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Faculty update from Faculty Senate President (March 10, 2020)

Hello Faculty,

I am sure you are all aware of the uncertainty COVID-19 is creating around day-to-day operations in higher education across the country. For faculty, it is the uncertainty of what happens to our students if campus operations need to be reduced or closed due to an outbreak. For students, it is the uncertainty of what this means for their education so close to the end of the academic year.

Leadership from all constituency groups are meeting with administration to develop a pandemic emergency plan for the District. At this time, Faculty Senate is working with CCFF, Administration, Curriculum Committee, and the CTX to develop a comprehensive plan for Instructional Continuity, should an emergency be declared. We hope to have a comprehensive plan by the end of the week. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the general direction we are moving during this time.

As of Saturday March 7, 2020, the Chancellor’s Office has created some general guidelines around instruction during this time. These guidelines allow for us to move courses that can readily be converted to an online format, even if they are not currently DE approved. Courses that are not easily converted into an online format, such as labs or practicum courses may have to find potential alternative meeting locations/dates/times in order to meet the required student contact hours necessary to award credit to students.

At this time, we have not declared a campus emergency. We are NOT immediately moving all instruction online. I also know that we have many folks on campus who are asking what can we do in the meantime.

So what can you do to help foster Instructional Continuity?

  • Make your syllabi and other important course documents available electronically.
  • Identify, setup, and test your technology tools to conduct class remotely​​. (Please see the attachment for directions on using zoom within Canvas)
  • Communicate with your students. Tell them how you plan to communicate with them in an emergency (email, Canvas announcement, etc.). Communicate clear expectations with students (flexibility with due dates, plan for course content, will you plan to move online, etc.)
  • Talk to your department/division colleagues to share ideas around online assignment modifications, as well as options for assessing, collecting, and grading student work online.
  • If you are sick, stay home. It may be possible for you to work remotely. Have these conversations with your Dean
  • If students are sick, allow them to stay home. We encourage you to be flexible with due dates and modality of assignments during this unconventional and uncertain time.

Thank you for your commitment to students and for your interest in helping to work through this period of uncertainty.

April Bracamontes, Ed. D
Faculty Senate President
Cerritos College

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Last Update: 3/23/2020