The good residents of Colorado have shown that communities unite in the face of a crisis, and this could not be more true of the community colleges in Colorado. The Colorado community college responses to COVID-19 have been nothing short of incredible. While they have had to make adjustments and students have had to quickly transition to online learning the community outreach and service provided has been astounding.
These young adults along with their professors have made PPE for frontline healthcare providers, sewn masks, donated personal time serving those who are saving lives, and used their skills to assist with testing and educating the community about COVID-19.
Western Colorado Community College
The EMT program at Western Colorado Community College saw an opportunity to put their skills into direct action as COVID-19 became a pandemic and swept across Colorado. The students had not yet graduated from the program but they stepped up and embraced the opportunities to serve and save lives. They worked in the Mesa County Public Health Center and at a COVID-19 testing location.
Students have also sewn thousands of face masks to donate to the general public. They have also participated in the 3D printing of face shields to donate to healthcare workers as part of their PPE. This has been a positive experience for not only those the students are serving but also for the students themselves as they join ranks on the frontlines, practicing what they have studied and saving lives.
A mathematics teacher and computer science teacher at Colorado College designed a prototype for 3D printed face shields. After creating a working prototype they were able to produce and donate many more to help with the situation with COVID-19.
Red Rocks Community College
The IDEA lab at Red Rocks Community College has been used to create parts using 3D printing technology that enables a ventilator to serve the needs of two patients at the same time. This greatly maximized the number of patients that could be treated with ventilators. They have also used this technology to create 3D printed face shields that have HEPA filters to better protect frontline workers of the pandemic.
University of Colorado
Students at the University of Colorado have stepped up in several ways to serve while their courses have been moved to remote learning. Students of the Anschutz Medical Campus have been taking the triage of phone calls regarding residents who have symptoms of COVID-19. These medical students have also been assisting medical providers and even providing childcare for those healthcare workers that can’t leave the frontlines. The school has donated thousands of unused PPE to local hospitals. The food pantry continues to remain open and provide food to students in need during this time.
Community College of Denver
The Auraria Campus of the Community College of Denver stepped up to offer a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site that can accommodate up to 250 cars per day. Students have helped make this possible by taking the screening calls as people set up appointments to be tested. These tests are given free of charge due to the various partnerships that made this possible.
Arapahoe Community College
Arapahoe Community College has recognized that transitioning to remote learning for some students is much more difficult if they do not have access to a personal laptop on which to complete their courses. Arapahoe Community College prepared to get every student a laptop or iPad to assist with their remote learning.
Pikes Peak Community College
Students in need of laptops at Pikes Peak Community College were allowed to check them out during the early stages of transferring courses online. Now students of Pikes Peak can apply for student aid from the CARES Act which would enable them to receive up to $700 grant to help them meet their financial needs.
Community College of Aurora
While all education has gone online, the Community College of Aurora has found that many students need a personal laptop to continue with their education. They have donated many laptops to students in need and are partnering with PCs for People Denver and Community Connection to secure more laptops and computers for students in need.
Trinidad Junior State College
While many students are facing financial difficulty at this time, Trinidad State College has set up a student emergency fund that has raised over $23,000 and continues to raise funds to help students in need. These funds are to assist with tuition, rent, food, and other education-related needs during this time.
Colorado Mountain College
As many students face uncertainties about their education and how to pay for it during the COVID-19 pandemic Colorado Mountain College has chosen to waive the cost of tuition, books, and fees during the summer term.
Community colleges are the backbone of the higher education system where many professionals begin their journey to their careers. It is also in these institutions that many nurses, EMTs and other first responders get their training, another reason why community colleges are invaluable.
The Colorado community college responses to COVID-19 have proven that institutions and people alike can come together during a time of crisis and use their skills and resources to create their own silver lining during this dark pandemic.
Know of any other awesome Colorado college responses to COVID-19? Let us know so we can recognize them and their efforts!