STORY & PHOTO BY JOHNNY GARCIA
Cypress College should provide a path for students to get their degrees in an all-online manner as well as in-person equivalents.
With the semester winding down and a new one on the horizon, the return of more in-person classes comes with it. This means that some classes that were previously offered online will no longer have that option for the summer semester. Examples of this include ART 100C (Fundamentals Of Art) and PHYS 130C (Elementary Physics), both had online classes during the spring semester that will be absent for the summer.
Rather than gradually shifting away from the online model, Cypress College should embrace it and allow it to co-exist with in-person classes. While some students shine more with in-person classes, others are better suited with online options instead.
“Online classes helped me to keep on top of my classes. I’d have fallen really behind without them,” said Gilbert Alejo, a student of Cypress College.
Not all students had the same viewpoint, however, Aaron Gascon, a Cypress College student had stopped attending classes altogether when the push to online came. “I didn’t feel like I would do well in online classes, so I decided to stop going to classes until I could come into a classroom,” said Gascon.
When the Covid pandemic began, nearly all classes were forced to go online. Some still remain online, either asynchronous or through scheduled Zoom meetings while others have returned to in-person lectures.
This showed that most classes are capable of being taught through all-online means. Outside of some classes that require specific lab settings like Photography, most classes can be made to work online.
A degree requiring Automotive Technology would need hands-on experience and would not function in a fully online capacity. However, many other degrees do not fall under this restriction, such as History, Psychology, and Geology, all of which could easily be completed in an all-online curriculum. These do not require interactive lab sessions that require in-person time, and by allowing these degrees to be finished fully online, more people would be able to graduate with them.
Many professors had to learn how to make a class work through Zoom once lockdown began and campus shut down in-person classes. They have the experience to ensure they would smoothly be able to teach online classes as well as their in-person classes.
By offering entirely online degrees, more students have access to classes. Due to varying circumstances such as children, work, or lack of transportation, students have to restrict when and what classes they take to work around these. However, by offering all-online options, they will not have to limit themselves, and have more accessibility to their education and have an easier time building their educational plan.
It is much easier to stack multiple online classes than it is to stack in-person classes. For those with no other responsibilities, spending an entire day on campus is fine, and in some cases preferred. By offering all degrees fully online, students with other responsibilities will be able to keep up with their education and not be forced to slow down due to the limited time they can be away from them by coming into campus.
In a study released by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, it found that students who take classes for their major online tend to graduate quicker than average compared to those only attending in-person classes.
Other studies have shown class completion rates go down, but often, this is looking at the short term, and during times when online classes were forced due to lockdowns. The Annenberg Institute study looked at the long-term and found a happier conclusion.
By giving the option, the people who will benefit from online classes can take advantage of it, and those who will not can continue with traditional in-person education. Some students thrive in online classes, and as studies have shown, those who actively want to take online classes perform better than if they would have to attend in-person classes instead.
By offering all degrees in online formats, many students will benefit from it, and allow more students to be able to graduate in reasonable times, rather than having to drastically shift their schedule to find time to attend classes. It will benefit the students who are better suited for online classes, and not hamper the student’s who perform better with in-person classes.