As California and the counties of Kern, Mono and Inyo continue to expand the reopening of business and services, Cerro Coso Community College is preparing now to offer face-to-face classes in the fall 2020 semester at all campus locations.
Cerro Coso is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students and staff. They will work closely with the local departments of public health in all three counties to ensure that reopening guidelines are adhered to, such as promoting healthy hygiene practices; intensifying cleaning, disinfection and ventilation; implementing distancing inside and outside the classroom; limiting sharing; and planning for when staff or students become sick; among others.
Due to the requirements of social distancing, class seat size has been reduced dramatically. Where a classroom typically fits 60 students, for example, it may fit only 15 this fall. Because of this the college is using as many large classrooms as possible to maximize seats in classes. Students who prefer face-to-face instruction are encouraged to register now to ensure their spot in on-ground classes.
Students taking face-to-face classes in the fall will be expected to take an active role in maintaining a healthy environment by not coming to school sick or after having been exposed to someone sick, wearing face masks as required, complying with physical distancing and hand sanitizing protocols, and following instructions of faculty and staff regarding healthy hygiene practices and institutional protocols.
Those who feel they cannot abide by these expectations are urged to enroll in an online section.
Not all courses have online options — for example, art and science labs, hands-on instruction in the trades like welding and nursing, physical education classes, and other hard-to-convert sections. If a student cannot abide by all expectations to maintain a healthy environment and their course(s) aren’t offered online, the student should take it at a later time. Contact the counseling department for help to identify alternate course options so students can continue to make progress toward their educational goal.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, departments and faculty are developing backup plans in the event the health crisis significantly deteriorates and it is necessary to transition once again into remote delivery. These backup plans range from transitioning the class into a fully online class, to the instructor delivering lectures real-time at a particular day and time through Zoom, to — in some very hard to convert courses — canceling the section outright.
“If it looks like the college may have to transition back again into remote delivery,” said Dr. Corey Marvin, vice president of instruction, “we will communicate this prior to July 16 so that students have time to consult with a counselor or adviser on their best options or make adjustments as needed.”
Students will soon receive a survey to gather input and feedback on taking classes during this unusual time.
“We know they have seen a lot of surveys recently, but this is critical to assist decision-making to best support their instruction at Cerro Coso,” Marvin said.
Fall classes begin Aug. 24. Students are encouraged to register now for best class selection. The complete fall schedule is available online at cerrocoso.edu.
Natalie Dorrell is the director of public relations and institutional advancement for Cerro Coso Community College.