As a small, nimble, proprietary college, we’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve and ease the transition to virtual teaching, support, and administration for our students, staff, and faculty so far.
In these challenging times, it’s hard not to be proud of our students, staff, and faculty here at The College of Westchester.
As soon as things started go sideways early the week of March 2nd, President Del Balzo and our management team stepped up and started communicating right away. My amazing, dedicated IT staff was all over it. We had already been enabling remote access to desktops for years along with various other measures intended to support business continuity while enhancing ongoing efficiencies. When we transitioned to a cloud based phone system last year, we made a point of getting familiar with their “Mobility” solution, which would enable our users to use their smart phones much like the phones on their desks. This turned out to be a home run as we implemented it over the last week.
We had done a lot of emergency prep and it was paying off. But who would have thought it would be a pandemic we were preparing for?
Normally in BC/DR (Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery) planning, you balance risk versus likelihood of different scenarios. Fire, power outage, earthquake, severe weather, etc., are pretty high on the list of real things that happen and can create an emergency situation. But a pandemic? Honestly, that’s way down on the list of possibilities. But here we are.
Putting Plans Into Action
We started teaching remotely last Friday, and staff started working from home on Tuesday. I have a consultant working for me who works with numerous higher education institutions and he mentioned that all of the other schools he is working with are scrambling and that we are