CMC rolls out plan for ‘flex’ classes, reduced dorm capacity for fall semester |

CMC rolls out plan for ‘flex’ classes, reduced dorm capacity for fall semester

Colorado Mountain College will offer “flex” classes this fall that will include a mix of online and in-person group sessions as well as make student housing available at reduced capacity, under a plan launched by the college on Monday.

The “CMC Fall 2020 Trail Map” spells out how the college will offer courses in follow-up to the summer session, which is being conducted entirely online. The fall term begins Aug. 24, and registration is underway.

“Maintaining the health and safety of our students, employees and local communities is central to our planning for this fall semester,” CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said in a news release issued Monday afternoon. 

“Our flexible plan also permits us to continue complying with evolving state and local public health orders,” she said in regards to continuing efforts to control the spread of the novel coronavirus into the fall and winter months.

The goal for CMC students is to provide a blend of course options, including CMC’s various experiential programs that will continue to be offered in person, with small class sizes and social distancing measures in place.

The college will also offer personalized learning plans, continued distance education via online platforms, and other innovative approaches to meet student needs, Hauser explained.

Under the plan, flex courses will have a designated class schedule, using virtual videoconference meetings, using technology like Webex or Zoom.

“Students must have access to technology to attend the course and attend the Webex or Zoom sessions,” according to the press release. “Some of these courses may have optional face-to-face components, such as small group discussions, group projects or similar.”

Courses that require hands-on participation that cannot be delivered remotely, will be offered in a face-to-face setting at a designated time and location. Social distancing and safety guidelines will be strictly adhered to, according to the release.

“These courses may have parts of the course online, or using videoconferencing technology … but will require a student to be physically present for all or portions of the course.”

Many of CMC’s courses do not require in-person attendance and can continue to be offered online. Those courses can be completed on a student’s own time schedule without a designated class time, according to the plan. Students still must complete the course and homework in the time frame outlined in order to earn credit.

Colleges campuses in the seven-county district, including Garfield County locations in Glenwood Springs, Spring Valley and Rifle, also plan to maintain access to computer labs and other technology, tutoring services, advisors and communication resources.

Student residence halls limited

One restriction will be how many students can live in residence halls at Spring Valley, the Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs and Timberline Campus in Leadville.

CMC intends to open residence halls for the 2020-21 academic year with reduced capacity, including more more single rooms and a limited number of double rooms.

As a result, the college will waive the requirement that new full-time students live on campus, according to the release. In Breckenridge, CMC’s college-owned apartments will continue to operate as self-contained units available to eligible students.

College officials will continue to monitor conditions in Colorado and in the CMC communities to determine if any changes need to be made to the reopening and course plan.

“The vice president and dean of each campus remains in close collaboration and coordination with local public health officials and other community health partners,” according to the release.

“If conditions change locally or at the state level, we will be ready to act,” Hauser said. “We believe this format for offering classes, as well as our reduced population in the residence halls, will allow us to adapt quickly as needed.”

The college is following guidance from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state health department on maintaining cleanliness in its facilities, she added. As the fall term nears, information will be shared with students, faculty and staff about requirements for face coverings, social distancing and other precautions.

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