With the Spring semester approaching, many students at the college look forward to enrolling in courses for the 2021 year. Due to COVID-19 forcing most things to go remote, enrollment is utilizing different class features to adjust to the switch.
“We took extra time in the spring to prepare for the fall semester,” Alex Wells, Assistance Dean Counselling, said. “We usually start in April, but we started enrolling around June this year. The reason we started so late was to adapt to COVID-19 as much as possible. Everything was focused on what is COVID-19 going to do? What’s it going to look like? We had to really look at that schedule again for the Fall semester. We didn’t want to do the same thing that happened in spring where students thought they were going to be in the classroom the whole time and from the flip of a switch, you take that all away. So, we really had to evaluate which were going to be online, hybrid, and face-to-face. We were trying to have the best plan possible for the fall.”
Even with the delayed start of enrollment, students still faced issues with enrolling for the 2020 Fall semester.
“[When I enrolled in] Engineering Physics it showed it was going to be in the science building every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.,” Mohamed Aql said. “So, my understanding of it was that the course would have a weekly in-person night class. I got an email explaining how the semester would go and it turns out we were meeting every other Tuesday for the lab only. All the academic lectures like reading textbooks and quizzes were pretty much on our own.”
While there are more students in Aql situations. There are also students that have adjusted well to the online switch.
“Although I prefer face-to-face, I don’t a problem with online [learning],” Michael Garcia said. “My high school was different in that it had online classes, so I already had experience with online. My classes now have lectures, but all the assignments are self-paced with a few deadlines and that’s how my high school organized it.”
Garcia is referring to an online hybrid course method; One of the options courses are held.
“Altogether there are four methods classes are held,” Leslie Quinn, Director of Enrollment Services and Registrar, said. “There are Online, Online Hybrid, Hybrid, and Face-to-Face courses.”
“Students can easily get confused,” Quinn said. “They can find which type [of course] it is when they are in the class search by looking at meeting time and location. If there is a building number and it doesn’t say online, it is just face-to-face. If there is a building number and it says hybrid, that class will be a mix of online and face-to-face. If it says online hybrid with specific date meetings, that class will meet at scheduled times on Zoom. And if it has no dates highlighted and just says online, class is self-paced and won’t meet.”
It is not yet known how long COVID-19 will last, but so far, the college is doing what they can to adjust to the changes.
For more information on the delivery course method, check out the enrollment website.
By Yohannes Girma