Cerro Coso offering new class formats, most classes start Aug. 24
Cerro Coso's Coyote Corner
August 15, 2020
Classes at Cerro Coso Community College this fall will not look like "business as usual."
The College will offer classes in a variety of formats to decrease the amount of traffic on its campuses for the safety of students, employees and communities.
Cerro Coso has always offered convenience through its seven campuses and online courses. But this fall it adds a good dose of innovation.
"While our top priority remains providing a safe environment for our students and employees, our goal is to continue to give students the best learning experiences we can, both inside and outside the classroom," said Acting President and Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Corey Marvin.
Students will be able to choose among classes offered in Online and Scheduled Zoom formats-in addition to a very small number of classes still offered in-person on campus.
Online: These are the "traditional" online courses that do not meet on a certain day, or at a certain time, but are taught completely through the college's learning management system, Canvas. Coursework is posted to and accessed through a Canvas shell that includes all the class elements: lecture, exercises, assignments, assessments. Regular effective contact is built into the class between instructor and student and among students through such features as discussion forums and journal entries. And some instructors may still use Zoom to provide opportunities to work with them.
Schedule Zoom: These courses are offered over the internet but use the platform Zoom to deliver instruction at the times and days listed in the College's fall schedule. Students attend these virtual classes like traditional classes, interacting directly with the instructor to hear lectures, ask questions, engage in discussions, practice skills and carry on many of the same classroom activities used in traditional in-person classes. A number of courses in workforce training and general education are being delivered through Scheduled Zoom.
On-campus: These courses are taught in a traditional classroom face-to-face and will be limited primarily to programs that have a strong hands-on or in-person component, such as nursing, welding and intercollegiate athletics. Many of these classes have smaller enrollments to allow for physical distancing.
"Limiting the number of classes taught in person can ensure that our students have the space necessary to practice physical distancing while they are on campus," Marvin said. "We know that students may not feel comfortable returning to campus, however, and that is why we are offering even more options for students to make progress toward their educational goals with us this fall."
For classes and services continuing to be provided on campus, the college will abide by all evolving state guidelines including enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, required face coverings for students and employees and daily self-screening questionnaires. Signage and other communications will guide and direct safe practices.
"Our plan for the fall is grounded in two priorities: creating a healthy and safe learning environment and continuing to offer the classes students need to make progress on their major," said Marvin. "We have largely succeeded in not cancelling any classes for the fall semester-including some hard to convert biology and science classes-to fulfill our vision of transforming lives and building strong communities. Our faculty have been very resourceful and innovative."
Although the college remains largely closed to the public, the full range of student support and engagement services will be available virtually during the fall term, including counseling, advising and financial aid. A very small amount of in-person support services are planned to be offered on campus, including tutoring.
"Cerro Coso prides itself on creating a supportive environment in which to learn and succeed in all instructional delivery modes. Whether courses meet online or in person, we are committed to providing an educational experience that is engaging, focused, connected, and that offers timely and meaningful feedback. Students will have opportunities to interact and engage with not only the course content and instructors but with other students as well," Marvin said. "We welcome not only those students who choose to stay home for a bit but also those who have decided this might be the time to learn new skills and pursue a different career moving forward."