The spread of the virus COVID-19 has led to media overkill and has left some students confused and apprehensive.
Central Oregon Community College will continue with spring term beginning Monday, April 6, with the majority of courses to be held virtually through a website popularized by the education system called Zoom. Zoom is a video communications company founded by Eric Yuan in 2011, and is shaping up to be one of the most used websites in America for college learning purposes. BlackBoard and other tools will also be incorporated to make the transition as seamless as possible.
COCC’s President Laurie Chesley comments on the matter via quote from COCC’s website.
“The safety of our students, staff and community is without a doubt our number one priority. In making this decision, we are following the directives of Governor Brown, the Oregon Health Authority, local public health officials, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Centers for Disease Control. Despite this virtual arrangement, our faculty and staff are dedicated to being a steadfast resource for our students and our community.”
However, the plan to switch all faculty, staff, and the entire student body aside from some medical-related courses to online work in less than a month of preparation seems like a great deal of work. Aside from an email including a guide for how to prepare for online tests and a general information email on how the college suggests keeping clean and socially distanced from others, the school’s information for how students will navigate their new online-only classes during this time appears to be scarce.
Although, students are assured that there is a group monitoring the pandemic and how it directly impacts the campus in an email from Chesley, “the college’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to closely monitor events, prepare for contingencies, and follow the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority, the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and local public health officials.”
The college will resume on-campus, in-person courses April 28. Until then, all campus facilities will be closed due to the risk of transmitting the potentially lethal virus and causing additional detrimental spreading than what has already occurred.
Emma Evenhus/The Broadside