OCC students can expect in-person support services by fall

OCC students will be able to access on-campus resources in person, such as the library, on a tiered basis beginning this fall. 

Coast Community Colleges Chancellor John Weispfenning announced that students will have access to in-person support services, to be available on CCD campuses by the fall semester. 

“Many districtwide have participated in, or heard of discussion, about returning to on-site services over the summer, especially as the governor plans a statewide loosening of precautions on June 15,” Weispfenning said. 

Weispfenning said that in-person classes will be “limited” under current COVID-19 public health guidelines, but that number will increase from the summer 2021 semester to fall 2021, with the goal to have students fully back on campus spring 2022. However, in-person support services will be coming back even sooner. 

According to an email sent by Weispfenning to faculty and staff, the district will start reviewing current on-site service programs and activities. Starting Aug. 2, all departments and offices will be open for two days a week. By Sept. 7, this will grow to four days and then five days open by Oct. 4. There will still be occupancy limits to comply with social distancing. 

“Many support activities offer greater flexibility,” Weispfenning said in the email. “It’s likely students, even those taking classes online, want to meet with friends, go to the library, see an advisor or tutor face-to-face and generally return the college experience that’s so essential for improvement, retention and success.”

This decision to start phasing back on-site services and operations was made in conjunction with the District Consulting Council, which is in charge of planning district-wide activities and will be helping with the planning process going forward. The plan was then approved by the CCCD. 

“I am appreciative of everyone's work to develop a plan that is both careful and caring,” Weispfenning said in the email. “It gives time to reestablish the support networks for childcare, eldercare and other pressing needs that required your attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also allow us to prepare our facilities and practices to provide assurances for those with ongoing health concerns.”

Weispfenning’s goal is to have every support service office open and ready to serve students in-person by the fall 2021 semester. There will be changes to operations to keep students, faculty and staff safe; such as limited hours, especially in the beginning. Ultimately, Weispfenning hopes to provide services to as many students as possible. 

Weispfenning also reminded students they have “an important role to play” in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. 

“Therefore, I urge that you continue to wear masks, maintain social distance – and I strongly encourage vaccinations if you’re able,” Weispfenning said. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently unveiled an unprecedented plan called "Vax for the Win" to get more Californians vaccinated in time for the June 15 opening date, coinciding with the start of the summer semester at OCC. This program will give out cash in varying amounts from $50,000 to $100 to $1.5 million to both those who get vaccinated and those who already have them. 

To schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, visit MyTurn or call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 833-422-4255.

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