Instructors at Orange Coast College are being instructed to switch site-based, in-person classes to online teaching next week if possible, and to be prepared to switch to online classes after spring break.
After a meeting of the Coast Community College District’s COVID-19 task force on Wednesday, an email was sent suggesting that that site-based, in-person classes that are not able to change formats immediately should continue to meet next week as scheduled.
The task force also recommended that classes should prepare to use an alternative format after spring break but acknowledged that some courses will need to continue in person if alternative instruction is not possible, including lab classes, performing arts and physical education.
The district offered support to faculty who need training to make online courses possible.
The California Community College Chancellor’s office asked the district to take immediate steps to limit exposure to COVID-19 while minimizing the impact to education of students. To achieve this, OCC will continue to be open as while taking steps to limit the number of gatherings.
Additionally, the district is also discouraging faculty, staff and students from travel to protect community health.
The district’s decision follows those made by other colleges nationwide as well as neighboring schools such as Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton.
As fear and uncertainty about the growing COVID-19 pandemic grew during the week, some have been calling for Orange Coast College to cancel classes or move instruction online.
In light of UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton all taking action to move classes online, multiple petitions on Change.org have been started asking OCC to do the same. One petition has already been closed for unknown reasons and two others were being circulated at the time of publication.
A total of about 360 people had signed one of the three petitions.
Starting this week, both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton moved to make in-person class attendance voluntary and beginning next week both schools will transition to mandatory virtual instruction.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information as it becomes available.