Students' Ability to Continue Their Education Online During COVID-19 Pandemic Bolstered by Systemwide Resources

Students' Ability to Continue Their Education Online During COVID-19 Pandemic Bolstered by Systemwide Resources

Student at home on laptop

For many California Community College students, the sudden transition to fully online learning and support services was and still remains difficult. Many students had little to no experience with taking online courses prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for some, access to a laptop and reliable internet connectivity remain barriers to their continued learning.

Despite these challenges, key system technology tools and resources are facilitating many students’ ability to quickly adapt to a new reality and continue their education.

“The COVID-19 pandemic definitely impacts our educational experience but our administration, staff, faculty and our Renegade students have dedicated their time and efforts into making this transition the best one we can have,” stated Samantha Gonzalez Pulido, Bakersfield College Student Government Association President, during the Chancellor’s Office April Virtual Town Hall. “Our learning and education are number one to us and the COVID-19 pandemic won't stop us from achieving our main goal, which is a college degree.”

Gabriela Rosas, a student at East Los Angeles College, has been using a number of system tools during her shift to a completely virtual community college experience: “My professors are conducting lectures through Zoom at the same times I would have been in class. One of my professors is using Pronto to communicate to students, and I use it to communicate with other classmates. I have used Cranium Cafe to schedule appointments with my counselor and the financial aid office.”

The Chancellor’s Office is continuing to expand system resources specifically designed to help students sustain their learning and receive supports online, including:

Resources for Online Learning

  • Online Readiness Videos - video series addressing real challenges experienced by both new and experienced online students
  • Canvas - now features 24/7 support to all colleges at no additional cost 
  • Zoom - unlimited free Zoom Pro Licensing is available systemwide through June 30, 2020 affording students, faculty, staff and administrators the ability to continue videoconferencing virtually 
  • Pronto - online communication platform that integrates with Canvas for expanded virtual engagement between students, faculty and staff
  • Labster - gives biology, chemistry, physics and engineering students access to realistic lab experiences to perform experiments, simulations and practice their skills in virtually
  • Proctorio - provides automated software and student verification services allowing students to take proctored exams
  • Adobe for Students - temporary no cost, at-home access to the Adobe Creative Cloud is available for students through May 31, and students can purchase deeply discounted subscriptions through CollegeBuys

Additional Resources for Student Support

  • Financial Resources, Food, Housing and More - an extensive list of vital services available to students, including CalFresh
  • Health and Wellness
    • Wellness Central - online student health and wellness resource available at no cost within Canvas
  • Counseling
    • Cranium Cafe - software providing students the ability to join face-to-face meetings with counselors, advisors, tutors, professors or classmates
  • Tutoring
    • LinkSystems (NetTutor) - online tutoring and whiteboard solution facilitating collaboration among students, faculty and staff
    • Pisces - online tutoring platform providing students a safe and accessible space for one-on-one or group tutoring sessions that includes online whiteboarding
  • Library Services Platform - launched in January across 110 community colleges, the Library Services Platform (LSP) is a cloud-based unified resource management system positioning California Community College libraries to provide the fullest range of information resources across all disciplines, programs and modalities of instruction

Chancellor's Office COVID-19 Updates

  • COVID-19 web page - Chancellor’s Office web page being updated daily as new information about COVID-19 becomes available
  • Daily COVID-19 email - daily COVID-19 special updates email, available by signing up through the Communications Division
  • Vision Resource Center - COVID-19 resources for students and additional information are also available under the “Connect” menu, “All Communities”, “CCC | COVID-19 Resources, Tools and Discussion”, and “Join Community”
  • Chancellor's Office Weekly Webinars - weekly webinar every Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m. providing system updates, guidance and student, faculty and staff supports during the pandemic 

During an April webinar with student media representatives, Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley stated, “We have the most resilient students in all of California higher education, so I have no doubt that, whatever happens to our students this semester, they will be prepared to transfer and will do great.” 

Danny Thirakul, Statewide President for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges and a student at Sacramento City College, expressed his gratitude for the Chancellor’s Office guidance during colleges’ transitions: “We have done great as a system in reacting and making sure that we address our concerns little by little, making sure that everything is being touched on, making sure that services are being provided.”

The Chancellor’s Office is continually updating its website with information about COVID-19, including public health information, emergency planning resources and communications to colleges.

For more information on available student supports, visit the Student Resources page on the Chancellor’s Office website. Easily direct students to this page by providing them the URL stayenrolled.com.