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Berkeley City College to conduct fall semester virtually with limited in-person options

Berkeley City College

Student services, including admissions and counseling services, will still be available remotely at Berkeley City College and other colleges in the Peralta Colleges district.

Like other colleges in the Bay Area, Berkeley City College will operate online with the exception of certain types of classes for the fall 2020 semester.

Berkeley City College, or BCC, made the decision in response to the Alameda County shelter-in-place orders and the rising rates of COVID-19 transmission. According to Mark Johnson, spokesperson for Peralta Colleges, BCC’s district, there are tentative plans to offer science labs and career technical education courses in person, but whether they are feasible or not will depend on the county’s guidelines.

“Our primary goal is to keep students and employees safe,” Johnson said in an email.

According to a districtwide email from Peralta Colleges Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud, classroom and laboratory conduct will be adjusted to observe public health directives, including increased hand-washing, avoidance of equipment sharing, updated cleaning protocols and recommendations for facial coverings and physical distancing.

Courses that cannot be offered due to health conditions during fall 2020 will be offered in spring 2021, according to the Peralta Colleges website.

“We are making every effort to minimize disruptions to the educational mission as we support student success in achieving desired certificates, degrees and transfer,” Stanback Stroud said in the email.

Student services, including admissions and counseling services, will still be available remotely.

Online tutoring will also be offered for students who need academic support.

The district has partnered with the nonprofit Eat. Learn. Play. and World Central Kitchen to provide free meals for students during the pandemic. At BCC, lunches are available on campus Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and free groceries are available at the Berkeley Food Network on Mondays from noon to 3 p.m.

Students who do not have access to health services outside of BCC will also have access to the Roots Community Health Center, which is offering care to students in Oakland, including sexually transmitted infection testing, assessments, labs and blood pressure checks.

Due to the implementation of online classes, Peralta Colleges ordered 9,000 Chromebooks to loan to students.

Vani Suresh also contributed to this report.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.

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