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The Fine Arts at Pima Community College, offering all learning options during pandemic

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 31, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — The fine arts: a subject that, like many others, has been hit hard by this pandemic.

“I think the arts are so important, and especially right now. You know, think about it, the things that we do to relieve our stress from our daily life. Is to listen to music or watch a movie or a play or listen to a concert or paint something. Draw Something. Do something that is really interactive play a video game get lost in a video game. You know, these are the things that we offer in the arts and it's so important to keep them going at a time like this,” said Steven Higginbotham, Pima Community College’s Dean of Arts.

Pima Community College is giving its students all learning options: virtual, hybrid, and full in-person learning. Higginbotham said they follow strict safety protocols to still be able to provide quality fine arts training.

“In the arts, you know they're there are important lab components that it's necessary to come into campus to use specialized equipment to get specialized materials to have that hands-on learning,” said Higginbotham.

So the question is, what exactly are they doing to keep staff and students safe?

“When students come to campus, they go to a checkpoint have their temperature taken. We take good records of when students arrive and leave campus. They go right from the checkpoint directly to a classroom and directly come back. So we were doing our, our best at contact tracing,” said Higginbotham.

Keeping their in-person class sizes at ten students or less, Higginbotham said the classes are maintaining social distancing and everyone is required to wear masks at all times.

“Thinking about the class itself. And what are the learning outcomes? What are the goals of each class? And those that can be taught online or virtually we set up in that way. Many people have different comfort levels with wanting to access a campus or come in to have in-person instruction. So we try to be flexible with that,” said Higginbotham.

And it is this ability to provide each option, that Higginbotham says makes him pima proud.

“Being able to open the campus and having students come to take classes in an in person-environment. Takes the hard work of staff and faculty and administrators and everyone working together to make that happen. We have the best here at Pima,” said Higginbotham.