Dr. David Viar, president of GCC, announced via emailed newsletter the college’s decision to further postpone in-person classes and continue with remote learning until June 2021, including the remainder of this fall semester along with future winter and spring semesters.
Despite the almost complete reduction of in-person classes at GCC and the steps already taken to help combat transmission of the Covid-19 virus, Viar makes it clear that there is still a considerable amount of planning that needs to take place for future semesters, such as determining which classes still require in-person instruction and the protocol these classes may require.
As for the status of sports programs at GCC, the California Community College Athletic Association has postponed the fall sports season until spring, although Viar revealed it is very unlikely that the athletic department will return to campus by then.
Quoting a survey of students from May 2020, which was around the beginning of Covid-19 procedures at GCC, Viar re-established his faith in students and staff alike in their ability to continue with this new style of remote teaching. Only 5% of students reported having difficulties adapting to remote instruction. This mostly positive reaction from students in polling, along with the continual adaptation of resources GCC has developed to accommodate students virtually, shows a trend of positive growth & streamlining in GCC’s reaction to Covid-19 measures.
This new decision comes after GCC’s virtual town hall meeting, held this Thursday where Viar along with other college leaders examined the exhaustive list of preventative measures needed to safely reopen the campus, one of which is a reduction of students allowed in communal spaces down to 25%, according to The California Public Department of Health’s Covid Handbook, available here.
While this new information may not be well-received by some students and staff that have grown weary of online learning platforms, GCC reiterated its intent to provide students with the technology and materials necessary to accommodate their learning during remote education. WiFi hotspots and laptops, as well as course materials such as engineering software programs and art supplies, are available for students through the library and course instructors. If students are in need of any additional materials in a course, all suggestions should be communicated to the library or the Vice President of Instructional Services, Dr. Michael Ritterbrown.
I believe that by creating certainty in these most uncertain times, we can all focus on our tasks at hand,” Viar said in his written statement. “For now that is making the fall semester as successful as possible.”
El Vaquero will have more coverage, as well as reaction from students, staff and faculty.
Eian Gil can be reached at [email protected]
Victoria Bochniak can be reached at [email protected]