Dear Fullerton College Community,
Because of continuing concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), Fullerton College will transition as many courses as possible away from in-person class meetings. It is important to note that there are no substantiated cases of COVID-19 related to our campus nor in the North Orange County Community College District, and that this change is being made to align with new direction from state officials to stem community spread. In order to facilitate this change, Fullerton College will cancel all classes from March 13 to March 17. Instruction will resume on Wednesday, March 18 using alternate delivery methods, such as remote learning, whenever possible. Faculty and staff will be able to use March 13, 16, and March 17, for planning, implementation, and staff development. We will provide more details specific to students and faculty later today and as needed in the coming days.
The campus operations will continue. However, many student service areas, such as Financial Aid, Admissions and Records, Student Life and Leadership, Counseling and EOPS and more, will pause services to students until Wednesday, March 18. Campus Safety and the Student Health Center will remain open. Starting March 18, all student service areas will be open for students who require assistance. In addition, computer labs will be available on campus for students who need access to computers and Wifi.
Some courses cannot be taught remotely at this time and will still meet on campus using an abundance of caution. The college will provide additional guidance specific to instruction as soon as it’s available.
This plan is congruent with health officials’ requests for social distancing and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s guidance today related to community gatherings. The plan ensures the continuation of all instruction for the spring semester, including those courses that must meet in person for accreditation, technical, or other required reasons. The approach also allows the college to make every effort to continue providing quality education during this public health crisis.
The college will follow the guidelines on mass gatherings from the Governor’s Office. As such, all campus events are cancelled until further notice. Athletic competitions will continue without spectators. Nonessential travel will also be suspended until further notice.
This is an unprecedented time, for Fullerton College and our global community. During this difficult time, please know that as a community Fullerton College will continue to be place of support for our students and fellow colleagues. We will get through this together.
Please continue to read emails from the college and utilize our COVID-19 website for official information.
Greg Schulz, Ed.D.
Q: Why isn’t the college moving all classes online?
A: At this time, some classes cannot be conducted remotely.
Q: Why are some courses still going to be taught at the campus, and is that safe?
A: Some classes simply can’t be taught remotely at this time. We need to honor students’ course load leading to graduation, transfer and/or certificate attainment. By transitioning the majority of classes to remote instruction, we are creating significant social distancing, which allows the college to have focused attention on keeping these areas sanitized and safe. This allows students to continue progressing toward their degrees and certificates.
Q: Why now? Why didn’t the college do this earlier?
A: Contingency planning to transition classes to remote instruction has been in the works for nearly two weeks to prepare for this decision. Guidance from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office was updated on Wednesday, March 10 that facilitated the college’s ability to move coursework into online and other similar modes. Prior to this state decision, only pre-approved courses could be offered online. The college met with faculty and other leaders to immediately work out an overview of the transition.
Q: Why not start remote classes immediately?
A: Closing operations for three days provides the opportunity for faculty who don’t already teach remotely to have time to transition their coursework to remote learning options, preferably Canvas.
Q: Why not just take time off, change the timing of spring break, or completely close?
A: Each of those options carries a significant downside for students – not the least of which is the potential impact on those students who are transferring to universities in the fall. These institutions are waiting on transcripts of completed coursework to finalize admissions. Any of the above delays results in negative consequences for a substantial portion of our students.
Q: Isn’t Coronavirus just media hype? Why can’t we just keep things how they are?
A: Health officials recommend social distancing – a practice of keeping people out of densely populated situations. This plan supports that health goal.
Q: Is this going to diminish the value of my degree?
A: No. There will be no distinction made on transcripts that indicate the delivery method of coursework.
Q: How long will this change last?
A: We intend to evaluate the implementation on an ongoing basis and to make a formal re-evaluation of the plan by the end of spring recess, on April 13.
Q: When will I have more information?
A: We are beginning three days of intense planning. Canceling classes from March 13-17 allows all employees the opportunity to focus exclusively on the transition and on making it as successful as possible. We will share additional information on a regular basis between now and the resumption of classes on Wednesday, March 18.