Council discusses shift to online classes, possible cancellations

Serena Guentz, Features Editor

The College Planning Council discussed City College’s transition to online operations during its Tuesday meeting conducted via Zoom, a video conferencing service. 

“Moving things online is not easy,” said Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami. “Right now it is very uncharted territory… The biggest issue is uncertainty as to how long this will last.”

Currently, all lecture instruction will be online through the end of the spring semester. Both lab instruction and instruction through the School of Extended Learning are suspended until March 30, by which date courses must be brought online or canceled.

“We are trying to move as much as possible online,” said Melissa Moreno, Vice President of the School of Extended Learning.

Moreno said the School of Extended Learning is working to bring its courses online through Zoom video conferencing.

The Luria Library is also offering Chromebooks for students to check-out to complete coursework for the remainder of the semester.

“As of today, [the library] had checked out over 80 Chromebooks and there’s like 201 left for checking out starting at 4 p.m.,” said Paul Bishop, Vice President of Information Technology.

Cox will be providing a free month of internet services to qualified customers in Santa Barbara and Comcast is providing two free months of internet service to qualified customers in Ventura.

Some council members were concerned about if student workers would continue to be paid. Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas clarified that all hourly employees, including student employees, will continue to be paid despite being unable to work on campus due to the coronavirus.

“We’re just going to keep trying to make as many simulations of what our normal world looks like as we can,” said Pamela Ralston, Executive Vice President of Education Programs.

In addition to reviewing the college’s current transition amid the uncertainty that the coronavirus is bringing, the council voted unanimously to add a representative from the School of Extended Learning to the Program Evaluation Committee.

The council also discussed creating an ad hoc subcommittee to update the council’s resource guide to governance and decision-making.

The College Planning Council will reconvene on April 7.

“We all have to work with our students to give them comfort at this time,” Goswami said.