Remote instruction to continue through spring 2021 semester
September 11, 2020
Dear Students and Colleagues –
I am writing today to share two things with you.
First, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to my colleagues for your continued efforts to meet the needs of our students during a semester unlike any other in the history of our college. It is clear that you are going above and beyond to ensure they are connected to our college even when they can’t be on campus. In conversations and communications with students, I hear over and over again how they notice your willingness to go the extra mile. Your care, concern, and commitment are evident, and it is inspiring our students to keep moving forward toward their goals.
Second, I want to update you all on our plans for the remainder of the academic year.
After listening, reviewing data and information, and considering the need for students, staff, and the college community to have clarity and focus while working to enhance the safety and predictable progress of our students on their chosen courses of study, College of the Canyons will continue with distance education through the end of the Spring 2021 semester, only allowing for certain essential infrastructure disciplines to provide in-person laboratory instruction on both campus sites. This decision comes after careful evaluation of guidance and analysis provided by county and state health authorities, as well as ongoing dialog with faculty, staff and administrators about how we can ensure the safety of our campus community and continue to deliver the highest quality education possible.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said this week they do not plan on re-evaluating the current health orders for higher education until sometime around Thanksgiving. Given our timelines for schedule building, academic staffing, and registration, that is too long to wait to make decisions. Committing now to online operations in spring gives us a long lead time that we can use to our advantage for planning, preparation, and engagement.
I know that many of you – myself included – would prefer to have our students back on campus for the spring semester and return to something that approaches a spirit of campus life. While I am in my office every day, I miss the energy and inspiration that is gained from face-to-face interaction with students, and the connections and camaraderie that come from interacting with colleagues. We will get back to that as soon as we can.
In the meantime, I again want to express my appreciation and admiration for your continued professionalism and dedication during adversity and uncertainty. You set an example for our students that will inspire them to continue pursuing and achieving their goals.
If you have any questions or wish to talk, please let me know. I welcome the human interaction!
Dr. Dianne Van Hook
Distributed Sept. 11, 2020