The current academic term at Williamson College is on track.
Students are on schedule taking classes. The administration continues to meet, work on projects, and generally run the college.
Very little has changed – except no one is at the school’s Franklin or Smyrna, Tenn., campuses.
Work From Home is No Big Deal at Williamson College because the school, under the direction of President Ed Smith, Ph.D., began using remote work technology in fall 2017.
“Our president is very much a plan-ahead sort of person, which is great. He likes to anticipate things, “ said Susan Mays, Williamson’s Vice President of Operations. “Probably in February, Ed told the staff we need to be prepared to work from home, as well as prepare to transition students and professors to virtual classrooms.”
In the fall of 2017, ImageQuest supplied Williamson’s staff with laptops, Zoom meeting software, and a Virtual Private Network. Williamson then used that technology to continue operations during snowstorms and other inclement weather. (The recent Nashville tornado did not impact the school.)
Last fall, Williamson added the Jive phone system. Mays said she loves it because if someone calls her direct line, it sounds like she’s in her office – whether she is or not.
Williamson holds classes Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. Typically, the campus is very busy with students, professors, and staff on those days. Since 2017, Fridays have been work-from-home days for the school, and occasional Wednesdays as well, Mays said.
The school operates as a commuter campus, so it did not have dorms or cafeterias to close, Mays said.
The Zoom software allows students to attend class remotely. They simply receive a link from the professor, click on the link, and log in to class from home or wherever they may be.
All classes currently are being held via Zoom, Mays said.
“We haven’t had to cancel anything,” Mays said. “We haven’t had to extend the semester. We’re just right on track. One week our students were in class on campus. The next, they were attending class via Zoom. There’s been no interruption at all for us.”
Williamson also doesn’t have to go through the student loan delay process with the Department of Education, Mays said, because the school is running on schedule.
“Our financial aid director keeps sending us emails – ‘I’m so glad we’re not having to do this,’” Mays added. “For some schools, it’s become a really big nightmare.”