(CENTREVILLE) – Glen Oaks Community College is continuing to manage their operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Glen Oaks President Dr. David Devier says the Winter Semester opened on January 11, and Glen Oaks was operating at 80 percent virtual based instruction. This is a significant change from the Fall Semester when it was operating at 35 percent virtual instruction. Then in the eleventh week of the Fall Semester, the pandemic hit St. Joseph County hard and Glen Oaks moved most operations off campus for the second time.
While this was easier to manage based on the experience of last winter, it was difficult for students and faculty to switch during the semester.
Devier says because of this, the decision was made to move the majority of classes to virtual for Winter 2021, and spare everyone from the potential of having to switch once again if the pandemic should get worse. Many of the virtual classes are being offered synchronous via the ZOOM platform. This works well as it emulates the normal classroom experience and provides for class interaction in real time. The one facet that makes it less flexible than traditional online asynchronous classes is that the students have to be online at the given day and time.
The only classes actually being held in-seat on campus are those that require lab experiences including nursing, allied health, automotive tech, Ag tech, and welding.
The Devier Suites housing had to close down in November as well but opened for this semester with approximately 70 percent occupancy. The majority of these students are athletes. All athletic programs will be in competition beginning in early February. These sports include woman’s volleyball, which was moved forward from the fall, men’s and woman’s basketball, men’s baseball, woman’s softball, golf, and bowling. After losing all spring sports last year, everyone is looking forward to resuming this spring.
Devier says they are proud of the efforts of faculty and staff throughout this challenging year. Every student has been served well in the face of the many changes that had to be made. One of those events that was lost was graduation and every effort is being made to determine how Glen Oaks can hold commencement this spring and allow 2020 graduates the opportunity to participate with the 2021 graduating students.