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In-person classes to start Aug. 24 at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis
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In-person classes to start Aug. 24 at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis

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CURTIS — In-person classes will begin Aug. 24 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis with room for additional students to enroll in the next seven days.

Students will move into NCTA residence halls on Aug. 22, following health and safety measures which were outlined Friday by NCTA’s Dean Larry Gossen.

“We are fully prepared in our classrooms, laboratories, dining facilities and residence halls for a ‘nearly normal’ academic and residential campus experience,” said Gossen.

NCTA is taking applications for full- and part-time students studying agriculture and veterinary technology by calling 1-800-3-CURTIS. The fall schedule and other details may be found at ncta.unl.edu.

“Our ability to learn, engage, teach and be free to ‘be normal’ is all predicated on the goal of keeping our Aggie campus healthy here in Curtis,” Gossen said. About 220 students are anticipated for fall.

Curtis is located in Frontier County, a part of the Southwest Nebraska Public Health District. On Aug. 1, the community was elevated to a phase 4 status.

“Phase 4 allows NCTA to have open buffet serving lines in the dining hall, be less restrictive on mask wearing, and provide for fewer restrictions on our class sizes,” Gossen said in a virtual recording released Friday and produced specifically for New Student Enrollment.

“Keeping our community healthy is everyone’s responsibility. Our ability to meet face to face, with limited mask wearing, is a privilege we can enjoy as long as there are no cases of COVID-19 on the NCTA campus,” Gossen said.

In guidance by the Southwest Health district and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NCTA’s Dean Gossen and Associate Dean Jennifer McConville designed the COVID-19 NCTA Health and Safety Plan for 2020-21. The plan and recorded messages can be found at (https://ncta.unl.edu/coronavirus-covid-19).

Classroom sizes will be limited to 75% occupancy to allow for greater physical distancing. Students will wear facial coverings in lab settings if unable to distance and requested by the instructor.

Outdoor gatherings are allowed at 100% levels and social distancing is recommended. Signage and checklists of health measures are posted throughout campus.

“Hygiene stations equipped with sanitizer, masks and cleaning materials are located at each building, and residence hall,” said McConville. “Each classroom, office and public area has a checklist log to ensure proper cleaning before and after use in those areas.”

Students, faculty and staff are asked to self-check and begin their day by taking their temperature at their residence, McConville added. If COVID-19 presents in a student who lives on campus, NCTA has residential rooms for isolation and access to the Curtis Medical Clinic.

If conditions change in the Southwest Health District, health measures will be addressed immediately.

“We want to provide students with hands-on, experiential learning and with the spacing capabilities, NCTA has outlined a best possible environment for the safety of everyone,” Gossen said. “It is important that we all do our part to keep moving the needle in the right direction.”

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

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