City College provides students with laptops, Wi-Fi for online semester

Pablo+Ochoa%2C+a+City+College+Bookstore+employee+of+eight+years%2C+has+seen+wait+times+of+to+2-3+days+due+to+difficulties+brought+by+the+COVID-19+pandemic.+Ochoa+said+they+have+used+new+approaches+for+the+new+problems+arising+for+the+Bookstore%2C+and+that+this+semester+has+been+%22a+different+kind+of+crazy%22+on+Aug.+31%2C+2020+at+the+City+College+Bookstore+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.

Desiree Erdmann

Pablo Ochoa, a City College Bookstore employee of eight years, has seen wait times of to 2-3 days due to difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ochoa said they have used new approaches for the new problems arising for the Bookstore, and that this semester has been “a different kind of crazy” on Aug. 31, 2020 at the City College Bookstore in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Rodrigo Hernandez, News Editor

The transition from in-person to online learning has been an uphill battle for students, parents and teachers across the country. 

The faculty and staff at City College have been working hard to make this transition as seamless and painless as possible. 

“Our job as a college is to give our students the set of tools necessary to succeed in pretty much any capacity,” said Associated Student Government President Carson Mitchell. “If we are not preparing them to succeed in this climate, then we are kind of failing at our jobs here.”

A common issue with online learning has been students not having access to laptops or Wi-Fi. 

To combat this, City College has been renting out Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots, textbooks and e-books to students for extended periods of time since last semester. 

Students are also able to purchase books online for pickup at the Campus Bookstore, but due to a growing number of orders and limited staff, there is a minimum waiting period of 48-60 hours before students receive a confirmation email. 

Campus Bookstore employee Pablo Ochoa said students need to wait for an email with the confirmation code to be able to pick up their order, and to be ready at the door with the number. 

“Patience is key,” said Ochoa. “The phones are ringing 24/7, so if you aren’t being put through, just keep calling.” 

For City College student and Sociology major Vanessa Muñoz, having online courses that are simple to navigate with easy accessibility to teachers and tutors has made all the difference. 

Muñoz is currently enrolled in four classes, and is planning on transferring to UCSB next fall. 

In regards to the transferring process Muñoz said, “It has been easier to communicate and have access to counselors, and to [Transfer Achievement Program] workshops.”  

She said she has been able to get more information online about the application process as well as easily communicate with admission counselors.  

Although some students have experienced a relatively smooth transition, remote learning still presents many new challenges regarding accessibility.

Berena Espinoza, a City College math major, pointed out that having pre-recorded lectures for STEM classes is difficult for some students because there is no real-time clarification. 

To combat this, many STEM teachers have a large range of office hours, and assigned tutors for each class with their own office hours to assist students when teachers are not available.

“We’ve got to focus all our initiatives on students and student support,” Mitchell said. “Let’s uplift students. Let’s get students the resources they need to succeed.”