Courtesy of the CDC
City College is poised to shift to all-online classes, following the trend of more than 100 colleges across California that have been shut down as panic surrounding the coronavirus continues to manifest throughout the U.S.
“I wanted to give students the best chance to finish the semester,” said Superintendent-President Dr. Utpal Goswami about the college’s decision to go online.
Goswami is aware this decision could have a negative impact on some students, such as students who lack access to the internet, students with language barriers and students who rely on face-to-face communication with their instructors to understand a subject.
Despite this, he believes this is the best option to minimize the amount of students on campus at any given time, therefore diminishing the chances of the virus being spread.
As of March 13, there are about 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus and over 30 confirmed deaths in the U.S.
Santa Barbara has declared a local health emergency, though there have been no confirmed cases in the county.
There was also an order for social distancing, a term that refers to the minimizing close contact between people.
“I’m prepared to close down at any moment if circumstances warrant it,” Goswami said.
The college is scrambling to adapt to the situation, holding last minute meetings and sending out several emails in an attempt to make the shift seamless.
One possible plan for students who don’t have access to the internet, Goswami said, is for the college to open a space after spring break for students to catch up on any work they were unable to do.
All large events planned by the college have been cancelled, and staff members are being asked to prepare to work from home in the near future.
There will be a faculty meeting at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss how to move different forms of instruction to online only.
Check back with The Channels as we continue covering the impact of the coronavirus.