“Is KCC closed?” How we decide to cancel classes due to weather

KCC students walk in the snow on the North Avenue campus in Battle Creek.

“Is KCC closed?”

It’s a familiar question asked of Kellogg Community College staff as winter weather begins in West Michigan, when the ice and snow that make our state’s winters so beautiful can also lead to hazardous road conditions and make commutes treacherous for students and employees traveling to campus.

In rare cases, hazardous winter weather conditions may lead to the cancellation of some or all classes at some or all KCC campuses. In general, the decision to cancel classes or close campuses due to inclement weather-related events is based on a variety of factors, all of which are centered on the safety and comfort of our students and staff.

These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Road conditions. We check with the Michigan State Police to determine road conditions in terms of drivability and visibility. 

 2. Weather conditions/forecast. We consider current weather conditions as well as the weather forecast for the day.

3. Campus parking lot and sidewalk conditions. We determine if there is ample time for our contractors to clear and salt campus parking lots and sidewalks at least one hour prior to the start of classes.

4. Availability of utilities. We determine if there is adequate heat, lighting and water to support College facilities and any special events.

5. Other considerations. Generally speaking, we also consider accreditation-based attendance requirements for many of our occupational programs, our ability to make up instructional time for students, and the philosophy that our students are capable of making adult decisions about whether or not they are taking a reasonable risk when traveling to and from the College.

KCC closure decisions are calculated independently in regards to the closure procedures of area public school systems, and it is sometimes the case that the College remains open on occasions when area public schools are closed due to weather-related conditions. Even when the College is open, we encourage students to make decisions that they feel are safest and best in regards to their individual situations.

Decisions to open or close the College are made at the earliest time possible. For example, early morning decisions are generally made prior to 5:30 a.m. providing 90 minute notice to our earliest students attending clinical sessions. Decisions whether to hold evening classes (5 p.m. or later start time) are generally made by 3 p.m. In evolving weather conditions, decisions may be made with less advance notice. Due to differing weather conditions in the tri-county area, it is possible that not all KCC locations remain open and/or closed. Please ensure that you check the posted announcement for your specific location.

In the case of a campus closure or the cancellation of all classes, a notice will be posted online on the homepage of KCC’s website at www.kellogg.edu. Additionally, KCC’s Operating Status page at www.kellogg.edu/operating-status provides information about how to sign up for electronic text, email and RSS alerts that communicate information about weather and security incidents related to KCC as they occur.

KCC staff also post up-to-date information and alerts on this blog, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed.

For more information, view the College’s Inclement Weather Guidelines.