Resources available for students online

Despite school closing abruptly due to COVID-19 and going solely online, some resources at Pierce are still available to students.

The Transfer Center and Center for Academic Success will be online and the Health Center and Students Against Student Hunger (St.A.S.H.) will remain open for students.

Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter said the center is trying to offer as much support as possible.

“We want them to get their services and questions answered so we are doing everything we can do to make it happen,” Salter said.

She explained how appointments with college representatives such as UC Berkeley and UCLA will be done online via Zoom.

Students need to make an appointment online on the Pierce website under Transfer Center and then they will be emailed instructions on how to get into contact with college representatives.

Salter said transfer workshops will be put online, and students can join and ask questions through a website called ‘Cranium Cafe’ and that general counseling will be online and appointments can be made on the Pierce website too.

The days and times for when the Transfer Center will be available is uncertain but expected to start March 30. Students can also email Salter for any questions about transferring at saltersc@piercecollege.edu.

The Student Health Center will remain open. Health Center Director Beth Benne said students need to visit their primary care doctor for COVID-19 testing. However, the Health Center is open for anything else such as mental health support.

It is advised that students call the Health Center instead of just walking in. Benne said the center is working to go online for consulting. The Health Center is open the entire week from 8:30 a. m. to 4:30 p.m.

Before the campus closure, Pierce provided food-related resources for its students and even with the closure, some of these resources are still available. St.A.S.H. is a student-run ASO club that collects donated food on campus to give to students who identify as food insecure.

St.A.S.H. club advisor Christopher Lay said the club moves about 100 pounds of food a month for those with food insecurities.

“A lot of students struggle to make ends meet and make sufficient money to feed themselves,” Lay said. “This gets in the way of their education and the food pantry helps with that.”

St.A.S.H., which is usually open Mondays from 9:30-11 a.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:50-1:45 p.m., is still available to students. In addition to these hours, they will be providing bags of food on Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. from now until mid-April.

Students with further questions can email St.A.S.H. at foodclubdrivepiercecollege@gmail.com and Lay at laych@piercecollege.edu.

As of March 18, the Brahma Grill cafeteria is also closed until March 28, unless its opening is delayed further.

The Pierce Library / Learning Crossroads is closed and unsure how they will go online according to Chair of the Library Department Lauren Saslow.

“We are all waiting like everyone else and it’s being decided on the district level on what’s going to happen to all the libraries,” Saslow said.

Saslow said online chats are available on the Pierce Library website and videos will be made for instruction sessions for classes on how to use the Library Website.

While checking out books is out of the question, Saslow said the library will extend all due dates on previously checked out books until March 30 with no overdue fees.

The Center for Academic Success (CAS) will be strictly online. Center for Academic Success Director Crystal Kiekel said there are four tutoring resources that the center will be providing for students.

The first is a series of videos about how to navigate Canvas. These videos will be available by March 30 in English, Farsi and Spanish.

Another resource is embedded tutors. Currently, there are 200 embedded tutors which are requested by the professor for their specific course. Not all courses have an embedded tutor.

The third resource is general tutoring for all subjects regardless of section. General tutoring is self-enrolled.

“For example, If you’re enrolled in Accounting 1 or 2, we created one big course for everyone,” Kiekel said. “Whether or not you have an embedded tutor, you can still enroll yourself in that general accounting course.”

CAS is creating a self-enrollment link and will send it to faculty so that they can email it to students. With the links, students can enroll themselves for tutoring in a specific course. These links will be available on the Center for Academic Success website as well.

Another external resource that Kiekel recommends is NetTutor which is available on Canvas for 24 hours. NetTutor offers tutoring for almost every subject, ranging from English to Math and sciences. Kiekel said to use NetTutor when CAS tutors are not available.

For students without laptops, Kiekel said CAS but will make sure that tutoring is accessible through smartphones.

These resources are expected to be finalized and accessible to students by March 30.