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Sitting Bull College offers online student support services

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 9:34 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many colleges and universities offer support services like counseling and tutoring to students, but due to COVID-19, all that has had to change.

Sitting Bull College has moved all of its support either online or by phone.

Student support staff said they’ve used this pandemic as an opportunity to create more enhanced and robust online services. Students are now able to take advantage of academic counseling, tutoring and counseling via Zoom, phone or email.

However, some counseling sessions can happen in person.

“We really have an array of services available to students, which is helpful because we have a lot of students in rural locations anyway, and so we’ve been able to expand here at the college the amount that we’re able to offer our students and community,” said SBC Trio Director of Student Support Services Cara Dimare.

The school has also been able to expand its Tuesday speaker series, to allow students to hear from presenters across America. Registering for any of these services can now be done remotely instead of in-person.

College engineering and construction programs look different this year at many schools as well.

Class sizes are smaller, deep cleaning happens more often.

Sitting Bull College has adjusted its career and technical course programs and schedules accordingly.

Sitting Bull College career and tech students are attending class face-to-face Monday through Thursday, but their class sizes have been reduced by half to allow for social distancing.

After doing some contact tracing, students head for class. “I’m glad we can actually do face-to-face schooling. It’s helped me learn a lot better. I learn hands-on. Some students learn better that way; I’m one of them,” said electrician major Michael Deason.

“I feel like Sitting Bull is, you know, is doing their part and is on top of everything. Like we’ve got hand sanitizer in the classroom on every desk and wipes and stuff like that and masks. If we don’t have masks, they provide them for us and it’s been pretty good,” said building trades major Donavan Yellow. Class sizes weren’t the only thing reduced.

There are fewer students in the dorms as well.

“They’re built in quads for four students in one room, so instead of having four we now have two, so there would be one on each side so they can social distance,” said SBC President Laurel Vermillion.

Family housing on campus has remained the same. About 330 people make up the Sitting Bull College community, and so far they’ve had seven cases of COVID-19 on campus, four are active and three have recovered.

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