SMC Students Learn Alone and At Home

by David Ganezer

Santa Monica college has begun its Fall Semester with students at home. Classes are attended online, and yes, some instructors do take roll.

"With the exception of nursing and respiratory therapy practicum courses-which take place on-ground in full compliance with current public health, safety, and social distancing requirements-the college's classes are all online due to COVID-19. SMC's main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica and five satellite campuses remain closed to the public until further notice," said the college in a press release.

SMC plans to keep all students online this year, with the exception of a few nursing students who study respiratory diseases like Covid-19. This is at least, democratic. But is it smart or the right thing to do?

America's 2500 colleges and universities are struggling with whether to bring their students back to campus. At many residential colleges, only Freshmen and 25% of upperclassmen are attending real world classes at school and living in dormitories. The other 60% or so of students have to attend virtual classes online.

People in their 20's have a negligible death rate from the Wuhan virus. People with underlying comorbidities such as diabetes or obesity, have a much harder time recovering from Covid-19, than those who are healthy before they're infected.

On the other hand, outbreaks at college campuses have happened in all 50 states, and what to do with the sick students is a problem that has just begun to be debated. Some colleges have sent sick students home, while some public health experts recommend keeping them in their dorm rooms so they don't infect families.

"SMC offers 175 degree and certificate options including a new short-term certificate in cloud computing, a new Associate Degree in Architecture, a new Certificate of Achievement in Architecture and Interior Design Digital Production, and a new Associate Degree for Transfer in Administration of Justice," the press release continues.

Not doubt it's difficult to remain upbeat in a time of isolation, such as we are all living through. Surely young people feel it most acutely, as they are cut off from others during a social time in their lives.


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