Online-only classes set for summer
By Robin Morales
LCC opened registration for the summer semester April 20 and will conduct all courses online in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“(The decision) was really about making sure that we were practicing the best social distancing following the governor’s recommendations,” LCC Provost Sally Welch said. “We didn’t want to have to do the same switch that we had to do this semester for students, so we were trying to figure out what’s the best approach for trying to help them.”
LCC President Dr. Brent Knight added: “The health and safety of students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern … it was just not safe to resume classes.”
Welch said online classes will be offered in two formats: asynchronous virtual and real-time virtual. Asynchronous virtual classes do not have set meeting times or dates. Real-time virtual classes meet at predetermined times for live video instruction.
“The other (thing) is trying to adjust for students’ learning styles,” Welch said. “Online is really different, particularly if everyone’s home and you’ve got kids and other challenges in terms of being distracted and trying to do your work.
“We’re trying to survey students to see what we’re missing,” Welch said. “The issues that we’ve heard so far are, for the most part, they (students) don’t have the technology at home. So, we’re trying to figure out, how do we get Wi-Fi (and) laptops for students, if we can?”
Grand Valley State University freshman Sarah Bresnahan, 18, is enrolled at LCC for the summer semester. She said she is unbothered that face-to-face courses are cancelled.
“I’m applying in the nursing program at (GVSU) in the fall and they require some gen-eds,” Bresnahan said. “So I decided to take a stats class (STAT 170) at LCC this summer just because I live in the Lansing area and it would be more convenient for me to take it at LCC. Plus, it’s a little cheaper.
“I’m not mad that classes transitioned to online because I would have opted to take it online anyway … I work a lot, and an online class works better for me.”
According to Welch, it is difficult to estimate how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact student enrollment in the summer semester. She said some officials from different colleges and universities estimate a 10-percent increase, while others predict a 10-percent decrease.
Knight said he is confident enrollment will be strong in the summer.
“I am optimistic for substantial enrollment,” Knight said. “That’s because many people are … confined to their house and they’re not working and so they can take a class instead.”