fun is for everyone!
As we begin in the midst of the pandemic, protective measures have been implemented for the health and safety of all as we begin classes in an online, hybrid and face-to-face format. To help protect us all:
- Stay home if you are feeling sick, have a fever over 100.4 degrees, and/or you experience any symptoms of illness, to include coughing, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell.
- Keep your distance while on campus, allowing at least six feet of space between you and others at all times. The student centers will be open, however please make sure to maintain proper distancing, or they may have to be closed. Signage has been added to help remind all to physically distance. The fitness centers will remain closed for now.
- Wear a face mask any time you are sharing space with others including classrooms/labs/offices where physical distancing is not possible. Please bring your own mask or face covering. Plexiglass or protective shields have also been added to Enrollment Centers, Libraries and other open, centralized information areas.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face and cover your coughs/sneezes.
- Additional personal protective equipment is available in labs where necessary.
- Notify your instructor if you have been on campus and test positive for COVID-19.
- Do not come to campus if you have been directly exposed to COVID-19 or while awaiting test results. Follow the guidance given by your local Department of Public Health after exposure.
- An absence due to COVID direct exposure or COVID illness will be excused. Faculty will work with you to transition to online learning as needed and if appropriate. The WGTC COVID Response Team can assist students to determine exposure risk.
- For questions or reporting purposes, the West Georgia Technical College’s COVID Response Team can be reached at COVID@westgatech.edu. All information will be kept confidential by faculty and Response Team members.
In addition to asking our faculty, staff and students to clean their areas after each use, the college has also added many new measures to clean and disinfect the facilities.
- Additional sanitizer stands have been added to each campus and are ready for use.
- Cleaning supplies are available in classrooms, at kiosks and other pertinent areas.
- Extra cleaning and sanitation is occurring in all areas by trained professionals.
- New equipment has been added to help disinfect the restrooms and new techniques have been employed for deep cleaning.
- Recommended air filters have been updated at all facilities and building air flow has been increased as prescribed by CDC guidelines.
- Plus much, much more!
All of these measures are in place to help you learn, have fun, be healthy and safe and ultimately, be successful. Our goal is still the same and that is to help YOU achieve your goals and be successful in your career. So get ready, get set, and we’ll see you soon. We look forward to serving you!
Tonya F. Whitlock, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs
July 30 – Welcome to Fall Semester!
The health and safety of West Georgia Technical College students, faculty and staff is always our first priority. As West Georgia Tech returns to in-person learning for the Fall 2020 semester, we want to provide you with information regarding how we are meeting the needs of our students in the safest way possible.
This Fall Semester, we are committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for everyone. There will be new ways to learn, new health procedures in place, and recommendations students can consider to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Fall 2020 semester will have more options than ever before for students as they decide which learning environments best suit their needs. We are offering a blended course schedule that includes a wide variety of course delivery methods. Students have the opportunity to choose from online classes, face-to-face classes, or virtual classroom options where instructors will be teaching live on campus giving students the choice to attend in person or online.
Each college class will offer some or all of these learning options, and students may choose their preference when registering for classes. Courses requiring laboratory skills will be offered in person. The laboratory environments will require students and faculty to observe social distancing protocols as well as wearing mask coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.
All of our campuses now have new plexiglass shields installed in areas where students, faculty, and staff frequently interact face to face, as well as social distancing guidelines marked throughout each campus. Additional prevention methods are being incorporated at all campuses and include increasing the number of times that classrooms and labs are cleaned and disinfected, and providing students access to hand sanitizer in each classroom and in common areas.
Students are expected to wear mask coverings in classrooms and labs and in common areas throughout each campus, and reminders to wear masks, wash hands properly, and social distance six feet apart are marked throughout each campus as well.
From the onset of the pandemic in Georgia, West Georgia Technical College has followed COVID-19 guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will continue to do so. We know these last few months have been challenging, but we thank you for your commitment to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We cannot wait to see you this Fall!
Scott Rule, PhD
July 24 – COVID-19 Notification Steps
Students, faculty and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed, should view our COVID Notification Steps to find out how to notify WGTC and what is needed.
July 20 – CARES Funds Disbursement Report Update
July 14 – WGTC Return to Campus Plan
West Georgia Technical College plans to reopen for Fall Semester. Our Return to Campus Plan outlines a timeline and safety protocols the College will use to reopen. Additionally, the College has created an email address, COVID@westgatech.edu, for use by students, faculty and staff who have tested positive or believe they have been exposed to COVID-19. This address will connect you with experts who can assess your situation and risk level and advise you on a plan of action. Please continue to monitor www.westgatech.edu for additional updates.
June 9 – CARES Funds Disbursement Report Update
May 21 – CARES Funds Disbursement Report
May 19 – CARES Funds Heading to Eligible Students
WGTC has applied for and has now been awarded federal funds under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Following the criteria provided by the Department of Education, the college has identified students who attended spring semester who are eligible for relief funds. Refunds to eligible students will be automatic – with no action required by the student. Disbursement through BankMobile is underway and should be complete by the end of this week.
Eligibility (this may change as we continue to receive guidance from the Department of Education):
- Still enrolled in at least 1 credit class after March 13
- Enrolled in an eligible program that leads to a certificate, diploma or degree
- Title IV eligible students only (must have completed a FAFSA for 19/20 aid year and all outstanding verification C codes on FAFSA cleared)
- Most current (spring) SAP code is good standing, warning, or approved academic plan standing
- Dual Enrollment student
- Foreign Students (includes DACA)
- Transient Students
- Defaulted on student loans, over-payments, or other loan restrictions
- Enrolled exclusively in online courses
May 13 – Registered Nursing Program Announcement
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNA testing will not be available until July 2020. In response to this, WGTC has decided to allow students to apply for competitive selection for the Associate Degree Nursing program for July 1, 2020 with acceptance contingent upon completion of CNA certification by August 6, 2020. All other requirements must be met by July 1. The cohort selected for admission into the ADN program for Fall 2020 will be located on the Coweta Campus.
If you have additional questions regarding the requirements for competitive selection into the ADN program for Fall Semester 2020, feel free to contact the Advising Center at email@example.com.
May 4 – PSB Exam Now Available in Online Format
Students required to take the PSB Exam as part of the competitive selection process for WGTC’s Radiologic Technology, Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting and Surgical Technology programs may now register to take this exam in an online format.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSB exam is being administered by PearsonVUE using an online proctoring platform. To register for the online PSB, visit https://coned.westgatech.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=20UCEOHEAL20. Dates will be scheduled by PearsonVUE after you register with WGTC at the link. If a student was already registered to test, he or she will be contacted individually. There is no need to re-register.
April 24 – CARES Act
Federal funding under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) has been identified to go to colleges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic national emergency. The first installment of this funding is designated to go to students. West Georgia Technical College is in the process of applying for these funds. In the meantime, the College is working on an appropriate plan for release of funds to students. At this time, we are still awaiting further guidance and clarification from the Department of Education on the exact regulations for disbursement, as well as what student populations are eligible to receive the money. We know the significance of this funding for some of our students in need and can assure you we are working diligently to release funds as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Further updates will be posted here on our COVID-19 Information and Resources page.
April 22 – TEAS Exam now Available in Online Format
Students required to take the TEAS Exam as part of the competitive selection process for WGTC’s Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing programs may now register to take this exam in an online format.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TEAS exam is being administered using an online proctoring platform. To register for the online TEAS, visit: https://coned.westgatech.edu/wconnect/ShowSchedule.awp?&Mode=GROUP&Group=ASSESS&Title=ASSESSMENT++TESTING+CENTER
April 10 – Summer Semester Course Schedule available
Registration for Summer Semester will open Monday, April 13 at 8 a.m. and West Georgia Technical College has now posted the Summer Semester course schedule for viewing. With the uncertainty of a date that students and faculty can return to the campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer schedule is almost entirely comprised of online classes. However, the College is offering as many courses as possible in an online format in an effort to keep you moving forward in your program of study. As we are allowed to return to campus at some point, we will prioritize those students who need to complete hands-on components from Spring Semester.
As you view the course schedule, you may have questions about classes that are being offered and classes that are not being offered. Virtual Advising appointments are now available for WGTC students to meet with professional academic advisors at West Georgia Tech. Advisors can answer questions about course requirements, competitive selection and academic support. To schedule a virtual advising appointment, go to the Student Advising page of the WGTC website. Students must use their secure WGTC email to sign up and sign into the system. Appointment times are available Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Thank you for your patience. We know this uncertainty can be frustrating, but we are moving forward through this together. We all look forward to the time we can be back on campus and in labs, celebrating our successes together.
April 7 – Spring Semester Graduation Rescheduled
West Georgia Technical College has tentatively rescheduled Spring Semester graduation to August 20, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was originally scheduled for May 7, 2020. All students who indicated they would participate in May will be invited to participate in August. Further details about the August 20 event will be shared at a later date.
March 26 – Spring Semester Schedule Updates
Thank you for the many ways you have worked with us to adapt to totally online instruction. We know it has not been easy in some cases. Thank you for contacting us by email, as almost all faculty and staff are teleworking away from campuses. Thank you for being patient with us as we respond and try to get you the correct information in a timely way. Our faculty and staff are also adapting to a new way of doing business.
At this point, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, we would like to announce additional schedule updates for the rest of the Spring Semester. Most importantly, in order to be compliant with SACSCOC, our accrediting body, we need to make up the week of instruction we lost March 16-20. We believe the best way to do this is to continue our online instruction from now until the regular end of the semester on April 28 utilizing the week of April 6-10 for instruction instead of the previously scheduled spring break. I realize this is a big step. Many of you (as well as many faculty and staff) had planned on this break. However, we are all operating in a world that has been disrupted to a large degree. Most previously scheduled travel has been cancelled by government action or by resorts and destinations themselves. We believe it is in all of our best interest to use this week for instruction and to end the semester on time.
We are all operating under circumstances we have never faced before, but I am so encouraged by the spirit of cooperation and understanding that we are showing as the West Georgia Technical College community. None of us can change the situation we are in, but we do make it easier on each other by working together with patience and kindness.
Please take care of yourselves and your families. The best way you can help now is to stay home and not expose yourself or others to COVID-19. I encourage you to continue to monitor www.westgatech.edu and our social media channels for the latest information. We will share more updates as we can.
Scott Rule, PhD
March 26 Update – Governor’s Executive Order
In accordance with Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order 03.26.20.02, all TCSG colleges will remain closed for in-person instruction with limited exceptions through the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. West Georgia Technical College will continue to hold classes via digital platforms only for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Students should look for specific guidance from instructors regarding limited exceptions where in-person instruction will be allowed and should continue to monitor their West Georgia Tech email and Blackboard account for communication from their instructors. Certain faculty and staff may be required to report on campus and should contact their supervisor for guidance.
March 19 Update – Positive COVID-19 test
The health and safety of West Georgia Technical College’s students, faculty, and staff is always our first priority. Today, West Georgia Technical College was notified that a member of the college community has self-reported a positive COVID-19 test. This person was last on our Douglas Campus March 5, 2020, with no evidence of visiting any other campus.
The overall risk of COVID-19 to students, faculty, and staff at WGTC remains low. Health officials are taking precautionary measures to quickly identify cases of COVID-19, take appropriate public health action to reduce its spread, and protect the general public in identifying potential contacts.
For members of the WGTC community, the best prevention measures for any respiratory virus, including COVID-19, are:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We advise the WGTC community to watch for signs and symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and to contact their primary care physician if they experience any symptoms. Be sure to call before going to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or urgent care center.
March 19 Update – Online Instruction
Online instruction for ALL courses is scheduled to begin Monday, March 23. On Monday, please log into the Blackboard online platform. You will receive additional information in Blackboard regarding the continuance of each course.
To log into Blackboard:
Username: Everything before the @student.westgatech.edu in your email address
- If you do not know your username, Get Help with Username
Password: Your eight-digit birthdate
- For example, a birthdate of January 01, 2001 has a password of 01012001
Please continue to check your student email account and the WGTC website for updates. If you have immediate questions, reach out to instructor through Blackboard messaging for assistance.
March 18 Update – Community Resources
As we all grapple with the far-reaching impact of the corona virus pandemic, many are in need of assistance. The WGTC Foundation is still here to assist where it can for those of you seeking to enhance your careers through education, but many support services are beyond the scope of our mission or means of assistance. Please see below for additional entities in and around our area who are providing assistance, but keep in mind that they are seeing an increase in requests and may be struggling to provide the services to the level they would like.
WGTC provides a comprehensive list of community resources in our service delivery area. This list is updated regularly and can be found on our website at: https://www.westgatech.edu/student-support-resources/. These services can provide help including medical, domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse, housing, health insurance, education, employment and training, senior service, children/youth and more. Please contact them directly for more information.
For students in Carroll, Haralson, and Heard counties, the Community Foundation of West Georgia recommends you visit: http://westgacares.org/search/ for a searchable database of resources available in these three counties.
For students in Coweta and Douglas counties (or living in metro Atlanta counties outside our service delivery area), the United Way of Greater Atlanta offers United Way 211 as an extensive database of resources. You can access the searchable database online at: http://211.org/ or by dialing 211.
For students in Coweta County, One Roof Outreach is providing daily resources for food insecurity. Visit their website for locations for pick-up: https://oneroofoutreach.org/.
For students in Troup County, visit http://coronavirus.lagrangega.org/#services for a list of resources and updates specific to Troup County and city of LaGrange.
Worried about paying for school next semester?
Foundation and external scholarship applications are open until April 16. See our website for information on how to apply: https://www.westgatech.edu/discover-wgtc/foundation/foundation-scholarship/
March 17 Update
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we took action late last week to combat the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19). It is unfortunate that we had to temporarily suspend instruction, but in addition to that action being an Executive Order from the Office of Governor Brian Kemp, it was the best way to ensure your safety and safety of your fellow students, our faculty, and staff.
Yet, I know this interruption has delayed your progress toward meeting your educational goals. We are committed to getting you moving along that path again as rapidly as possible, in a safe and healthy environment. To that end, our COVID-19 response team has been hard at work determining how best to proceed. After these first days of planning, it is clear that we can, indeed, continue with our educational mission, by embracing and expanding our online offerings and investigating telework options for faculty and staff. We still face a host of unknowns as the situation changes, but we have a plan I would like to share with you.
Classes to Resume Monday, March 23 – Online Only
As you may know, under emergency powers granted by the state legislature, Governor Brian Kemp has ordered all public elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools closed through March 31. While our physical campuses are required to be closed to the public and students, we are allowed (and even encouraged) to do as much as we can in an online format.
With that allowance, ALL of our credit classes will resume March 23 in an online learning environment utilizing Blackboard Learn (our online learning platform). For those of you already enrolled in online classes, you will simply continue where you left off.
If one or more of your classes is not currently online, you will also resume classes on March 23 by logging in to Blackboard (instructions on how to access Blackboard will be sent in a separate email later this week). Once logged in, you will be able to access communication, assignments and further direction from your instructors.
Courses Requiring Lab or Hands-On Work
While all courses will resume on Monday, March 23, we realize some courses cannot be fully completed online. You will still need to login to Blackboard, where you will hear from your instructor regarding timelines and schedules for completing the hands-on components at a later date. At this time, we do not have firm dates as to when we will return to campus facilities or clinical sites, but by logging into Blackboard and keeping up with communications and assignments there, your instructor will share additional details as they are available. There is much still to be determined based on conditions which are out of our hands. We rely on information from the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control to know when it will be reasonable for us to return to campus.
Completing the Semester
It is our intent to help each of you complete your classes (and ultimately, your program) with as little disruption as possible under these circumstances. We are working as a team across the College to remove as many roadblocks as we can for you. We are also still investigating our non-academic strategies, such as student services, library, bookstore, and more. Our goal is to be able to provide these additional services, most likely in an alternative format utilizing telework and virtual solutions.
I know that this can be a scary time. Our lives have been disrupted in ways that didn’t even seem possible just a few weeks ago. All of us are dealing with family, work and school issues that we’ve never faced before. I want to assure you that West Georgia Tech will utilize all our assets (insofar as we are allowed to do so) to make our changes and adaptations as smooth as possible. All of us are forced to adapt, and we will get through this together. Please continue to monitor all your sources for good information to best protect yourself and your loved ones. It is critical to follow guidelines we are given for social distancing, proper handwashing and other preventive measures.
You, as students, are the most important part of our West Georgia Tech community. Our mission is to train and educate you. Please take care of yourself. We will share more updates as we can.
Scott Rule, Ph.D.
March 13 Update
West Georgia Technical College community,
In light of the current health issues and concerns resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), West Georgia Technical College has made the decision to suspend classes and activities on all campuses March 16-20. All campuses and locations will be closed. Employees – both faculty and staff – may be required to report at specific times during the week for planning or training purposes. Individual supervisors will contact employees directly, if necessary.
While a variety of factors influenced this decision to close, be assured that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is always our primary concern. At this time, we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to any of our students or employees. However, confirmed cases have appeared in part of our service area and in surrounding areas.
West Georgia Tech will remain in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health and other state and local authorities as we evaluate this evolving situation. We ask that the entire College community continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as shared by DPH and the CDC. This remains a rapidly evolving situation and we know that members of our community will have questions we cannot yet answer. The emergency management team is meeting frequently and will continue to develop answers, adjust plans as necessary and communicate these with you.
Students and employees should continue to monitor email and the West Georgia Tech website, www.westgatech.edu, for current information and resources.
Scott Rule, Ph.D.
March 12 Update
Dear West Georgia Tech community,
There is no higher priority than the safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff. As you know, the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is rising in Georgia, and I want to provide you with an update and steps we are taking to reduce the risk of infection.
To date, there have not been any cases of coronavirus exposure to anyone on our campuses. We continue to provide our college community with communications that detail preventative measures people should take to reduce risk of infection. This includes CDC-recommended strategies like washing hands regularly; avoiding the touching of eyes, nose, and mouth; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues; avoiding close contact with those who may be sick; and staying home when experiencing symptoms. You will find a CDC flyer outlining important COVID-19 facts attached to this email. We are also taking extra measures to regularly clean and disinfect areas with a high amount of human contact. This includes lavatories, doorknobs, elevators and stair railings, among others.
In addition, senior staff, representing all areas of the college, are taking a close look at events that are scheduled on our campuses to determine if these events need to be rescheduled, modified or cancelled. We will announce any event changes as we make these determinations. At this point, any identified cancellations will be done out of an abundance of caution and not because of any direct threat to our College community.
We are monitoring this developing situation closely and following guidance from the Governor’s office, the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Public Health. This continues to be a fluid situation, but we are committed to providing you with accurate information in a timely manner. The College has a robust emergency response plan and contingency plans that can be called into place if needed.
I thank you for your trust and assistance in providing a safe and healthy learning environment for students.
Scott Rule, Ph.D.
March 9 Update
Know the facts about coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors. Current information from the Centers for Disease Control is attached.
Health officials worldwide are closely monitoring the outbreak of illness caused by the newly identified coronavirus (COVID-19).
To date, there have been NO cases of COVID-19 reported at West Georgia Technical College, although there are reported cases in the state of Georgia. We recognize that this is a rapidly evolving situation and that the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Department of Public Health and others can change frequently.
West Georgia Technical College has no higher priority than the health and safety of members of our community.
We encourage all members of the College’s community to monitor the CDC website as it provides the most current reference information.
Prevention is a key strategy with any virus, such as influenza or this coronavirus, so it is important both to protect yourself and take measures against spread to others.
Visit https://www.westgatech.edu/coronavirus-information-and-resources/ for links to additional CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health resources about COVID-19.