Maricopa County Community College announces their plans for the upcoming spring semester

Dec. 18, 2020, Glendale, Ariz., (Makayla O’Bannon/The Voice).

Between mid-October and December multiple virtual town hall meetings were hosted to decide what the Spring 2021 semester will look like. After much deliberation, a consensus was made for the Maricopa County Community College District.

As of Dec. 18, 2020, a strong recommendation has been made by the Maricopa County Department of Health to cancel all indoor sports until Feb. 1, 2021. The decision for the recommendation was established because of the high influx of new COVID-19 cases in the county, state, and nation.

Nonetheless, the Feb. 1 date is not permanent. Come January, if MCCCD feels that indoor sports can continue in a safe manner, then they are permitted to do so. The district has the ability to push the start date even further as well.  The day is determined for now but can be changed at any point when more information is presented.

Many classes will continue to be held completely online or in a hybrid style. At Glendale Community College, more live-online classes were added so that students can feel a little sense of normalcy to their routine.

Live-online classes meet at a certain time each week, like an in-person class would, with the exception that it is held over a video chat service such as Zoom or Google Classroom instead.

Hybrid style courses, where class meets in-person half the time and online the other half, are also increasing in popularity next semester. Many prerequisite classes have opted for a hybrid style classroom to better acclimate incoming students into the college atmosphere.

 Confusion was the dominating emotion most students and faculty felt through the Fall 2020 semester. “Information is coming at us fast and furious… so many things are out of our control,” Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz, President of Glendale Community College said.  To ease tensions, Dr. Leyba Ruiz and the rest of the administration department tried to answer as many questions as they could within their hour and a half time slot per meeting.

In the past two weeks since Thanksgiving break, a substantial number of new cases were reported with the infection level being moderate. According to MCCCD, from Nov. 22 to Dec. 5, a total of 978 new cases were documented throughout the district. This number is expected to continue growing as time moves forward. 

 “Please take care of yourself and stay safe,” Abel Haddis, President of Associated Student Government, said. To keep the students and faculty as safe as possible GCC have taken as many precautions as they can. They encourage wearing a mask on campus, there are an abundance of signs that remind everyone to social distance, and the cleaning/sanitizing process is extremely stringent. These precautions will continue in the Spring 2021 semester with the safety of students and faculty being the priority. 

Few in-person classes will be available. Some courses related to nursing, fire science, and engineering will be offered in-person. According to GCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, Scott Schulz, less than 10% of classes will be in person.

For a complete list of all online, hybrid, and in-person classes offered at MCCCD, visit their website here.

“We are proud of you for staying committed, it takes great sacrifice,” Monica Castaneda, GCC Vice President of Student Affairs said. Although this has been a difficult and confusing time for some, GCC and MCCCD are committed to making this time as easy as possible.