Hello Chemeketa Faculty!
We sincerely hope your Spring Break was relaxing and restorative. We’ve all been working incredibly hard and these opportunities for rest and renewal are just so very important.
As we finally appear to be emerging from the pandemic, it is our intention to transition away from what was an emergency response to cope with the global crisis to a more thoughtful and intentional approach to welcoming our community back to campus. This includes incorporating some of the valuable lessons we learned during our shift away from campus-based learning, clarifying the terminology we use to describe our instructional modalities, and creating opportunities for our students to learn in their preferred modalities going forward. It is the intention that each of the decisions we are making going forward will have the best interest of our students as the primary consideration.
Clarifying Course Modality Definitions
The pandemic required us to make transitions on and off our campus very quickly and often without the time to thoughtfully engage in mindful planning. As a result, modalities and course offerings during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years were often inconsistent and largely influenced by pandemic restrictions and requirements. Moving forward, it is hoped that clearer definitions for our instructional modalities will allow us to operationalize them consistently, and reduce student confusion by clarifying teaching and learning expectations. After reviewing our modalities and consulting with different constituencies at the college, a subcommittee of the Academic Work Group has recommended some modest updates to our operational definitions that contain student-focused language regarding expectations for attendance and the learning experience.
While the availability of the four instructional modalities that have been offered over the past two years is staying the same (In-Person, Hybrid, Remote, Online) the largest change is simplifying and clarifying the expectations for synchronous instruction in each modality. Here are our instructional modalities:
- In-Person – 100% synchronous instruction on a campus or outreach center
- Hybrid – Synchronous instruction time of 50% – <100%, unless approved by the program Dean for either hybrid format (in person or remote)
- In-Person/Hybrid – synchronous instruction at a Chemeketa campus or outreach center AND asynchronous instruction online
- Remote/Hybrid – synchronous instruction via Zoom AND asynchronous instruction online
- Remote – 100% synchronous instruction time via Zoom
- Online – 100% asynchronous instruction
Importantly, while the Remote modality is identified as 100% occurring through the Zoom platform, it is expected that faculty will use this time as they see most appropriately supporting their curriculum and learning outcomes — in the same way they would in an in-person class. For example, to create small group discussion or project-based activities, take time to independently review an article or respond to question prompts, take a break, etc. It is our hope that pairing this with the in-person and online modalities (all instruction occurs 100% within the modality) will reduce student confusion about the Remote modality, and give students a better sense of what they can expect when registering for classes in specific modalities. This is the updated student-facing language used to describe these modalities to our students. Finally, the Center for Academic Innovation is in the process of developing formal training for instructors teaching Remote courses.
Expectations for Teaching on Campus
We have all made many, many adjustments to cope with this two-year long pandemic, and so have our students. In surveys completed with our students, the expressed preference from many of them to take classes on campus and in person has been very clear. So that we are able to meet our students using instructional modalities they prefer, and to create a welcoming academic climate for fall term, we are going to provide increased options for in-person classes and student services. This will include an expectation that all full-time faculty will be available to teach classes on campus during the fall term, with schedules developed at the dean or supervisor level. While we realize many of you have been teaching on campus throughout the pandemic, for those who have not, we want to tell you about this expectation now to make sure you have time to prepare to return to campus for the fall term. Requests for accommodation due to a disability under the ADA can be requested through Human Resources. Please ensure that you are providing ample lead time for required medical documentation and the interactive process.
Intention to Reflect, Review and Revise as Needed
Finally, it’s an understatement to say that we have all been through a lot over the course of the last two years. While all of our adjustments to these circumstances have been focused on safety and keeping our students advancing toward their educational goals, in many cases these decisions have been reactive, and not afforded the luxury of the time necessary to plan as intentionally as we would like. While it may not need to be said, we would like to say it anyway: it is absolutely our intention to exit from this pandemic carefully and thoughtfully. For decisions related to instructional modalities and campus activities we plan to solicit and collect input from our campus community (students and staff) and review these data intentionally and carefully, revisiting and revising again as needed and as we move forward.
Thank you sincerely for your commitment to our shared mission, and for continuing to adapt as we work together to best serve and support our students and community.
Academic & Student Affairs
Mike Vargo, Vice President, Academic Affairs
Bruce Clemetsen, Vice President – Student Affairs
Marshall Roache, Executive Dean – Career and Technical Education
Don Brase, Executive Dean – General Education and Transfer Studies
Holly Nelson, Executive Dean – Regional Education and Academic Development
Manuel Guerra, Executive Dean – Student Development and Learning Resources