Chico State try­ing to es­tab­lish fall plans

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carin Dorghalli

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,”

Gras­sian said.

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.”

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