Faculty Update for 3/26

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As many of you have heard, COVID-19 is now present in the Indian Wells Valley. Last night, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital had a test returned positive, according to a blog post today. The “when” (not the “if”) has happened to Ridgecrest, which now joins Bishop and Mammoth as Cerro Coso Community College communities with confirmed cases. In context of that, this week saw 3.3 million unemployment claims filed nation-wide, the most in history.

Some updates:

  • The last day to drop classes has been extended to April 9th for all students. The extension was implemented for all students in light of the transition of some face-to-face classes and for the college to assist them with resources. Although a CC Information has gone out, please take the time to reassure your students that they have time to assess how they are doing in your class and can make a decision unpressured by an impending deadline. Also inform them they can discuss resource needs and educational goals and plans with advisors/counselors and discuss any Financial Aid implications with the Financial Aid Office.
  • Even after April 9th, students will still be able to drop classes through Admissions and Records. Refer students to the counseling department who have any questions about dropping or the implications of dropping.
  • The last day for you to drop students has also been extended to April 9th. Because we have passed the 60% date, it is not required that you drop students who are no longer actively participating, but please consider doing so in these crazy times when it may be hard to judge why a student suddenly silent. A drop will save a student from a sub-standard grade on the transcript and may be the difference between him or her eventually continuing or dropping out.
  • Face-to-face instructors: did all your students make it through the transition? If you think you lost someone, submit an Early Alert through Navigate. Filing an Early Alert will ensure that a counselor follows up directly with the student to see if he or she needs any help or can be supported with any resources.
  • If your class is in paused mode—or even if it's not—know that we are expecting guidance from the Chancellor's Office in the next few days on grades, grading policies, and extension of the semester. As soon as we know something, you will know it.
  • The Cerro Coso library has created super helpful guides for students and faculty about the coronavirus, navigating information about it, and how to keep yourself safe and sane. Check it out at the Library Resources for Social Distancers page.
  • The open computer labs are now closed for good at all campuses except KRV/Lake Isabella, where it will continue for one more week (March 30-April 3). The needs-assessment survey that went out to students this week indicated a variety of technology needs, but not anything that couldn't be addressed by a laptop-loan program. The college is in contact with these students already, but if a student communicates to you that they are in need of a laptop to finish this semester's classes, refer them to this request form. Student services will take it from there and reach out to the student.
  • The student survey this week identified a broad range of needs students are communicating, everything from toiletries to help with mental health issues. While it has always been important to encourage students who are encountering life challenges to contact student services, it is especially important to do so now.

Thanks. Ask questions if you have them.

Corey Marvin