Through ups and down, the college is completing another semester, but with a little detail: different opinions from the college body about the success of the semester. From students to staff members, their opinion was reflected in grades and key points.
Cassie Fulk, manager of student activity, expressed her concerns on not knowing exactly how the 2021 Fall semester will look like. For her, the Spring semester was confusing for the same reason: the lack of knowledge. She also talked about the relation of the help provided to students in contrast with the attempt by the college to create a safe environment. Fulk made sure to emphasize that she is well aware of the difficulties that the Spring Semester brought because of COVID-19 pandemic.
“First, I do want to say that the people we have making the decisions are working to provide a safe environment all the college community,” Fulk said. “I know it is tricky, but I wanted to ask how fall [fall 2021 semester] will look like and we still don’t know. I would say sometimes it was frustrating not knowing. How do you plan something up if you don’t know how it would look like? I think that the college did their best handling the situation and I still give the college the benefit of the doubt because of the times that we live in.”
When it came to the grade Fulk would give to the Spring Semester, the grade turned out to be a 6 out of 10. Fulk explained what she heard from members of her staff, which she preferred to keep them of the record, about the differences in treatment by professors. She again showed her empathy to the situation.
“I know that they were a group who went above and beyond to help students, but I also know that they were some people that were the opposite,” Fulk said. “I say that because of thing that I heard my ambassadors say when they were in class. They would say ‘we had our class, but I can’t get a hold of my professor outside of class’, or “I had a professor said it is not really that job to help me outside of class’. I think there were some discouraging things as we went through the semester, but I say that knowing full well that there is also a great team to support in whatever student need. If I need to give a grade to the college, I would give a six out of 10.”
Finally, Fulk mentioned the situations where, students who had a face-to-face class right before a hybrid, had trouble finding places at the college to take this hybrid classes.
“I know that there are a lot of people who are concerned about their safety, and I want to be empathetic to that,” Fulk said. “I can’t say along the way we kept our students first in regard to best serving them. I think sometimes it came down to what worked for departments, but not necessarily what worked best for our students. Again, we are coming out of 2020. I say that with an example in mind of: we had students coming to face-to-face class at the campus and right after they had an online class, but they had nowhere to take it at the college. We can lose sight of supporting the students when trying to make the college safe.”
On the other hand, Ben Messner, a radio production professor, expressed his satisfaction with the help that the college provided for this Spring Semester. For him, the Canvas support by the Help Center was essential.
“The biggest support that I had was the Canvas support,” Messner said. “It definitely was essential to not just mine, but for teachers this system provided by the Help Center. It was really helpful because they helped us even with the smallest details and questions that we had. Personally, I went there twice before the semester started and for the online class training that we had. Both of these times were extremely helpful.”
With this, Messner gave the college a nine out of 10. He claimed that the support to students in all areas was great. The reason for the nine was that things can always be done better than before.
“I would give them [college] a good solid nine,” Messner said. “I think all the labs and all the instructors that I had were very excellent. I sent students to the career development center when they started to talk about finding jobs and they did a great job. Also, my supervisors that I had interactions with do a great job on providing opportunities to students. I think nine because we can always do better.”
Last but not least, Victoria Corral, a Student Ambassador, expressed her thoughts of the Spring Semester. Since she is also a full-time student, Corral mentioned the times where she heard that the college helped students with computer and internet resources. With this, she gave the college an eight out of 10 mentioning also the room for improvement.
“I heard of some students that, for example, required computers and better internet sources,” Corral said. “Everything was provided. So, I would say that the efforts of offices were straight up to students. The college definitely helped the students… I would give the college an eight out of 10. The college did a great job helping students, but there is always room from improvement.”
This semester was a roller coaster for most of the college’s members. The fall 2021 enrollment is already open, go to the fall 2021 academic calendar to learn more about it.
By Matheus Camossa