Just a week and a half into the fall quarter, Clark College is already making plans for the winter term.
In a campus-wide email, Clark College President Karin Edwards announced on Sept. 29 that the Winter quarter for the 2020-2021 school year will mostly be online.
Students will have a few options for the Winter 2021 term, including online and remote options, as well as a hybrid option for 15 of Clark’s hands-on courses.
Kelly Love, Clark’s chief communications officer, explained Clark’s goals as they continue with remote operations.
“I see improvements, process improvements,” Love said. “Remember, this was a college that was not primarily online for anything. We had just a few classes online. So, with each quarter we see improvements in student services and how they’re learning to provide services for students online.”
Love explained some of the considerations that motivated Clark to make a decision as quickly and efficiently as possible. Other colleges around the country are also announcing plans for upcoming terms, Clark’s faculty need time to prepare for the Winter quarter, and the safety of students and staff as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.
Love said Clark’s next obstacle is whether or not sports can proceed for the winter and spring seasons.
“We follow the provisions of the Washington State Athletics Committee,” Love said. “So they’re [WSAC] trying to decide what’s safe and when sports teams can resume.”
Love said Clark College is trying to make sure students have some stability during the Fall and Winter quarters while adapting to the situation as conditions allow.
“So, for example, let’s say we get further into the fall or the winter, and we figure out as restrictions start to ease at the state level then maybe we can have some appointment hours at Geiser Hall,” Love explained. “Limited numbers of students at any given time could come onto campus for mask-to-mask support.”
Despite challenges, Love said the college’s goal will be to provide a genuine educational experience and to improve upon it each quarter.
I don’t want to try to suggest that this is all positive,” Love said. “But what students and the college have been doing all year long with COVID-19 [is] trying to make the best out of a really bad situation, trying to keep students on the path no matter what and figure out the workarounds until we can all get back to campus.”