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Students are coming back to Cerro Coso this Fall

Cerro Coso’s Coyote Corner

Cerro Coso Community College (CCCC) has announced that in-person classes will return in a limited capacity for the fall semester.

CCCC announced it will offer an array of courses beginning August 23.  According to the college, while a majority of the classes will remain online, a “significant number” of in-person offerings will also be made available.  This coincides with Kern County moving into the orange tier allowing institutions of higher education like CCCC to provide lecture classes at a reduced-room capacity.

“This past year has presented us with challenges we never could have imagined, but through the hard work and perseverance, when coupled with the prospect of campuses where faculty, staff and students have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, envisioning a return to some semblance of normal operations is made possible,” said President Dr. Sean Hancock.

“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 Vice President of Instruction Dr. Corey Marvin.

Registration is going on now for summer and fall 2021 classes that begin May 17 and Aug. 23 respectively. 

As the number of new COVID cases in the county continues to drop, more vaccines are administered and the county moves into less restrictive tiers, Cerro Coso is looking at a phased approach to the return to campus as they continue to assess COVID-19 mitigation efforts. “In all of our preparation, our first priority is the health and well-being of our campus community and visitors. Fully restoring campus operations will require patience, careful consideration and deliberate implementation,” Hancock said. “Our safe return plan will evolve as circumstances develop and/or as new information or revised guidance becomes available from federal, state and local officials, and public health experts.”

The Kern Community College District App for Campus Pass is one of many virus mitigation tools CCCC continues to use to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The District rolled out the app in February to help effectively contact trace any positive cases on it’s campuses.  CCCC asks all students, personnel and community members to check in when they enter classrooms, offices, sit at community tables, or visit other communal spaces for more than 15 minutes. Cerro Coso health officials may use the information gathered to determine if people have been exposed and should take action such as being tested or self-isolating. Those with a green Campus Pass must then use the KCCD App to scan into buildings and/or offices using the QR code posted on entrances.

“Cerro Coso prides itself on creating a supportive environment in which to learn and succeed in all instructional delivery modes,” said Marvin. “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.”

“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,” said Marvin. 

Vice President of Student Services Heather Ostash agreed saying, “Students are our priority.  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 Cerro Coso community has been remarkable in its collective response to the many challenges this pandemic has presented,” concluded Hancock.  “Prioritizing a human-centered approach throughout the transition back to campus will help ensure a successful return for all.  Although I joined CCCC at a very unique time, there is no place I would rather be. The optimistic spirit and sense of community that drew me here, give me confidence that we will emerge a stronger institution.”

To learn more about summer and fall classes at Cerro Coso Community College, visit www.cerrocoso.edu or call (760) 384-6100.