CHARLOTTESVILLE — Many universities are hesitant about announcing plans for a fully online or fully in-person campus this fall, but students are eager for clarity about schedules and classes.
On May 21 Piedmont Virginia Community College announced a plan for fall 2020 classes that aims to add flexibility for students who want to take classes online, in-person or both.
“The college aims to provide students with as much consistency and flexibility as possible for their academic progress, until it is safe to resume classes on campus,” said spokeswoman Susian Brooks.
Students can choose to enroll in the following types of classes:
» Online Anytime classes give flexibility of learning, with no scheduled in-person or online meeting times.
» Online Scheduled Time courses aim to keep students connected to instructors and classmates and engaged in real-time discussion and learning. These sessions are delivered live via Zoom, at a set time, on specified days, and will switch to on-campus delivery, on the same schedule, when it is safe, according to the college.
» Hybrid classes allow hands-on work with small-group, in-person meetings, coupled with online coursework. Hybrid classes may include studio art classes, science labs, health sciences labs and clinicals.
Some four-year universities are announcing plans to adjust semester schedules or class offerings in an effort to limit students’ in-person contact and travel, but Brooks said PVCC currently is planning to keep its regular schedule and start date of Aug. 24.
Brooks said the decision to promote hybrid classes was made independently of the broader Virginia Community College System, though the system did launch an online learning portal, CollegeAnywhereVA.org, earlier this month. The portal catalogs the college system’s 10,000-plus online course offerings.
Last month, VCCS created a statewide task force to plan for the fall, with a goal of recommending short-term plans by May 15, and any longer-term plans by Aug. 15, but no findings have been publicized yet.
A VCCS spokesman did not return a request for comment before press time.
The University of Virginia has not yet announced specific plans for the fall semester, with leaders still debating how, when and whether it can safely bring students, faculty and employees back to Grounds.
For more information or to register for fall classes at PVCC, visit pvcc.edu/expect-succeed.