Center classes are taking on a hybrid format as in-person instruction slowly returns
By RACHEL SHEY — [email protected]
The Davis Center, a Sacramento City College facility in UC Davis West Village and the only California community college located on a university campus, has taken a slower approach to returning to in-person instruction, according to Dean Andrea Gaytan.
“In the fall semester, we let the faculty decide if they were comfortable being back on site,” Gaytan said. “It was important for some programs that our classes returned based on classroom practices, e.g. For example, our biology labs had to be on-site so students could have hands-on experience, for example, working with microscopes and other things like dissection, which is really what we wanted students to do in these courses with that hands-on experience.”
The hybrid facility has allowed Davis Center to offer more courses without filling the campus with people.
“It’s not like the hallways are crowded and we can spread out,” Gaytan said. “We definitely had a lot of silver linings. The idea of having lectures online and labs on-site was one of them. Many faculty and students have been reluctant to try a hybrid course in the past, but now they are seeing the benefits of it and many more people have accepted that an online education can be really thorough and comprehensive and you don’t lose much.”
The Davis Center also offers FAA-approved aviation courses that train students to become air traffic controllers. They do not involve actual aircraft flying, but these courses require in-person tuition and the use of equipment, so they are among the in-person classes.
“We also had courses like aviation at Davis Center, which FAA regulations require in-person time with instructors and equipment that we have on-site,” Gaytan said. “So we couldn’t get around that and we were really affected by mandates that we had before.”
However, some of the aviation lectures are entirely online. Sacramento City College is unique in offering these aviation courses as it is the only community college in Northern California to offer this type of program.
“There are flight simulators and air traffic control screens that reflect what a professional in the industry would have,” Gaytan said. “We have a lot of training materials that are very useful for understanding runway patterns. We also have flight technology courses which are all lectures; We don’t actually put students on planes. It is the elementary school part of pilot training for private pilots, not commercial pilots yet, but we review and review programs for commercial pilots as well.”
Gaytan was surprised to find that students were not registering for the face-to-face classes as quickly as expected. It seemed like the students were already a bit reluctant to return to class.
“This semester we have scheduled a larger proportion of on-site classes, but we’re finding that students are not enrolling as frequently in on-site classes,” Gaytan said. “We’re trying to give students an opportunity to come back, particularly students who have felt isolated for so long and want the opportunity to interact in person, but we don’t really see a high turnout from students enrolling in these classes like that much as we expected.”
Written by: Rachel Shey — [email protected]