SJR State to forge ahead this spring with on-campus classes
Spring registration is in progress at St. Johns River State College and includes welcoming students back to campus for face-to-face instruction. President Joe Pickens announced that the three campuses — in Orange Park, Palatka and St. Augustine — are ready to accommodate more students as the College presents a "new normal" in January.
"We are open, and more importantly, we’re prepared to ensure the students will feel safe, secure and at home," Pickens said.
The decision to add more on-campus instruction to the spring schedule comes after much deliberation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and understanding the students’ need for more course options. "Moving forward with on-campus classes will give students better access to classes that fit their preferred style of learning. Face-to-face instruction provides the enrichment and learning environment many have missed since the College transitioned to online classes in April," Pickens said. "It will also help students who struggle with computer and internet access, as well as those who are experiencing social isolation."
Workforce and teacher education programs that rely heavily on field experiences and hands-on practicums will continue with on-campus instruction. Resources such as tutoring, counseling, financial aid, and the library will also be available on campus as well as online. The baseball and softball teams are also expected to return to the field for home games.
Pickens said adjusting to a new normal means implementing proper social distancing and smaller class sizes, as well as a reduced audience capacity for athletics and cultural art events. Preparations to welcome students on campus continue with the College following state and federal guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and employees. Those measures include enhanced cleaning, accessible hand sanitizer stations, and protective barriers. Face masks will also be required on campus.
"This is also the ideal time to encourage students to not be derailed by the pandemic, and to continue working toward their academic and career goals. We have dedicated faculty and staff who are here to assist students through these challenging times. Now is not the time for postponement, as the College has announced a new grant created to connect qualified residents with career and technical education and support," Pickens said.
For students and residents who are unemployed, underemployed or furloughed due to COVID-19, opportunities include the recently announced Rapid Credentialing grant program. The program aims to assist participants in getting to work faster, affordably and with in-demand credentials.
For students who wish to remain online, the spring remote classes will include traditional online, hybrid and "live online." The "live online" classes were introduced during the fall and allows students to interact in real time with professors and classmates. Hybrid courses combine face-to-face instruction with online instruction. Traditional online classes allow students to be flexible with the timing of your participation.
The College will accept applications for the spring semester through December 14. The spring semester begins January 6. Students are encouraged to visit the College web site at www.SJRstate.edu for details and to apply and register for classes.
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