Cypress College Transitions to Remote Learning, Student Service Delivery Without Missing a Day
Cypress College is operating at nearly full capacity as a remote learning environment — with approximately 90% of all coursework transitioned from in-person instruction and essentially 100% of student services available to students online. The immediate transition of all services is unique among regional peer institutions, and perhaps across the state.
Delivery of uninterrupted student support services is especially impressive because Cypress College accomplished the transition from in-person to remote without missing a day of meeting students’ needs. When state orders accelerated the campus closure in mid-March, Cypress College paused classes on March 13, 16, and 17 to facilitate a transition to remote instruction.
The faculty, Distance Education, and Student Services teams kept right at work. For example, using Cranium Café, the student support staff began meeting virtually with students to provide needed support. Cypress College was in full swing with Counseling, Veterans Services, EOPS, Disabled Student Services, and Admissions & Records available. All services were fully implemented by Friday, March 20.
“Our student services staff have completely reinvented how they provide services,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “This expanded capability meets students’ needs on demand and without requiring students to come into an office to receive the same high-touch assistance.”
At the same time services were transitioning, the Distance Education team worked to expand their framework and support — and connected with faculty across the entire curriculum to ensure that nearly all courses (including many with lab components) could transition to some virtual format.
Nearly all employees played some part in the transition. Leadership came from the college’s executive staff, the Academic Senate, Associated Students, and a group of in-house experts such as the Health Center, Maintenance and Operations, IT, and Campus Safety.
“I am so proud of the work accomplished by our employees to make this transition happen,” Dr. Schilling said. “Converting classes from in-person to remote is a tremendous undertaking and I am amazed and thankful for the lengths our faculty are going to in order to make this happen so that we can continue to meet our students’ needs. Our Distance Education team, especially, has done tireless work. This transition is an incredible achievement on its own. It is even-more amazing when you consider that half of our courses are in career-technical fields, such as automotive technology and health sciences. I commend the creativity, hard work, and dedication of our faculty and staff.”
In addition to providing services such as Counseling, Financial Aid, Admissions and Records, Disability Support Services, the Health Center, and the Library/Learning Resources Center, our student ambassadors and Student Services staff are also reaching out to all students through the Cypress Cares Campaign, which focuses on helping students complete their studies.
The college organized and implemented a laptop-loaner program for students and employees who need equipment at home, is raising emergency funds through the Foundation to provide assistance to students, hosted two virtual town hall meetings, and launched drive-up WiFi service for students who need temporary access to high-speed internet connections.
A number of events are also scheduled to continue in virtual format, including: commencement on its original date of May 22; Commit2Cypress; outreach to high school seniors; virtual tours; and the popular Charger Experience/Charger Fridays campus visits.
Cypress College has paused all in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic through May 23 in response to stay-at-home orders.
About Cypress College:
Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.
Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 56 university-transfer majors, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.
Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 115-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.
Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.