Fresno City College to continue remote learning during the fall and spring semesters

State Center Community College District logo courtesy of the SCCCD website.

State Center Community College District logo courtesy of the SCCCD website.

Story By: Julie Chavez, News Editor

On Thursday Aug. 27, State Center Community College District Chancellor Paul Parnell announced that the 2021 spring semester will be primarily online with the exception of a few courses that require face to face interaction. 

Although spring 2021 is still several months away, the SCCCD has already begun to form classes for the spring semester and in order to give staff time to prepare and gather resources for students, and a decision had to be made. 

According to an announcement on the SCCCD website, the district’s number one priority remains the safety of the students, faculty and classified professionals. 

“As one of the largest education institutions, with up to 68,000 students coming to our campuses every year, that makes us a very potential spreader of the virus. And so if people come to school we could not keep them safe in our classrooms,” Parnell said in an interview with The Rampage. 

As the district prepares for the spring 2021 semester, SCCCD plans to continue purchasing resources for students to help them to be successful throughout the semester. 

With the funds received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and various other donors in the community, the SCCCD has been able to purchase laptops, hotspots and other types of equipment for students, according to Parnell. 

According to the announcement, classes that will be meeting in-person – which includes police, fire and nursing – will continue to practice social distancing, wearing facial coverings and using proper hygiene. 

It is currently a requirement that face masks be worn when visiting any of the four SCCCD campuses. Parnell said that students who forget their masks or do not have one may be provided with one. In addition, the number of students allowed in face-to-face courses has been reduced in order to maintain social distancing. 

On Sept. 25, FCC President Carole Goldsmith held a virtual forum via Facebook in which she spoke to Darren Cousineau, District Director of Environmental Health and Risk Management,  about the color coded Tier system that allows authorities to determine a county’s COVID-19 risk level. 

The tier system also determines what facilities and services in the county can be open. 

During the forum, president Goldsmith reassured viewers that as scientists continue to learn about COVID-19, FCC “will continue to make modifications and we will continue to be here to put them in place so we can get our students back.” 

At the time of the virtual forum, Fresno County was in the purple tier, which meant most businesses and institutions were closed.

However, on Tuesday Sept. 29, Chancellor Parnell announced that Fresno County has moved to a less restrictive COVID-19 tier while Madera County has remained in the same tier. 

Despite this news, the SCCCD will remain primarily online and continue to take a cautious approach moving forward. 

Regarding Chancellor Parnell’s announcement, President Goldsmith announced via a YouTube video that FCC will primarily continue with remote learning for the fall and 2021 spring semester. 

“There may be a few possible activities that we bring back,” Goldsmith said, expanding on the situation. “Small activities because we want to do so in a safe manner because really your safety, the safety of our students, and safety of our community is at stake.”

One of the possible activities that will return is sports conditioning, in case athletics comes back in the spring. A decision regarding athletics and games will be made in November, according to Goldsmith. 

Goldsmith also said the FCC library may reopen for students. The number of students allowed at the library will be limited to small groups and social distancing will be required. As a result, the library will be open for students with a reservation.

More information regarding the spring 2021 semester, and other potential developments will be announced soon.