Students returning in the fall could potentially sit face-to-face with teachers and peers.
According to Cuesta College Vice President of Instruction Jason Curtis, students can expect around one-third of their classes to have some face-to-face component.
“If you’ve got a class that’s supposed to meet for three hours per week, it might be that one hour is face-to-face on campus, and the other two hours are DE – are distance online,” Curtis said.
To make that possible, some creative plans are underway.
“We are looking at using some of the bigger spaces on campus, possibly converting those to classrooms,” Curtis said. “We’re looking at bringing in some big tents, and setting outdoor spaces for class, just to try to increase our capacity.”
Curtis acknowledges that many students want to come back to campus, and feel like they perform better face-to-face.
Much of the plans going forward depend on vaccines and whether or not guidelines change. As the vaccine rollout continues, most of the faculty will have a chance to get vaccinated in the next couple of months. Students are expected to have that chance this summer.
“The complication is, we’re really waiting for guidelines about social distancing, and whether the desks have to be six feet apart, or if the guidelines will go away,” Curtis said . “If that changes, more classes will be offered on campus.”
However, Curtis also said that once the fall schedule comes out April 9, there likely will not be changes. If guidelines change during summer, it will probably be too late to make changes for fall.
“But we would definitely incorporate that into the planning for the spring,” Curtis said.
Students who do not feel ready to meet in person need not worry. The school is looking at some technology that allows students to live stream with classes that meet in person, so that they may participate as if they are present.
Cal Poly will return to a condition that is close to normal in the fall, all the while observing public health and CSU policies. Most classes will meet in person, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a March 2 campus update.
California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro also had good news regarding class reopenings. According to a Feb. 25 article in the Los Angeles Sentinel, Castro said that the 23 California State Universities plan to reopen, with most classes offering in-person, hybrid or virtual instruction.
Cuesta College is working on messaging students with information about the fall semester.