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Update 7/1/2020 for Faculty
Good morning, Cerro Coso Faculty,
I am sending this email this morning for a couple of reasons. The first is rumor control to address the email that went out last night citing yesterday’s Chancellor’s Office memo about faculty preparedness in the online environment.
Since the pandemic started, the Chancellor’s Office has been sending periodic guidance to the field. Yesterday’s was another in that string, reminding us in this case that there are several sections of Title 5 regulations that speak to best practices in preparing faculty for online teaching and informing us that these sections have not been temporarily suspended or waived. It would have been unusual in the extreme if the Chancellor’s Office had taken this opportunity, in a memo as mundane as this, to announce that all instruction at all community colleges would be going completely online for the fall 2020 semester.
And this is, in fact, the case. The first sentence sets the context of the memo, not announces a massive operational and policy change that would affect 2 million students. I’m not even sure the Chancellor can legally do that—he can temporarily suspend or waive sections of Title 5 but not Ed Code. Anyway, if you want to see my short exchange with the Chancellor’s staff, I have pasted it at the bottom of this communication.
But, secondly, I also want to address the upcoming decision about fall semester classes. Nothing has changed about planning for the fall since my email of April 28th went out to all faculty:
- We identified July 15 as the date to communicate any changes to the plan for onground classes in the fall according to the long-term schedule at each campus location. This provided enough time to see any changes in stay-at-home orders, group gathering guidelines, etc., but is still far enough out from the start of the semester if we need to communicate to students that a change to Plan B is necessary.
- One change we were looking to make even in April was bringing the classroom seat capacity for onground classes down to levels consistent with safe social distancing numbers. If the outlook on July 15 is more of the same social distancing, we will not have overfilled classes; if the outlook is rosier, we can increase caps; if the outlook is still stay-at-home, we can move to the Plan B’s.
- About the Plan B’s: please continue to work with your faculty chair and dean to determine what will happen to your onground class if we are again forced into a remote delivery mode. Online is not the only option! Even this semester, one technique being used is the instructor still meeting students during class time to deliver lectures—just over Zoom instead of face-to-face. Please discuss your Plan B with your chair and dean now so we can support you if the time comes. Also, we can get you some training if you want it, just in case.
Is there a committee or task force making the decision and planning protocols? Since much of the planning has been taking place after the end of the spring semester, the college’s primary working group has been President's Cabinet plus the Safety and Security Manager (Kevin King) and the M&O Director (Cody Pauxtis), continuing to meet as an emergency response team since last July's earthquakes, actually. In addition, information and dialog have been taking place between faculty chairs, CCA, Dean Houck, and myself. A protocol document is in draft form and will soon be ready for prime time. It will reflect the same information that other state and county agencies are reflecting, down to the local areas of implementation. Chancellor Burke is providing guidance from KCCD human resources and risk management departments to integrate into our local protocols district wide.
Who is part of that decision making group? There are multiple groups weighing in on this decision, whose input the president will consider in the final decision. Faculty have a big part in that recommendation between our chair structure and CCA. Many of the concerns surround working conditions, and while your administrators are monitoring directions from the CDC, state agencies, and county variances to inform our protocols, Matt Crow is representing CC at the bargaining table. Students and classified staff will be heard as well. IF all groups are indicating we can do face to face with specific protocols in place, a bigger question the president has to address is do we even have the 'human resources' to manage the protocols as required. This all boils down to safety. Considerations for informing the decision on July 15 include but are not limited to:
- Results of negotiations with CCA and CSEA
- Results of the student survey that went out Tuesday and already has over 500 responses
- The faculty’s “Questions for Fall Semester Planning” GoogleDoc
- Guidance documents from the CDC, the CDPH (which still has in-person higher education on the not to reopen list), and the Chancellor’s Office Safe Campus Reopening document that is in final vetting and has not been released yet to the field
What is the time line for a decision? July 15th
Who should faculty contact with their questions or concerns? At this time, Matt Crow, faculty chairs, Dean Houck, Director Christine Small, VP Ostash, and myself would be good sources to provide questions or concerns depending on what they are. In addition, if a faculty member feels there is a 10 +1 issue involved, please contact Ben Beshwate of the academic senate.
Finally, I want to thank you all. I know it is a very trying and fearful time, with vast amounts of uncertainty, especially with cases on the rise. Thank you for your continued efforts to use the processes we have in place to maintain productive dialogue in the spirit of collegiality. Below is the full text of my exchange with the Chancellor’s Office.
Update 4/29/2020 for Faculty
Greetings, Cerro Coso Faculty:
Apologies in advance for the long email. The following statements are meant to provide some guidance here at the end of the semester as you set about giving grades and closing out the semester. Also included are some updates on the summer and fall semesters as well as links to documents you might need. So without further ado:
- Grade options at the end of the semester. This semester, like always, you will see the grade options of A, B, C, D, F, and I. In giving grades, we ask you to be mindful of and sympathetic to the extenuating circumstances that students have encountered this semester. But in the end give students the proper grade using your professional judgment.
- “I” Grade. Give an “I” if you have individual students who were not able to complete the course work and with whom you have made individual arrangements to get this done within a year. According to the Chancellor’s executive order ES 20-10, faculty should assess, on a student-by-student basis, when the use of an “I” would be appropriate for a student impacted by COVID-19 and whether the student’s individual circumstances constitute an “unforeseeable, emergency, and justifiable reason” for needing additional time. In this respect, giving an “I” is no different this semester than it has ever been. Use the process described in Faculty 411 to submit the Incomplete Grade Contract form.
- “IP” Grade. If you are one of the rare faculty whose class has been suspended and not just a week or two extended, please work with your dean to ensure that an “IP” grade is recorded for all students in the class. “IP” is not a grade you can select when giving grades. It can only be administratively applied so work with your dean.
- Withdrawal. Even at this late date, you or the student can initiate a withdrawal from the class. If a student has not been participating actively in your course for over two weeks, you might consider submitting a withdrawal on their behalf. The student will receive an EW on his or her transcript and be allowed to retake the class at a later time without penalty. In contrast to the “I”, which keeps the student in an enrolled status for the class, the withdrawal closes the books, so to speak, on the student’s experience and allows him or her to start over in a subsequent semester. To submit a late withdrawal, complete this Instructor Withdrawal Exception form and send to your dean. Please note: even after the semester is over, students will still be able to appeal for a withdrawal and EW.
- Classes running a week or two weeks late. If your class is taking an additional week or two to wrap up, that’s no problem. We just need to know about it. Not only do we have to submit the course name and number as part of our COVID-19 paperwork to the state, but financial aid has to recalculate drop dates so students are not disadvantaged. Please let your faculty chair or dean know right away if you expect to miss the first grade deadline of Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Otherwise, the grade deadline for full-term classes that are scheduled to end May 15 is close of business on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
- Fall Semester. Planning for the fall semester remains unchanged. We are continuing to plan for onground classes in the fall according to the long-term schedule at each campus location, with each class having a Plan B if it must be moved into remote delivery.
- At the faculty chairs yesterday, we identified July 15 as the date to communicate any changes to this plan. This provides enough time to see any changes in stay-at-home orders, group gathering guidelines, etc., but is still far enough out from the start of the semester if we need to communicate to students that a change to Plan B is necessary.
- One change we are looking to make now is bringing the classroom seat capacity for onground classes down to levels consistent with safe social distancing numbers. If the outlook on July 15 is more of the same social distancing, we will not have overfilled classes; if the outlook is rosier, we can increase caps; if the outlook is still stay-at-home, we can move to the Plan B’s.
- About the Plan B’s: please work with your faculty chair and dean to determine what will happen to your onground class if we are again forced into a remote delivery mode. Online is not the only option! Even this semester, one technique being used is the instructor still meeting students during class time to deliver lectures—just over Zoom instead of face-to-face. Please discuss your Plan B with your chair and dean now so we can support you if the time comes. Also, we can get you some training if you want it, just in case.
- Finally, as to the Plan B’s, if you would like your onground students to know what your Plan B is, we will work with you to get a statement attached as a note in the searchable schedule. Mostly, students will assume it’s online. If you would like to let them know something different, contact your chair and dean.
Because I know there may be questions about some of these items, I am scheduling a couple of Zoom conference calls this week. Please attend the one that is more convenient for you, and I’ll do the best I can to answer these and other instructional questions you might have. Note: I have enabled the waiting room as a security measure. I’ve never used this before, but I have been advised that when you sign in, please use your username.
Faculty Q and A, Wednesday, April 29 11:00 am to 12:00 noon
Faculty Q and A, Thursday, April 30 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thank you all so much for the work you do—and have done in this challenging and stressful semester—and the dedication you show every day to students and student success. Remember that if you feel you have a 10 + 1 issue bring it to the academic senate to the attention of Ben, and if you are encountering a working conditions issue, bring it to Joe or any CCA rep.
Vice President of Instruction
Update 4/27/2020 for Faculty
Coming to Cerro Coso campus during COVID-19 “Stay at Home”? Please fill out this form.
The deadline to drop students from your class(es), has been extended! You will be able to drop students using Banweb through the end of the semester. This withdrawal will result in an Excused Withdrawal (EW). Dropping students who have disappeared out of your class instead of letting them get Fs or Ds at the end of the term will protect their academic record.
Update 4/1/2020 for Faculty
3/26/2020 Faculty Update
Update for Faculty from Dr Marvin: Drop Deadlines, Library Resources
Drop Date Extended
Update for Faculty from Dr Marvin: Withdrawals, Summer & Fall Scheduling, Coming to Campus, Zoom Q&A
Update for Faculty from Dr Marvin
Update Regarding Events and Travel
Update Regarding Communications, Resources, and Training
Employee Health Resources