BC holds Zoom seminar to address student services on campus

Adeli Arvizu, Reporter

Bakersfield College hosted a meeting concerning student services via zoom on March 15 to address measures implemented to continue providing services to students as the campus transitions into an online platform. 

Sonya Christian, president of BC, presented the information alongside the Director of Technology Support Services, Todd Coston, and the BC’s Student Affairs team. 

Christian introduced the meeting and briefly explained BC’s call to action in January when the coronavirus began to make headlines. She stated BC’s current status is “Business Unusual,” which is when many large districts and organizations such as Disneyland, shut down.

Including the suspension of all sports games, the LA Unified School District closed, and the California Community College Student Athletics Association stops sporting events. Therefore, making it important to limit having people in large crowds. She went on to mention that the school is in a good position considering most of BC’s classes already take place online. 

“We are still offering the same wonderful services that we always have[…] please stay healthy and stay safe and most of all please remain calm,” said Marissa Marquez, Counseling and Advising director. Marquez assured students and faculty that counseling would be working from a distance but will still uphold a strong presence for students. 

Zoom and starfish will be utilized to communicate with students. The sling app will also be used to help keep up with current scheduling and for keeping track of classes. The counseling center will continue to provide all its usual services on campus, such as CSUP, transfer, graduation, the changing of majors, clearance hall, etc. just form an online stance. Marquez recommended emailing the Counseling and Advising department and visiting the BC Counseling and Advising Website for updates. 

Imelda Valdez, Director of EOPS, CARE and CalWORKs went on to explain that all faculty, counselors, and advisors had begun working from home since March 13, and are continuing to work from home on March 16. EOPS and CalWORKs will implement an online program called ConexED by Cranium Cafe for appointments. ConexED will allow and provide multiple services including one on one counseling, classroom, and breakout rooms for students to interact with each other in. These services allow EOPS to provide all its services found on campus but from a distance. Students under EOPS that have to fulfill three appointments within the semester, student orientations, and workshops, which will be done through ConexED. For any additional book vouchers, EOPS will consider using Ebooks and bus passes will be given out to students for the rest of the semester. Financial aid is electronic and grants will still be offered. 

“The Writing center is transitioning to an online model,” said Writing Center Lead, Kim Arbolante. “We will still be offering one on one assistance to student advisors.” 

Arbolante addressed that all appointments and tutoring would be done through zoom and students will be emailed with instructions for both English and Spanish speakers. Students are also to make appointments through email. The writing center will have to synchronize feedback for students with mobility impairment. 

All student services that are normally provided on campus will continue to be accessible through various different online platforms. Students will still be able to receive assistance and continue their degree path. There will be more zoom meetings throughout the week providing updates on student services and other campus information.