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Gadsden State opens campus to limited numbers of students


Gadsden, Ala. – Dr. Martha Lavender announced that students enrolled in some career technical and health science classes returned to campus today for labs and clinicals.

“We continue to allow instructors to work remotely during the summer semester unless they need to instruct in skills labs, clinicals or other demonstration labs,” she said. “All academic courses are offered in an online format only for the summer semester.”

She said there is strict enforcement of social distancing at least six feet between individuals, and everyone should wear masks while on campus. Employees are provided with cloth masks while students are asked to bring a mask with them while visiting a Gadsden State campus. Frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer are also mandatory.

Students and employees returning to campus are required to sign-in at every building visited in an effort to conduct contact tracing in cases of a positive COVID-19 report. Students will sign a waiver indemnifying Gadsden State and the Alabama Community College System of any legal action as a result of receiving in-person services or instruction.

“We have deep-cleaned and sanitized all of our buildings,” Lavender said. “We are taking many precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. Deborah Curry, dean of health sciences, announced that students started skills validation today.

“Our students are required to do a return demonstration of a learned skill and will be graded by a faculty member,” she said. “It is a one-on-one demonstration that takes about 20 minutes.”

Students have been contacted by a member of faculty with a date and time to complete the validation. Once the validation is complete, students must exit the building without congregating in halls or outside the building, she said. Nursing clinicals will begin July 6.

Career Technical Education theory classes will be taught online for the summer term. Select CTE labs started meeting on campus for skills labs beginning today.

“Instructors teaching on-campus labs have had their plans reviewed and approved by their division chair,” said Alan Smith, dean of workforce development. “Instructors have rearranged lab areas to be able to accommodate students and maintain the required six-feet distance.”

He said students who received incomplete grades during the spring semester should contact their instructor, if they have not already done so, to make an appointment to make up any work missed during campus closure.

Students in the office careers program will complete their training in a hybrid format beginning today. For information, call Baisha Woody at 256-549-8234.

Adult Education Services has also resumed operations for students. To make an appointment for testing or for questions about courses, call 256-439-6957. Class schedules and information regarding Adult Education Services can be found at

Computer labs in Gadsden State libraries have also reopened to students at 50 percent capacity. At Meadows Library on the Wallace Drive Campus, up to 22 students are permitted in the computer lab with up to eight students permitted at the Ayers Campus and up to four students at Gadsden State Cherokee. Computer labs remain closed to the public.

On June 29, truck driving classes will begin for a limited number of students. Students must complete a one-time screen questionnaire before class and will have their temperature checked with an infrared thermometer each day prior to class. Students will not be able to participate in class if their temperature is 100.4 or higher. Third-party testing for the commercial driver’s license will resume July 10 while implementing social distancing. For more information about the truck driving program, visit

Students enrolled in the certified nursing assistant program during the spring returned today to clinical rotations as permitted by clinical agencies.  The new class of CNA students will begin June 29. Information on the CNA program can be found at

Fowler Residence Hall and the Gadsden State Cafeteria will be closed during the summer semester. Athletics and extracurricular activities continue to be delayed or conducted virtually. Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center and the Gadsden State Cherokee Arena will be closed at least through July. The Beck Conference Center on the Wallace Drive Campus will be open for Gadsden State events only.

Fall semester operational plans will be announced at a later date. To stay up-to-date on information regarding Gadsden State and COVID-19, visit