The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

City College Vice President discusses fall changes

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An aerial view of an empty quad at City College empty due to COVID-19 Monday, March 30, 2020. Effective March 18, all Los Rios facilities closed, and began fully remote operations. Los Rios District Chancellor Brian King announced May 11 that all campuses will continue online education in fall 2020 with a few exceptions. (Julian Martinez/[email protected])

By Casey Rafter

Los Rios District Chancellor Brian King announced May 11 that all campuses will continue online education in fall 2020 with few exceptions, following a short video by City College President Michael Gutierrez announcing a freezing hire, workforce reduction and a shortened fall schedule.

The announcements contained few details about the upcoming fall schedule, which has left continuing students and campus employees wondering what City College’s future will look like.

City College Vice President of Instruction Albert Garcia, has been working with deans, department chairs and faculty to plan and implement the directives coming from the district.

“It’s pretty much insanity, to tell you the truth,” Garcia said laughing, talking about his busy work schedule. “It’s a lot of decision making at the district level, working with the various groups on campus [to] communicate what we’re going to be doing in the fall. It’s challenging to get information out that won’t change, but the environment we’re working with is shifting. That’s true for all colleges, not just ours.”

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City College Vice President of Instruction Albert Garcia, has been working with deans, department chairs and faculty to plan and implement the directives coming from the district. (file photo)
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With several City College faculty members retiring at the end of the spring semester, Garcia acknowledged that the loss of tenured faculty during a hiring freeze will affect some instructors and staff to a greater degree than others. According to Garcia, no programs will be shut down, but there is added pressure for all departments.

“We had intended to hire seven to nine instructors. We’re not hiring any of those,” he said. “When you’re cutting back your class schedule, the people who get fewer or no classes are the adjunct faculty. We’re obligated to give faculty that are tenure track or tenured a full load of classes. Our classified temporary employees feel it, too, more than the permanent classified employees.”

The fall semester has been locked due to the need to reassess what courses will be able to continue remotely and which will be granted an exception for face-to-face interaction. According to Garcia, those students given an early appointment to sign up for classes will still be unable to complete that process for at least another week.

“You can’t access it yet; it’s coming later this month,” Garcia said about the fall schedule due to be available May 22. “We’ve come across a fall schedule that’s going to stick, I think. We went through several iterations before this point. That’s [been] challenging on the people who make the schedule and the people who are being scheduled, namely the faculty. It’s challenging on our classified staff who are wondering if they’re going to be on campus in the fall.”

According to Garcia faculty science lab classes have been forced to transition to remote instruction, regardless of concerns from some instructors.

“The faculty are correct when they say it’ll be very challenging, but it’s possible to teach them online for fall,” he said. “The general guideline is whether it’s possible or impossible to teach online. Our nursing program is an example of what we’re looking at as an impossibility to complete remotely. The standard of what’s impossible is very challenging.”

Garcia echoed the sentiments of King’s announcement about the fall schedule, stating that the decision to keep the campus closed is based on concerns for the health and safety of people at all Los Rios campuses. According to Garcia, there will likely be a continued need for social-distancing standards.

“We’re still working through those decisions, which are based on safety needs. Experts are saying there is a possibility of COVID-19 ramping up again in the fall. We have faculty and students saying, ‘We’re not sure we want to come back to face to face in the fall.’”

City College students hoping to add classes for the summer have found that many courses are already full. Unlike the fall schedule, according to Garcia, the summer schedule is the same size as in past summers, but it filled rapidly.

“We’re pretty full now,” Garcia said. “If you’re looking for any class anywhere, you might find something. We have full classes with substantial waiting lists for the summer.”

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    linda davisJun 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Very trying times for staff and students, alike. Well written considering unavailable information.

    Reply