During the summer, courses at PCCC were offered only online. There were no in person classes. President, Dr. Steven M. Rose noted that the enrollment for summer classes were “incredibly high,” adding “this was one of the highest summers we’ve had in years.”
The faculty and staff worked hard over the summer to come up with a plan for the fall semester that would work for the students and adhere to the CDC Guidelines.
President Rose said “I don’t think we’ve ever worked harder in our lives. We had to redo everything. I hope students see that the faculty is much better prepared than they were in March. We did training all summer for faculty to try and get them better at zoom and learn what the best practices are for teaching remotely.”
This semester a lot of resources were set up to help students. Laptops were made available for $199 for students who did not have one. “I think we are up to 1500-1600 students who have taken advantage of the laptop,” President Rose said. “This is a really good high quality laptop and we are using special funds to subsidize it.”
“We know students are struggling right now financially in many cases. We went out and tried to raise a lot of money for scholarships and people responded wonderfully. People have given us a lot of money and we are helping students more than we have ever been able to help students before.”
“This is the first time I can say nobody got turned away because they could not pay. We were able to help every student who had need this fall and that is something that is really important to us to be able to do that.”
According to President Rose, only ten percent of classes are on campus with the rest being online or remotely through zoom. At the main campus in Paterson, there are only two entry points to get into the school. All students who enter must have their school ID and are required to wear a mask.
“We are taking everyone’s temperature as they enter the building,” President Rose said. “We installed automatic machines to do it. We are using a thermal imaging system so you do not have to use a gun to take someone’s temperature. The thermal imaging system automatically takes it as the person enters the building.”
He later added “Now that we have the system, we know we can handle a lot more people coming. For January we are hoping to get to at least twenty percent of our classes in person because we know we can do that safely.”
Although things are not back to normal just yet, students are still able to learn in order to achieve their dreams.
When the global pandemic Covid-19 hit, it shook up literally everything across the world. From daily tasks of going to work, school, shopping, sporting events, or even traveling, all were shutdown.
PCCC officially closed their doors on March 16th which was the day spring break began. Spring break was originally March 16-20, but was extended an extra week as the school prepared for remote learning options.
When spring break concluded students returned to classes remotely. The switch was not very easy as there were troubles for both students as well as professors, whether the audio did not work or a connection was not strong. Both professors and students were learning as they went along this news process. Some professors used Zoom while others tailored their courses more to Blackboard to make sure their students adjusted.