Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian held an online seminar on April 2 to discuss faculty updates and challenges encountered while providing student services.
Christian briefly informed participants on the latest COVID-19 news, such as Kern County only having one known death from COVID-19. Christian also acknowledged the remembrance of former Kern County resident Susana Garcia who recently passed away from COVID-19 in Delano. Garcia’s son, Hector Garcia, was a former student and graduated.
She emphasized how important it is for every person to do their part in taking proper precautions by remaining home when necessary and keeping faces covered when outside. Christian explained that face coverage does not only mean the utilization of medical masks, any other clean material that is capable of covering an individual’s face is helpful.
“Our DSPS team had an interesting transition to working remotely,” said DSPS counseling faculty Diane Allen. “Just the uncertainty of how it is going to affect us personally, but also how is it going to work.”
Allen described the obstacles faced when the transition to an online format began, she led her team to continuously brainstorm options in order to continue providing student services. Luckily for DSPS, some members of the team were more tech-savvy than others. Allen went on to express gratitude towards her team and mentioned that the pandemic has allowed her to team to become closer and more appreciative of one another. DSPS has been advising faculty of features provided on canvas in order to provide students with interpreters for classes, meetings with counselors, and more.
Assistant Director of Admissions and Records, Jackie Laue, expressed the importance of the staff’s mental health and well-being, including how busy they have been since the online transition. Laue asked students and other faculty to be patient as they have received as many as one hundred emails a day of questions.
According to the Faculty of Academic Technology Matt Jones, the most utilized platforms since BC’s transition are ConferZoom, Screensharing, Breakout rooms and Canvas. Jones explained that professors are still able to continue classes just like in a regular class setting with no limitations. However, there are still both faculty and students who are in the process of learning how to utilize all resources online accessible to them from home.