Community College Chancellor plans for all-online spring

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On Sept. 25, Delta College made the announcement that classes will remain mostly online for the Spring 2021 semester due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Delta College Superintendent Omid Pourzanjani addressed the decision to students in a campus-wide email and on social media.

“The reality is we do not know when the public health risk posed by COVID-19 will subside, and I felt it best to make a decision now so that you can plan ahead,” said Pourzanjani.

Although the majority of classes will be held online, Delta College still plans to hold some in-person classes despite the pandemic.

“As is the case this fall, some courses in subject areas considered essential to California’s health and well-being will be offered partially in person, with strict rules to protect public health,” said Pourzanjani.

The subject areas which will continue to offer classes partially in person are laid out on Delta College’s term resources page at https://deltacollege.edu/term-resources.

Despite the announcement stating most classes will remain online, the college didn’t rule out the possibility of transitioning more online classes to campus.

“We will evaluate whether it is possible to adjust our plans and offer more in-person classes and services next semester depending upon careful consideration of the pandemic’s current impact on our community’s health,” said Pourzanjani. “We are working hard to create the best possible Delta College experience, even in this time of separation.”

This will be the case not only for Delta College, but for other colleges across California.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley answered questions to student media on Sept. 24 in a teleconference and stated that classes are most likely to continue being offered online into the next semester.

“This is likely to continue through the fall and into the spring,” said Oakley. “The reality is that this health crisis is not going to change materially anytime soon.”

The chancellor’s office also stated that it has launched a statewide enrollment campaign after remarking that students are having a hard time staying enrolled.

“There’s no doubt that this is a difficult situation,” said Oakley. “Many students for many reasons can’t get the classes that they need when they need them based on their schedule or have found that some of our classes because of the restrictions in certain counties can’t be offered in person.”

The restrictions imposed by some counties in the state are also an obstacle for students who are on track to graduate. 

Some college programs have struggled to adjust to the pandemic and offer classes needed by students to meet graduation requirements.

“It has been difficult for some colleges and particularly some programs to design their courses in a way that allows students to get the education they need to meet certain certification requirements,” said Oakley. “Just think about nursing for example, that’s been very difficult to allow nursing students to get the clinical rotations that they need in hospitals or to get the experience they need given the physical distance requirements that are happening, so many of our colleges are struggling through that.”

Despite the challenge that this may pose to some students, the chancellor’s office has hopes this will be a minor obstacle.

“I’m confident that students not being able to get the classes that they need this semester or in the spring will be a small exception. Will it happen yes, but hopefully that will be the exception and that colleges will be able to schedule those courses as quickly as possible so that our students can finish their courses of study,” said Oakley.