Pandemic Impacts Modes of Instruction for Fall 2020

Cal Poly Pomona will be conducting a primarily virtual semester, however, there will be courses that will continue in-person instruction. The courses continuing can expect to have modifications to adhere to social distancing and health guidelines.

“We plan to offer 126 course sections with in-person components,” CPP’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Sylvia A. Alva said. “We anticipate that roughly 669 students will have some in-person learning component this fall.”

These flyers for the protocol on campus have been posted on buildings that will be continuing to meet in person (Courtesy of Esther Chou Tanaka from the Department of Strategic Communications).

Alva has since clarified this statement by specifying which courses would partake in the in-person teachings either on or off campus. These courses include labs, clinical practices, research, and projects of all different subjects including, but not limited to, the sciences and education majors.

This plan was created following the California State University’s decision to teach fall semester primarily online. CSU was the first in the nation to make this change. Many colleges are still trying to get their students back on campus, fully or through a hybrid class. However, for many schools like the University of North Carolina, the outbreaks of this virus have set them back from doing so.

CPP has taken precautions amid these outbreaks and posted flyers on some of the buildings that will house on-campus lectures, informing students on the safety guidelines they must follow such as mandatory face coverings and social distancing. Some of the buildings include the Don B. Huntley’s College of Agriculture and Building 3’s Science Laboratory.

(Courtesy of Esther Chou Tanaka from the Department of Strategic Communications).

The agriculture college is one of the colleges that have allowed some on-campus instruction to continue such as for the animal health science labs, where are no alternative virtual mode of instruction.

Lisa Kessler, the interim dean of the agriculture college, said the surgical skills lab is already held in a sterile environment where students will need to wear masks and gloves.

“We are reducing class sizes from 24 to six or eight students, Kessler added.

The class size reductions also follow along with social distancing measures within the classroom. Joanne J. Sohn, an associate professor at the animal & veterinary sciences department and director of animal health science program said, “Tape will be placed on the floor so students know to stay within a certain area.” Sohn added that chairs within and outside the classroom have been removed to deter students from lingering around the college.

CPP President Soraya M. Coley, made an announcement about the creation of the Safer Return Task Force. The group will assist, alongside Student Affairs, in making sure the campus is both knowledgeable to any changes made in policy or protocol and help adhere these protocols on campus to protect students and faculty.

With the unique circumstances of COVID-19, professors who are not participating in in-person lectures have learned to take things as they come. The College of Education & Integrative Studies have multiple modes of instruction depending on the status of the pandemic. Dean Jeff Passe said that many internships or field work that concerns other school districts are temporarily virtual until otherwise stated by the college.

“It’s up to the school district whether they open – it’s a day-to-day thing.” Passe said.

For the Collins College of Hospitality, Department Chair Zhenxing Mao said patience is key through navigating these uncertain times. Faculty working at the college have made adjustments to their course curriculum, such as cooking labs, due to students not having access to certain equipment.

The prerequisites to some classes have also been changed. For example, Mao said some courses that required a prerequisite of a certain amount of work experience hours cannot be enforced during this time because jobs are very limited. “The hospitality industry has suffered the most during this pandemic. We are a people industry,” Mao said.

Curriculum and classroom changes aren’t the only thing students will have to adjust to this upcoming fall. CPP will also be limiting how many students can ride in an elevator together, in compliance with the County of Los Angeles

To keep up with the rate of speed at which things are changing for the college, the Office of Student Success has updated its paperwork submissions to an online format. These forms are now fillable PDFs that can be found on the Registrar’s website.

In a schoolwide email sent out on August 10, the office informed students of the uploaded petitions to exceed the 18 unit cap per semester. Usually for the registrar’s office to approve the extra credits, the petition has to first be approved by the department chair followed by the dean of the major and then the course’s dean. Students typically take 12 to 15 units per semester, but according to Mao, this change in instruction has caused some students to panic.

“For students graduating soon, they just want to get out. I’ve had so many students that want to exceed their normal capacity. They just want to get out of this online mode,” Mao said.

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