Published September 17, 2021

To the Shasta College Community:

We are already through half of September.  Some days it feels like we have been in emergencies forever, and other days I find myself wondering how we are already three-fourths the way through 2021.

Success Stories
I’d like to call your attention to the national coverage several of us have had on behalf of the college. Our work to serve non-traditional students through ACE continues to get attention recently.  See the following links: from the Hechinger report (click here), from USA Today (click here) and for a podcast by the Lumina Foundation, click Supporting parenting students.  Lastly, I was also interviewed recently by IHEP (the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington DC) as they are pushing for new Federal funding to support college completion. This is a result of our involvement with Degrees When Due to help students be awarded degrees they have already earned or help reengage with them when they are very close to being done.  The video can be seen at

Pandemic Updates
First, I want to express my gratitude once again for all the work being coordinated by our staff in Campus Safety.  It is impossible to be able to explain all the work being done behind the scenes to keep us operating during this time.  I am pleased that we now have the dashboard available at  The information here will be regularly updated. As you know, we have to do a lot of balancing when it comes to information and privacy when releasing data.  We must protect individual health privacy with releasing information, so it is released in general, aggregate ways.  I think it is important for me to explain a couple of generalities to you. For example, the dashboard shows we tested 896 individuals and had 33 positive cases during the week of September 6-15, which includes family members of employees and students who came on campus for the testing at campus safety. It also includes any fully online students as well.  This is significant to understand, as a significant percentage (30% or more) of the cases were from these populations.  We must report all cases that we are aware of in our totals.  Additionally, I am pleased that our testing requirement for employees is working well.  A number of other CA community colleges have announced they are doing this, but are going to start doing it soon (I have seen October and November rollout dates in some colleges).  So we are ahead of the game compared to a number of our peers since we started this at the beginning of the term.  I remain confident that the good work being done and implementation of this approach is helping us keep us as safe as possible during this recent local surge in cases. 

Finally, during this time when we see so many examples of ultracrepidarianism on social media and regular media on all kinds of topics including the pandemic, I want to personally encourage you to consider being vaccinated if you are not already vaccinated.  To me the most compelling information on this is local.  See the chart below from our local public health department.  The data is since 6/14/21. Even though just over 53% of the 12 and over population of Shasta County is not yet fully vaccinated, 36 of the 38 deaths (nearly 95%) were from the unvaccinated population. Also, of the 205 hospitalized, 189 were unvaccinated (over 92%).  This speaks volumes to me. 

OK – that is all I have for you in this update.  Thanks again for working diligently to serve our students and communities.

Joe Wyse
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA 96049-6006