Fall semester classes across the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) will be offered primarily through online and distance education. The decision was announced this week by SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll in an email to the district’s 5,000 employees. The district’s 100,000 students also are being informed.
Chancellor Carroll offered that the district, which includes San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges and San Diego Continuing Education, will make an effort to allow some exceptions for classes such as science, clinical and career-technical labs, classes for first responders, and others which are difficult to offer completely online. In those cases, however, social distancing and other health protocols would need to be closely followed.
Chancellor Carroll said it was important to make the decision about modality for the fall semester early enough to allow the faculty and the campuses to prepare. She also announced that the district and the campuses would be providing additional professional development to ensure the highest quality of instruction and student support during this online phase.
The district has also begun discussions regarding a phased-in approach that would determine when employees might return to work. However, as with classes, the work environment would need to be safe for employees.
“Never in my years in higher education have I seen a crisis of this magnitude, certainly never in my 28 years in the San Diego Community College District,” said Chancellor Carroll. “And the Board of Trustees and I have never been prouder of how faculty, staff, students, and alumni have responded. Their efforts have been extraordinary and have enabled the district to continue to meet the educational needs of students and the community.”
The SDCCD converted over 5,000 classes to all-online instruction on March 23. Since then, it has also announced that summer classes will be held online due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and that commencement ceremonies will be conducted virtually in mid-July. Thousands of district students have been provided with laptops, wifi hubs, and other equipment to ensure they can continue their studies. In addition, hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and emergency grants have been secured to assist students — many of whom have lost jobs.
The district estimates it has incurred approximately $4 million in unanticipated costs thus far due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For district updates on the COVID-19 situation, visit sdccd.edu/coronavirus or call 619-388-6980.