CA lifts restrictions, what does that mean for COS students?

California Governor announced that stay-at-home orders and restrictions would be lifted starting January 25, 2020. This will have little effect as to how things are handled at COS…for now at least.

Last week, Governor Newsom planned to lift restrictions across the state in response to the change in ICU percentage. Allowing for things like outside dining at restaurants and business to work at limited capacity, also lifting the 10 p.m to 5 a.m statewide curfews that had been in effect. Despite the lifted restrictions, this will not have an effect on this current spring semester nor the following summer semester for COS students and staff.

I touched base with COS President Brent Calvin to see how the school is adjusting to these lifted restrictions and how they foresee the remainder of this school year going along with the coming school year. The lifting of restrictions will not have an effect on this current spring semester and COS students and staff will continue as planned with distance learning. Things do look hopeful for fall 2021 and spring 2022 according to President Calvin.

Students thinking about taking summer classes should expect no different from a structure than what is already in place, mainly online with labs and CTE classes meeting in person when needed. However, for the fall of 2021 things are more hopeful according to President Calvin, explaining “ For fall, the College anticipates about a 50/50 split of online to in-person class offerings.” With the spring 2022 semester looking even better as President Calvin explains “With vaccinations and increased testing, we anticipate being able to transition back to a more normal schedule (75% in-person, 25% online) for the spring 2022 semester.” Giving much-needed hope to those COS students who are struggling through distance learning.

Some might be wondering with vaccines now rolling out across the nation and new restrictions being lifted if COS will require students or staff to get vaccinated before returning to school, especially in the spring of 2022 when the school intends to bring back the majority of its student body to in-person learning. COS has offered up the campus parking lots to the county as a vaccination site, and does encourage anyone who is currently eligible to get the vaccine with President Calvin stating “It is our hope that most people who want the vaccination will be able to get one prior to the fall semester.” He has also stated that currently, the administration has not even begun to discuss the issue of requiring or not requiring vaccines for students and staff upon return.

COS administration often is left to navigate both state and county regulations during this pandemic as President Calvin explained to me citing that decisions like class sizes and how many lab classes to offer in order to meet both state and county regulations have been left up to the administration to solve. With this heavy burden and new uncharted waters to navigate the administration has not forgotten about the effects, it has taken both mentally and financially on students. Should COS remain mainly online as such is the case, then student fees for activities and services that would only be available if in-person class resumed would not be charged for the coming semesters.
Like other businesses and services throughout California and the United States COS has seen a decline in enrollment during this pandemic, the largest yet at 5% in the 2019-20 school year and expect to see no change in the coming 2021-22 school year according to President Calvin. That still leaves roughly 11,000 students at COS eagerly waiting for the return of in-person classes; these new lifted restrictions bring some light of hope for many students and staff. Even though there is still a long road ahead before we are able to fully resume normal life at COS, President Calvin expressed his gratitude and admiration for the work both students and staff have done and are continuing to do during this pandemic.

“ I could not be more proud to be part of this team. Students, faculty, and staff have had so much thrown at them over the last year and we continue to work together and overcome these challenges. I look forward to a time where we can all be together again!” – Brent Calvin.