Santa Ana College is continuing with remote instruction through summer and it’s all but confirmed that COVID-19 will keep the majority of courses online in the fall.
Remote instruction is required to comply with the statewide stay-at-home order, which has banned mass gatherings to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus since March 19.
A committee of district officials, campus staff and faculty is meeting Wednesday to make an official decision on how much of the fall semester will be online, but the chancellor discussed what the new academic year might look like during a series of interviews with el Don.
“We’re going to open large remote distance learning with a small limited number of courses offered on campus that we cannot offer virtually such as chem labs, bio labs and CTE courses,” Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor Marvin Martinez said in a live-streamed conversation on April 30.
Martinez also said any on-campus classes will also likely look very different from before.
Personal protective equipment may be required to attend. Temperature checks could be needed to enter buildings. Even then, social distancing will likely still be in effect and custodial staff will have to sanitize and disinfect the classrooms after every class.
Because the district functions as a state entity, Martinez said, it takes its cues from Gov. Newsom and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, which have not released guidelines for re-opening campuses.
“Even when [Newsom] makes a decision to lift the order, it’s not going to be fully lifted,” Martinez said. “It’s not going to be everybody coming back face to face like we were on March 12.”
The Board of Trustees assembled an ad hoc committee last month to design a re-opening plan for the district.
Discussions include different scenarios that could be implemented if Gov. Newsom decides to lift stay at home orders before the end of the year.
“We’re planning on a fall semester that will be largely online. There will be some face-to-face classes but we also have other plans just in case,” Martinez said.