Continuing to thrive online

                                                          Illustration by: Kevin Lendio

Each student at Pierce decided to attend this community college because of a similar goal: to succeed.

Whether success means earning a certificate or degree or transferring into a four-year university, they continue to invest time in school to reach their academic goals.

According to a Los Angeles Community College District press release, remote learning, also known as online education, will replace a majority of in-person classes from March 30 until the end of the spring semester.

That means for the remaining 70 days of this semester, students will be taking online classes even if this isn’t the original class format they initially enrolled in.

This decision is to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but Pierce should accommodate them by offering a refund and a temporary Pass/Fail grading system while online instruction is mandated.

Almost everyone has different methods of learning: some learn better in a classroom setting and others can learn through online classes. The key is that students know themselves best and choose classes that they know give them a higher chance of passing.

Now, they are being robbed of their choice and being forced into online classes whether they like it or not.

According to research conducted by professors at Harvard and Stanford that compared online students to face-to-face students at DeVry University, online students were more likely to drop out of college. Students who enrolled in online classes with low GPAs were also more likely to fail and drop 0.44 points in their GPA.

Due to general education classes, students have to take more difficult courses like statistics and sciences which have concepts that are more challenging. In an in-class environment, it’s easy to raise a hand if they have a question or need clarification.

Now that classes are online, the advantages of being in a classroom are taken away.

If someone needs further assistance, they will have to email their professors and wait hours for a reply.

Lack of communication from both the professor and the students is generally why their performance suffers.

They feel less motivated and are more likely to be distracted because they are not in a classroom setting that centralizes focus on the lessons.

It isn’t Pierce’s fault that the campus is closed to the public. The COVID-19 virus is unprecedented territory and if anything, this demonstrates the importance of students and faculty remaining safe.

But they didn’t sign up for this.

They signed up for a college experience: to walk down The Mall with friends, to order a caramel frappuccino at the Brahma Café, to visit a professor’s office hours for additional help and to potentially network.

It’s irrational to pay school fees with the promise of receiving resources to achieve academic success and then get those resources stripped away.

A partial refund is appropriate since students should not have to jeopardize their GPAs for a situation that is out of their hands.

Implementing a pass/fail grading system will help professors because they can use their own judgment to assess whether a student understands the material or not.

This also helps students because they would not have to worry about their grades suffering and affecting their overall GPA.

Students have been affected by this global crisis. Their futures shouldn’t be compromised because of a series of unfortunate events that were out of their control.