The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

El Camino College Academic Affairs proposed offering online degrees to students

Academic Affairs proposed the notion of Online Degree programs and explored their viability for El Camino College students during the Academic Senate meeting on Nov. 2.

El Camino College (ECC) Vice President of Academic Affairs, Jacquelyn Sims, said she plans to provide online degrees to all students, including students who live outside of the district.

“Given what is happening around campus it has brought up the opportunity for us to be able to potentially offer online degrees,” Sims said.

The courses will be Distance Education (DE) certified and will be available to students on an online platform with assistance.

“We were able to offer it on an emergency basis,” Janet Young said, a member of the College Curriculum Chair, “but now it’s offered on a regular basis.”

Now that more classes are being taken online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the change to offering degrees online has become the standard.

“We are crosschecking [courses] to create a list to show you which particular degrees can be offered in a fully online fashion,” Sims said.

The Academic Affairs division will need to collaborate with academic deans and faculty regularly to publicize the DE courses required for the degrees. Academic Affairs has also collaborated with the curriculum committee on this program.

Student services partners have been looking to make sure the intent to graduate and major change forms can be done online. Sims urges faculty to reach out to their constituents to learn more about online degrees and how they believe the process may be improved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced standard instruction, shifting it from in-person to remote learning, and has impacted the learning experience for students attending classes with labs.

“When we had the emergency and we had to go remote there was no proper software that a student could get from a lab versus online,” Sims said.

Sims said she will support online degrees for science majors provided proper tools are in place.

“For now we are going to prioritize with the online degrees where the classes have already been distanced and certified,” Sims said.

Academic Affairs ensures that the online degrees and certificates are not only convenient for students but can also help to better equip them for the vocations they choose to pursue.

Young said that the degrees are not any different from those previously accessible, but rather degrees that are available online.

“[The online degree programs are] just letting students know that you can get all these degrees and certificates by taking all of your coursework online,” Young said.

The majority of the courses have already been authorized for DE and hybrid credit.

Darcie McClelland, president of Academic Senate, teaches with the Biology division and said she would be very hesitant to offer online biology degrees.

“If you talk to teachers in your division and they’re not for it, we’re not going to push you,” McClelland said. “If it’s already possible, why not tell students that even if they can’t travel to campus, they can still obtain a degree from El Camino because we offer classes online.”

Despite the insufficiency of online degrees given to academics in scientific departments, Academic Affairs seeks ways to assist ECC students in establishing a career.

“This is more about looking at what we’re currently doing and looking at where can we serve students that we may not be [reaching] right now and making sure to get it out to them that this is a possibility,” McClelland said.

During this meeting, the Academic Senate also proposed another item regarding a reading of a resolution for the Tongva people.

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