NASHVILLE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Some students are back on campus at UA Cossatot in Nashville for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. But, they’re following strict guidelines to stay safe.
Cosmetology student Cyleigh Bugg is excited to be back on campus. She started her classes back in January, but then, the pandemic struck. “Not being able to have that hands-on training after we just learned everything was kindof difficult, trying to remember everything,” she said.
A limited number of technical students are now being allowed back into the classroom to complete their course requirements. Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor at UA Cossatot, said they’re using guidance from the CDC, State of Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas System. “They can use 30 percent of the chairs, and so we have either 9 or 10 students at a time, all of them must practice social distancing, all of them must wear a mask,” he said.
Cole just formed a task force to help determine how the campus can safely reopen this fall. “One scenario might be that everything is back to normal. I highly doubt that, but that’s one scenario. Other scenarios vary from smaller class sizes, staggered class sizes, proper PPE, proper wearing of masks, social distancing,” Cole said.
Cosmetology Instructor Toyia Witherspoon said her class is willing to wear masks. “We’re gonna do it, because we’re able to be here,” she said smiling.
Students like Bugg, are just glad to be back with their classmates again. “I’m not gonna say it’s fun, but it is safer for everyone and they make stylish ones too, so it’s an outfit accessory,” she said, laughing.
There is still some funding available for students affected by the pandemic. The school received $387,000 earmarked for students. “We identified 600 students that would have qualified for the CARES Act funding, and we have not had 600 applications, so there is funding available,” said Cole.
For eligibility requirements and more information, visit https://www.cccua.edu/ua-cossatot-cares-grant