TMCEC to Focus Exclusively on Distance Learning for Remainder of AY 2020

No More Waiting on COVID-19: More Certainty in Uncertain Times

Dear Judges and Court Personnel:

Because your safety, and the safety of our faculty and staff remain our top concern, TMCEC will not conduct “in-person” events for the remainder of this academic year (ending on August 31, 2020).

The decision was carefully made considering the most recent federal and state health guidelines and the alarming spread of COVID-19 statewide.

We have known since the beginning that no one knows how long the slow, scary carnival ride of COVID-19 is going to last. We recognized early on that the pandemic generates tension between “what was,” “what is,” and “what shall be.”

In April, I told you that TMCEC was planning for two possibilities. One entailed distance learning, the other “in-person” events. By May, we began to understand that as long as COVID-19 haunts us, for logistical and other reasons, TMCEC is not likely, any time soon, to be able to conduct in-person training like we did pre-pandemic. In early June, the last time I wrote you, it seemed like Texas was turning a corner. TMCEC was preparing to gradually resume in-person events. We would begin by “dipping a toe in the water” in early July and hoped to be “waist deep” by August. Since then, however, it has become self-evident, that presently “it is not safe to go back in the water.”

Setting disappointment aside, we are relieved that there is no longer uncertainty regarding in-person training for the rest of the academic year. Sooner or later we will resume in-person training (and it will be awesome). However, at this moment, going forward, TMCEC will focus 100 percent of its energy on distance learning. And though we may have some trepidations, we are excited about beginning this new chapter in the TMCEC saga. (Because it is going to be awesome.)

As a reminder, you can complete your mandatory judicial education or clerk certification hours online (at your own pace) through webinars on the Online Learning Center (OLC). Are you new to the OLC? Do you have questions or need technical assistance? We are here to help. Call 800.252.3718 or drop us an email at

In addition to our newly expanded OLC webinar offerings, which have received high marks and praise, TMCEC has been hard at work planning different virtual events for the next three months. Details on these events are outlined in the attached TMCEC Online Education Guide (July – September 2020). Registration is now open. To register, click here. To stay up to date, visit our schedule of events.

Whether through in-person training or through the internet, TMCEC is committed to making unique learning opportunities for judges and court personnel that are practical and engaging. TMCEC pioneered the use of webinars in Texas judicial education, and we are also ready to blaze a new path in distance learning. We hope you will join us!

Take care. Stay safe.

Ryan Kellus Turner

Executive Director

Texas Municipal Courts Education Center

Published by markgoodner

General Counsel & Director of Education, TMCEC

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