South Texas College’s fall 2020 offerings beginning Aug. 24 will include about 20 percent in an in-person/hybrid format. The rest of its 4,500 courses will be available in online format with instructional plans being modifiable in the event of ever changing state or federal guidelines.
With the in-person/hybrid model, courses requiring hands-on activities will be split into 50 percent classroom instruction and 50 percent online instruction. Programs requiring hands-on learning include Nursing and Allied Health, Sciences, Information Technology, Workforce and Public Safety, Art, Drama, Music and Kinesiology. These courses will use the hybrid format to deliver content online and hold in-person sessions for required hands-on activities.
Caution in the Classroom
The instructional courses with hands-on requirements will have a reduced seat time. Faculty will rotate students into the instructional space to conduct in-person activities while maintaining social distancing for each face-to-face meeting time.
“The college conducted an extensive assessment of classroom space and identified a schedule that will reduce foot traffic on campus,” said 09, interim vice president for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. “We are making several accommodations in order to maintain social distancing among our students and staff.”
The college has set a maximum of 20 students per in-person lecture class, but each face-to-face class session will have no more than 10 students meeting at any one time. Faculty will divide the 20 students into two cohorts and inform them on which day they will meet. Classes will only meet once a week.
STC’s online courses make opportunities available for students to interact with their peers as well as instructors. Content is available virtually and through video instruction seven days a week. Students are also able to schedule online office hours with instructors.
“We have a structured system of certifying teachers to teach online,” says Petrosian. “This system ensures that our faculty are up to date on the technology available to enhance online instruction.”
Dual credit students will take their courses online. At the same time, they will be subject to security measures to protect those who are learning in an online environment. Offerings of Career and Technical Education and/or Academic courses which require hands-on activities will also be hybrid.
Facilities like library services, open computer labs, as well as STC’s Centers for Learning Excellence will be made available for the fall. Various safeguards are in place to protect students and staff.
There will be a limit to available seating within the library in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Distancing of at least six feet will be observed in study spaces and interactions among students and staff members. Anyone visiting the library must wear face protection that covers the nose and mouth.
For computer labs, students should reserve a computer online in advance, but walk-ins will be available depending on workstation availability. Like the library, available seating within open computer labs is limited in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Anyone visiting an open computer lab must also wear face protection that covers the nose and mouth.
As for CLE, all on-campus tutoring will be available by appointment only. Students must check the Tutoring page to see schedules for each campus with tutoring availability by class prior to submitting a tutoring appointment request. Only those who have confirmed appointments may use the CLE on campus. CLE appointments are for up to 45 minutes a session, with a maximum of two sessions per day per class.
CLE resources such as textbooks and calculators are permitted for use only under staff supervision. Students must wear gloves while using the item to minimize contact with the item.