South Texas College Releases Instructional Plan for 2020 Fall Semester
College will offer approximately 20 percent of its 4,500 courses in an in-person/hybrid format, with the rest of the courses available online
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, South Texas College adapted courses earlier this summer to include the building of instruction sets, with multi-camera angles for typically hands-on programs in Culinary Arts (above) and Nursing and Allied Health. STC has now announced that it will continue to make extensive use of technology, while preserving the most important elements of in-person required activities, through an in-person/hybrid course structure this fall.
South Texas College is prioritizing the safety and well-being of all its students, faculty, and staff in the wake of the current COVID-19 global pandemic.
STC has recently released an instructional plan ahead of the fall 2020 semester that can be modified in the event of ever changing state or federal guidelines.
STC plans to make extensive use of technology, while preserving the most important elements of in-person required activities, through an in-person/hybrid course structure, according to college leadership.
“Keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe as our first priority, we have increased our online fall sections to meet the region’s educational needs. By reducing the number of on-campus sections, we have been able to retain some face-to-face instruction to meet the needs of specialized courses, while reducing overall student congestion at our facilities,” stated Dr. Anahid Petrosian, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer.
Classes begin Aug. 24. The college will be offering approximately 20 percent of its 4,500 courses in an in-person/hybrid format, with the rest of the courses available in online format for the fall.
With the in-person/hybrid model established at STC, fall courses requiring hands-on activities will be split into 50 percent classroom instruction and 50 percent online instruction.
“Keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe as our first priority, we have increased our online fall sections to meet the region’s educational needs. By reducing the number of on-campus sections, we have been able to retain some face-to-face instruction to meet the needs of specialized courses, while reducing overall student congestion at our facilities."
Programs requiring hands-on learning include Nursing and Allied Health, Sciences, Information Technology, Workforce and Public Safety, Art, Drama, Music, and Kinesiology. These courses will use the hybrid format to deliver content online and hold in-person sessions for required hands-on activities.
The instructional courses with hands-on requirements will have a reduced seat time. Faculty will rotate students into the instructional space to conduct in-person activities while maintaining social distancing for each face-to-face meeting time.
“The College conducted an extensive assessment of classroom space and identified a schedule that will reduce foot traffic on campus. We are making several accommodations in order to maintain social distancing among our students and staff,” said Dr. Petrosian.
The college has set a maximum of 20 students per in-person lecture class, but each face-to-face class session will have no more than 10 students meeting at any one time. Faculty will divide the 20 students into two cohorts and inform them on which day they will meet. Classes will only meet once a week.
STC has an established history of excellence with its online courses that incorporate best practices, making opportunities available for students to interact with their peers as well as instructors. Content is available virtually and through video instruction seven days a week, and students are able to schedule online office hours with instructors.
“We have a structured system of certifying teachers to teach online. This system ensures that our faculty are up to date on the technology available to enhance online instruction,” emphasized Dr. Petrosian.
Dual credit students will take their courses online, but at the same time will be subject to security measures established to protect those who are learning in an online environment. Career and Technical Education and/or Academic courses which require hands-on activities will be offered as hybrid courses.
Even before classes begin, all instructional spaces and buildings will undergo a thorough deep cleaning, and disinfecting will be ongoing throughout the semester. Preventive protocols to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 will also be implemented across campuses.
Facilities like library services, open computer labs, as well as STC’s Centers for Learning Excellence will be made available for the fall, but with various safeguards in place to protect students and staff.
Available seating within the library will be limited in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, and social distancing of at least six feet will be observed in study spaces and interactions among students and staff members. Anyone visiting the library will be required to wear face protection that covers the nose and mouth.
For computer labs, students are encouraged to reserve a computer online in advance, but walk-ins will be accommodated depending on workstation availability. Like the library, available seating within open computer labs is limited in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. Anyone visiting an open computer lab will be required to wear face protection that covers the nose and mouth.
As for CLE, all on-campus tutoring will be available by appointment only. Students will be required to check the Tutoring page to see schedules for each campus with tutoring availability by class prior to submitting a tutoring appointment request. Only those who have confirmed appointments may use the CLE on campus. CLE appointments are for up to 45 minutes a session, with a maximum of two sessions per day per class.
CLE resources such as textbooks and calculators are permitted to be used only under staff supervision, and the student is required to wear gloves while using the item to minimize contact with the item.
For more information or for the latest developments regarding preparations at STC please visit https://www.southtexascollege.edu/fall20/.