Virtual Campus Voices: the Pandemic’s Impact on Students Part 2


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, some Fresno City College students have faced issues such as not being able to get necessary assistance and in some cases, have dealt with COVID-19 itself. 

Gaozoua Jessie Cha, psychology major at FCC, dropped out during the spring 2021 semester due to her father recently suffering from COVID-19 complications and being admitted to Community Regional Medical Center. 

 As her father’s oldest child and caregiver, Cha has become responsible for decisions regarding his life and is the first person doctor’s contact for information which has made it hard to focus on coursework. 

With the advice from counselors, Cha initially dropped two courses. However as her father’s condition worsened, she later dropped the rest of her courses. 

The decision of dropping out was not easy, Cha says her worst fear is falling behind which is why she was so hesitant. 

“I thought of everything to help make me stay. I thought of the time I would graduate. It wasn’t far from me but I knew I really had to sacrifice this time and put my family first,” she said. 

Prior to her father’s situation, Cha was able to successfully adjust to remote learning as she has found it easier to fit coursework into her daily routine and it allows her to learn from home where she is safe. 

Although it is hard to tell what the future holds for her family, Cha does hope to return to FCC in the fall of 2021 if she is in a better state of mind. 

Since most facilities on campus are closed, some students have found it difficult to get assistance in their courses. 

Prior to the pandemic, Elvia Torres, an accounting major at FCC, would frequently visit FCC’s tutorial centers and spend hours working on homework with tutors.

Now, Torres has to utilize FCC’s tutoring services via Zoom which she says is just not the same because she cannot ask specific questions or have undivided attention from tutors. 

“Sometimes I have my own questions that I need an explanation for and sometimes I cannot get that help,” she said. “That makes it hard for me.” 

Moving forward this semester, Torres plans to stick with online tutoring in addition to watching YouTube videos and potentially hiring a personal tutor. 

However, she does argue that FCC should re-open the tutoring center soon since the library is already open and that more accounting tutors should be hired. 

Because of how hard this semester has been for her, Torres plans to take less units in fall 2021 even though it might take longer to obtain her degree. 

Due to other responsibilities and priorities, other students have had to reduce the number of classes they take. 

This is the case for Mercedes Mosqueda who attends FCC. 

Being that she works in healthcare, she has had to make herself more available to her career in case she is needed. 

Although this has impacted her studies, Mosqueda is still happy to be where she is as far as her educational goals.

“I didn’t ever intend to take less units because I wanted to be done with my pre-requisites sooner, but at least I’m almost there now,” she said.

With help from FCC counselors, Mosqueda was able to create a Student Education Plan which helped her figure out what she needed to do in order to obtain her degrees. 

Initially, she imagined remote learning to be harder but has noticed instructors are more understanding during the pandemic and hopes FCC faculty can send students extra study tips and information to help them.

One thing Mosqueda has appreciated about remote learning is being able to work at her own pace.

 On the other hand, Mosqueda has found it difficult to focus with all the distractions at home. 

Once in-person instruction returns and Mosqueda enters the nursing program at FCC, she plans to start prioritizing her education more by taking more units.