Pierce College will offer classes online only during the last two days of winter quarter and during spring quarter at least until April 24.
Winter quarter finals, with some exceptions, are scheduled to be completed online also.
College officials are moving as much coursework and student support services as possible to an online environment after Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March 13 that colleges would follow the restrictions in place for K-12 education. Schools in Washington state and across the country are closing or moving to online instruction because of concerns about COVID-19 spreading.
Inslee’s proclamation read that all public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship and similar programs are prohibited from conducting in-person classroom instruction and lectures related to all educational and apprenticeship related programs.
“We recognize this is a difficult and stressful time for faculty, staff and students as our community grapples with the impacts of COVID-19,” Chancellor Michele Johnson wrote in an email to employees.
While Pierce College campuses currently remain open, officials are working to minimize face-to-face interaction. For spring quarter, departments on campus, especially campus safety, facilities and finance, will remain open with limited staffing and hours during this time. Labs and clinics on campus, Inslee said, will be allowed to operate if social distancing protocol is followed.
Inslee initially said restrictions on social gatherings of more than 250 people are in place for the entire state. The governor on March 15 then announced restrictions of 50 people or more.
Restrictions in place because of possible spreading of the coronavirus have led to the canceling of spring break trips by the Geology Club to Utah and the Chamber Choir to Arizona. Professors leading both trips anticipate rescheduling these events.
The choir, band and orchestra performances set for the end of winter quarter have been canceled.
The statewide Students of Color conference during April that Puyallup campus and Fort Steilacoom campus students attend each year has been canceled.
The Office of Student Life has canceled all events for the beginning of spring quarter.
The college’s executive team has been meeting to adopt measures to preserve health and safety of students, faculty and staff, to preserve student learning outcomes and to minimize financial impacts to our employees and students, Johnson wrote in the districtwide email.
A new team of faculty, staff and administrators will meet to discuss minimizing face-to-face interaction going into spring quarter, including instruction, student support services and technology support.
“We are also putting into place measures to ensure access to online learning resources,” Johnson wrote.
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