By Emily Branson / Staff writer

For students at Hutchinson Community College, the abrupt transition from face-to-face classes to online classes has been life-altering. Students did not have much of a warning before classes were canceled, leaving them feeling unsure of how their classes would continue after spring break.

For Sedgwick freshman Lucas Vandegrift, the majority of his welding classes cannot be taken online, like many other classes at HutchCC.

“I take mainly face-to-face classes,” Vandegrift said. “Those require me to physically be there and weld material.”

With the entire state, and many parts of the country, limited to no more than 10 people gathering in one location, having face-to-face classes is challenging. However, during this transition, HutchCC instructors have been working diligently to determine how they will finish classes for this semester.

“From the emails I’ve received from my instructor, Greg Siepert, I was told that he’s trying to set up a time where a 10-person class can come in and work,” Vandegrift said. “(Siepert) works his tail off for us and we’re all gonna do our best with whatever the verdict comes to.”

While Vandegrift and many other students are willing to be flexible in the coming weeks, it doesn’t take away the feeling of uncertainty at this time.

“From my own outlook on this, it sucks,” Vandegrift said. “They could have us not being able to go back in at all. The first thing that came to my mind was ‘Are they going to refund?’. I’m not sure the welding classes are the most expensive but they do cost a pretty penny.”

With all of the changes being thrown around, students are trying their best to be understanding and adaptable in such an unprecedented time.

“I’m anxiously waiting for an answer and trying to stay fluid with all these changes,” Vandegrift said.

For all students at HutchCC, regardless of what their current class schedule looks like, Rimmer still has plenty of resources for tutoring. 

“We are offering as many services remotely as possible,” Brad Fenwick, Director of Rimmer support services, said. “We continue to offer all services on campus.”

To help all students, Rimmer is offering online, face-to-face, and Zoom tutoring. All face-to-face tutoring will be conducted with social distancing guidelines.

“Students just need to contact us to set up a time to meet with a tutor and we will connect remotely to anyone who doesn’t want to come onto campus,” Fenwick said. “Additionally, we can answer questions via email.”

With a plentiful amount of resources available, it is crucial that students utilize these options to continue to be successful in this new way of learning.

“We recommend that students stay active in their classes, stay in contact with their instructors, and get in touch with the staff in Rimmer as often as possible,” Fenwick said. “We will do everything we can to help everyone learn their material and be successful in their classes, and we can often offer tips along the way that will help you make the most of your virtual learning.”

More information about online tutoring and how to sign up for it can be found on the HutchCC website:

Or email:

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