Tuesday, May 19, 2020

College of the Redwoods Fall Classes to be Held Primarily Online

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2020 at 4:15 PM

College of the Redwoods has decided to conduct fall 2020 classes online with very limited in-person interaction solely for courses that are "impossible to convert."

“I know that these are unsettling times for all of us. Nothing is more important than your health and safety and that of your families. I also know these are challenging times for all of us, but I am confident we are meeting these challenges with good data, deliberate decision-making, and with the interests of our students foremost in mind,” College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer said in the press release.

According to the press release, the decision to have most classes online was based on information provided by medical professionals, information regarding a timetable for the development of a vaccine and the need to mitigate the danger posed by an expected resurgence of the virus in the fall.

Classes that have been approved to have some type of limited in-person component "either on campus or in a clinical environment" include Agriculture, Administration of Justice, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Dental Assisting, Early Childhood Education, Forestry and Natural Resources, Paramedics/EMT, Manufacturing Technology, Nursing and Welding Technology.

The college will follow local and state public health guidelines should it need to adjust its social distance learning environments for the health and safety of students and staff.

To help students navigate the change, the school will begin a Chromebook lending program in which students without a laptop can borrow one from the school. The school is also turning its parking lots (the main parking lot on the Eureka campus and both the front and back parking lots on the Del Norte campus) into hotspots for wireless internet. Students are welcome to access the internet from their vehicles.

Read the full press release below:
College of the Redwoods Announces Plans for Fall Semester

To continue to meet its mission and to safeguard the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students, College of the Redwoods made the decision today to conduct the fall semester primarily online and via distance education with possible exceptions for a limited number of in-person courses and programs that would be impossible to conduct successfully online.

The decision was based on information provided by medical professionals, information regarding a timetable for development of a vaccine, and the need to mitigate the danger posed by an expected resurgence of the virus in the fall.

The deans and directors worked with the Vice President of Instruction to identify “impossible-to-convert” courses and, with the help of Academic Senate and CRFO leadership, and using guidelines recommended by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, have developed protocols to identify these courses and to develop a range of alternative instructional methods for laboratory, clinical, and other hands-on courses such as those in career education, health occupations, and law enforcement.

The courses that have been approved to include some in-person component, either on campus or in a clinical environment, at this time include:

· Administration of Justice (AJ-82, 83) · Automotive Technology (AT-10, 16, 21, 24) · Construction Technology (CT-15, 21A, 21B, 56, 57A, 57C, 78A, 78C, 90, 95, 98, 135, 152) · Dental Assisting (DA-153, 154, 155, 156) · Early Childhood Education (ECE 7) · Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR-1, 10, 51, 52, 80) · Paramedics/EMT (HO-110, 159, 170A. 170D) · Manufacturing Technology (MT-10, 12, 52) · Nursing (NURS-1, 3, LVN-123) · Welding Technology (WT-53, 56, 60, 64, 90, 91)

To allow these courses to go forward in-person, students and faculty will be required to adhere to social distancing practices, which, in most cases, will result in smaller class sizes. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks will also be required. The college recognizes that it may have to make further adjustments to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff if COVID-19 escalates and all future decisions will be made with guidance from local and state public health agencies.

CR’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Angelina Hill ensures everyone that, while online, the fall will not be a continuation of last semester’s rapid move to remote instruction.

“We were forced to transition to online instruction at the end of the last semester due to emergency circumstances, and we recognize this caused varying degrees of challenges for students,” Hill says. “Since the transition, we have engaged in thoughtful and deliberate planning for all fall courses, which includes professional development for faculty and staff, upgrades to infrastructure, and technological help for students. We believe this will result in a much a more satisfying and robust educational experience for students, regardless of the modality.”

To assist students with online learning, the college has created a Chromebook laptop lending program, which will give more than 250 students the technology they need to successfully complete classes online.

To help with connectivity, the main parking lot on the Eureka campus and both the front and back parking lots on the Del Norte campus will be hot spots for wireless internet. Students will be welcome to access the wireless network from their vehicles.

In his message to the campus community, President Flamer acknowledged that this transition may be difficult for students and faculty, saying, “I know that these are unsettling times for all of us. Nothing is more important than your health and safety and that of your families. I also know these are challenging times for all of us, but I am confident we are meeting these challenges with good data, deliberate decision-making, and with the interests of our students foremost in mind.”

Changes in the schedule due to the decision to conduct the majority of classes online will be reflected in WebAdvisor as soon as possible. We urge students to check their MyCR emails regularly, to visit WebAdvisor to check for any changes to their schedules, and to read the notes section of WebAdvisor carefully. 
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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