Student housing nixed, more courses online as COCC makes changes to fall term

Central Oregon Community College will not open its residence hall, dining hall or the the Mazama Gym and Fitness Center this fall under sweeping, COVID-related changes announced Thursday.

The college’s reopening plans for fall will now more closely resemble the COCC summer term with 75-80% of classes offered remotely or online.

The exception will be some CTE classes, labs and practicums that require hands-on learning that cannot be taught effectively in a distance format, officials said in a statement.

The CTE in-person course offerings will expand from summer term to include Apprenticeship, Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Fire Science, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Outdoor Leadership, Paramedicine, Pharmacy Technician and Veterinary Technician. Select internships, forestry field classes, practicums and science labs will also be held in-person.

In early July the college announced plans for many classes to resume in-person this fall with remote and hybrid options available for all students.

But, at the time, college officials said the plans were subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic continued to unfold.

Over the summer, COCC implemented a robust set of safety measures, including mandatory face coverings, enhanced cleaning protocols, physically distanced classroom setups, hand sanitizing stations, and more.

COCC’s summer term classes were offered predominantly in remote and/or online formats, with the exception of some Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses (Automotive, Aviation, Manufacturing, Nursing/Nursing Assistant, and CPR/First Aid).

Housing and facilities were closed, with the exception of drop-in computer labs and curbside pickup at the Barber Library and the Bookstore. Student services, including advising, financial aid, tutoring and more were all offered remotely.

Thursday, the college announced Mazama Gym and Fitness Center will be closed, along with dining services. and both the Barber Library and the Bookstore will be physically closed while continuing to offer curbside pickup.

Drop-in computer labs will remain open for students on each of the four COCC campuses.

Wickiup Residence Hall will be closed, and there will be no students housed on campus for the fall term.

The College’s Housing office is offering resident students the option to defer their confirmed spot in Wickiup Hall until Winter 2021, or receive a refund.

Housing staff are also available to help resident students find local housing.

All other details of COCC’s fall term reopening plans will remain the same, unless the State directs the College to alter its plans.

Over the coming days, the College will update both its Fall Class Schedule and COVID-19 health and safety website to reflect these changes.

Students, employees and the community at large are encouraged to visit the website for the latest information, and email any questions to covid19info@cocc.edu.

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