The future of BC during 2020

Photo+courtesy+of+William+Velasquez.+

Photo courtesy of William Velasquez.

Bianca Cacciola, Editor-in-chief

In terms of the campus being reopened there has been a lot of speculation about what will come next for Bakersfield College. BC began the transition to distance learning on March 12, since then the campus has shut with all classes and services being offered online.

As the summer and fall semesters approach, BC president, Sonya Christian, has kept students and faculty updated with the changes that are to come if the stay-at-home order is lifted.

In Christian’s phase one for the summer courses, some employees, public safety, maintenance and operations (M&O) and select staff, may return to work on staggered schedules. Other employees that can perform their work from home will be directed to remain doing so. 

“Our contractors are aware of the Kern County and Campus procedures to [follow] during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each contractor is responsible for following the guidelines in place and keeping their workforce safe during these circumstances,” William Potter, Director of Maintenance and Operations, said.

Phase two would consist of 97 percent of classes being taught online, classes that need to be taught face-to-face would return on campus. With students being let back on campus, mandatory health checks would be regulated for every student. According to BC’s public health protocol document, the health checks would consist of a “minimum of [six feet] social distancing, face coverings on campus, hand washing before entry to and upon exit from classrooms, hand washing before and after equipment use, and sanitizing equipment before and after use.” 

As for the fall semester, all courses are being divided into three categories, online-scheduled, online-flexible and hybrid. 

The online-scheduled would be online courses that would involve learning through Zoom while also using canvas, online-flexible would be primarily using canvas to allow students to base their education in compliance with their schedules. Hybrid classes would be broken into three options, each of them would provide more opportunity for social distancing to take place. These courses allow students to complete part of the class online and the other part in-person on campus. 

“Not all students learn the same way. Some students need to be in the classroom to be able to learn and input the information. Students register for classes believing that they are in person for a reason. I feel that numbers for colleges could drop if they all go online due to the fact that not all students feel comfortable learning this way. Some students disengage with online learning,” Kristen Hunter-Flores, mother of an incoming BC student, said.

Hunter-Flores’ daughter is a part of the DSPS program and learns best from being in a classroom environment where she can listen to the teacher and ask questions. This could cause challenges to arise for her as she transitions from high school to college. 

The Office of Student Life and BCSGA have continuously reached out to students offering free ways to stay connected through virtual games, fitness classes and other fun activities. 

“We will continue our efforts to involve students in virtual activities as long as needed. We are consistently coming up with new ideas of ways to engage students from their own spaces. We want to make sure that students stay involved,” Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania, said.