Chico State trying to establish fall plans
CHICO » Chico State announced the fall 2020 schedule in March. It has since changed drastically.
The California State University system chancellor’s office told the school it would need to submit a list of classes deemed essential that could not be delivered virtually. Chico State did so, and a plan was approved.
Adjustments on the basis of an online learning format were put into place late June. About 90 percent of classes will be online either synchronously or asynchronously. Students were given a window of adjustment to make changes to their schedule if they so desired.
Daniel Grassian, the vice provost of Academic Programs, said Chico State once thought it would have more control over the decision. The original list of essential classes was more extensive.
Plans for lab classes being offered online are being established. It is not known if students will need to purchase their own tools and materials to be able to conduct experiments or build projects from home. It will largely depend on the lab itself. “It’s a work in progress,” Grassian said.
Many disciplines on campus require students to conduct work elsewhere. For instance, agriculture students at the University Farm, and nursing students at clinical sites. The chancellor’s office has given guidance about how to make off campus experiences safer for students. Grassian is working with the university’s Risk Management department on a campus policy based on the chancellor’s directive.
“It will ask the offsite locations to verify safety for students. It will ask the locations to confirm that they’re going to adhere to social distancing practices,” he said.
Because of statewide guidelines, students will be expected to wear masks. It is undetermined if students will be required to have their temperature checked before the start of class, Grassian said.
Grassian is also working with the university’s Facility Management and Services, and Environmental Health and Safety department to determine class capacities.
“Classes will certainly be smaller. There’s no question about that,”
Enrollment caps will be put at around one quarter to one third of what they were before. At best, a classroom will be at 50 percent capacity. Less students will be in the buildings at any given time. Less classes will take place on the same floor at any given time.
“Campus density won’t be anything like it was in the past,” Grassian said.
Mapping out a plan has essentially been a fourmonth process. The fall semester has been under discussion since Chico State suddenly shifted to online learning around the school’s spring break in March.
“This has been quite a feet,” Grassian said. “This has been a complete new transition for so many faculty members and students.”