Gavilan College sticking with distance learning

Students can register for online or hybrid courses

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Gavilan College is now enrolling students for the fall semester but a majority of instruction will take place online.

Jan Bernstein Chargin, public information director, said in a press release June 23 that the courses will be taught in a similar way such as the summer session, which is currently underway. 

Most fall classes will be entirely online, and some will be “hybrid” classes with both online and in-person components.

Classes that will meet on campus need to follow guidelines such as limiting the number of students in the classroom at any given time. Students will be required to wear face coverings at all times in the classroom.

All students and faculty will adhere to the social distancing protocol. Active classrooms will be sanitized before and after each class session. 

In-person classes will be converted to online format if there is another Covid-19 outbreak or a new shelter-in-place order. Drop-in access to the main campus or any other Gavilan College locations is still not available to students.

Some online classes will have synchronous requirements, which means students will be required to attend Zoom class sessions at the days and times listed for the course.

A laptop lending program will be available and student services along with instructional support can be accessed online. Other services include the bookstore, library, counseling and financial aid services. 

Bernstein Chargin said that the faculty and administration spent a lot of time looking at the best way to move forward for fall to serve students while protecting student and staff safety. 

“We are offering a robust schedule of classes for fall that meets students’ needs while providing them options that fit their current circumstances,” she said. “Everything that can be effectively taught online will be, and where face-to-face instruction is required, social distancing and daily cleaning will be enforced. While we wish we could welcome everyone back to campus this fall, we must wait until we can do so safely,”

According to the press release, college officials went to the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges along with state and local public health authorities for assistance. Other Bay Area community colleges such as Hartnell, Cabrillo and West Valley are taking a similar approach.

The California State University System, which includes schools such as San Jose State and CSU Monterey Bay, also announced that courses will primarily be online.

In May, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz said that many of the community colleges have already announced that they’re going fully online in the fall.

“I encourage them to continue to do so,” Oakley said. “I fully believe that that will be the most relevant way for us to continue to reach our students and to do it in a way that commits to maintaining equity for our students.” 

Bernstein Chargin said that classes are expected to fill quickly as high school graduates might try to take advantage of the Gavilan Promise Program. The program assists with free tuition to first-time college students for up to two years.

Students can also qualify for a textbook grant, priority registration for Group 2 and get help with developing an education plan.

In return, the students must utilize academic support services, attend regular meetings with counselors, connect with a peer mentor and earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 with at least 12 units each semester.

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