GCCC sets start date for fall semester on campus classes
Garden City Community College will resume on campus classes Aug. 17 for the start of the fall semester and finish the semester online following the Thanksgiving break.
The August date reflects the original start date of the 2020-21 academic calendar. Neither the start nor end date is changing for the fall term. The last day of fall classes is Dec. 4, with finals week scheduled from Dec. 7-10.
The last day for on-campus instruction for students will be on Nov. 20, before a week-long Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 21-29.
“We’re pausing face to face instruction at Thanksgiving break and moving to a remote format for our last week of fall classes and finals,” Vice President for Instructional Services Marc Malone said. “Our goal is to limit the amount of times our students are leaving and returning.”
Malone added that some students, such as those in technical courses like cosmetology or welding, may still be required to attend on campus following the holiday due to program requirements or state regulations.
“These students should communicate directly with their program advisors for more details,” Malone added.
In addition, GCCC leadership is also implementing additional changes inside classrooms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
While on-campus students will have the opportunity to attend classes face-to-face with instructors this fall, that traditional model will be blended with hybrid and live Zoom delivery modes.
“After we moved fully online in the spring semester, we heard over and over again from students that those students really missed the face-to-face classroom,” Malone said. “So, we are balancing the need for social distancing and safety while prioritizing the opportunity for students to have those in person connections.”
More specifics about the fall classroom environment will be made public later this month.
“We’re working closely with faculty leaders in the classroom to iron out the details, but students can expect options that blend the in-class experience with live Zoom classes and a hybrid online experience,” Malone added. “This faculty input is essential to make sure the models we put up in the fall are truly responsive to what creates a successful classroom environment.”
A subset of fall classes - those that are small in class size or for technical courses where appropriate safety practices can easily be implemented - will see no changes in instruction.
Schedules or modes of delivery for fully online fall classes will not change, either.
On Campus Housing & Dining
GCCC will also resume on-campus housing and dining services for the fall semester, but will incorporate extra health and safety measures to protect students, staff, and faculty campus-wide.
Some of these measures include reducing student density in dining and common areas, staggering move-in schedules, modifying dining operations, and enhancing sanitation in common areas such as shared bathrooms, according to Residential Life Director Christine Dillingham.
For example, tables and chairs inside the GCCC cafeteria will be reduced to accommodate social distancing requirements, and a new grab-and-go meal service will now be available to all dining students.
Dillingham said items such as disposable face masks, thermometers, and other health-related needs will also be supplied to students who live on campus on an as needed basis.
Her staff is working to communicate with students about stocking self-care items such as over the counter medicines, disposable tissues, and fluids such as Gatorade, chicken soup, and juice, in case of illness.
“We’re highly encouraging students to wear face masks during the check in process, and only one support person will be allowed the accompany the student at this time,” Dillingham said. “Our student support staff is also undergoing additional training so we can work together on COVID-19 prevention.”
Dillingham added that students who travel to campus this fall from outside the country or from high-risk areas inside the U.S. will be isolated in designated residences.
Fall check-in for students living on campus will be held Aug. 13 through Aug. 16. More details will be communicated directly to students by residential life in official mail and email communications.
Students will still have the choice to live with their selected roommates at normal occupancy levels (two per room).
Fall 2020 housing applications are currently being accepted at https://www.gcccks.edu/student_life/reslife_reserve.aspx.