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College announces plans for Spring 2021 Classes

Cerro Coso’s Coyote Corner

Cerro Coso Community College has announced its plans to remain primarily remote during the Spring 2021 Semester – with continued emphasis on health and safety to protect students, faculty and staff.

In a message to the campus community on September 30, Kern Community College District (KCCD) Chancellor Tom Burke said “after consultation with the College Presidents, the KCCD will continue the 2021 Spring Semester with hybrid operations. The majority of instruction and support operations will continue in the current online and remote environment. A limited number of instructional courses and support functions will be provided in-person for students to continue their progress to degree. Understanding this decision is disappointing to some, it was made in the interests of maintaining the health and safety of our students and employees.”

All Cerro Coso campuses will remain in a largely remote delivery format during the Spring 2021 Semester.

The only instruction taking place wholly or partially in-person at any Cerro Coso campus for Spring 2021 are classes supporting training for essential workforce activities, such as welding and nursing, and intercollegiate athletic classes. All other classes will be offered through remote instruction and virtual learning utilizing a variety of delivery methods including: Online, Scheduled Zoom, or a combination of the two. Limited hours of tutoring and computer access will be available at each campus. While student support services, like counseling and financial aid, will remain available primarily through synchronous and asynchronous remote delivery, in-person appointments are possible when needed and by prior arrangement. It is important to note that students will still receive the same high-quality instruction and support services from the same high-quality instructors and student services personnel.

“We look forward to one day being back on our campuses full time, but we need to safeguard our students, faculty, and staff,” college president Dr. Sean Hancock said in a news release. “The pandemic has created an unpredictable environment that prompted extensive and thoughtful discussions. After much consideration, we felt a mix of online classes and low-density labs for our technical and health programs, using strict social distancing protocols, would be the best approach for the spring.”

The decision to offer remote instruction for Spring 2021 was made so students can continue their educations safely, while reducing stress and disruption in their lives. Rather than start in-person and possibly have to transition to an online/remote format later, Cerro Coso wants to provide students with a consistent and certain learning environment.

“Students are our priority,” said Vice President of Student Services Heather Ostash. “We are trying to strike a balance in students continuing to progress toward their educational goals, while maintaining a safe and stable environment. We have expanded resources substantially to support our students, recognizing the many challenges they are facing. We highly encourage students to connect with us. From Counseling and ACCESS assisting with education plans to financial aid support, laptop loans, food resources, and childcare, the college is here for you.”

The decision is in alignment with most other California Community Colleges that are keeping the bulk of their Spring 2021 Semester courses in remote status. Cerro Coso will continue to comply with new state orders and federal regulations as they are released.

By keeping a mix of online and Scheduled Zoom classes through the spring semester, Cerro Coso is committed to ensuring the best virtual experience for students.