MiraCosta employees used the time to remotely train, research, and educate one another to ensure the continuation of quality courses, as well as delivery of student support programs and services. As the 1,000+ spring 2020 lecture and lab courses reconvene, students will return to find an altered means of instructional online and remote delivery, but the same committed faculty intent on preserving a meaningful learning experience for their students.
“Pivoting to remote instruction in such a short time is no doubt full of challenges, but the refrain heard throughout the week was the encouraging ‘We got this!’” said Jim Julius, of MiraCosta’s C3 Teaching & Learning Center and Online Education department. “The breadth and depth of support provided by dozens of faculty experts is going to make a real difference in the experience of our students.”
Faculty led peer sessions on:
- Using Canvas: This workshop covered an approach to effectively set up a Canvas Course, the learning management system many courses will be offered in. Staff learned how to design a course using Canvas, with a discussion of both pedagogy and technology.
- Screencasting: Screencasting enables staff to 'Show and Tell.’ Instructors record and share with students whatever you display on your computer screen, while talking about it (e.g. using a microphone). Screencasting is a great way to share mini-lecturettes, make quick replies to students, demonstrate a method, or provide students with feedback on their assignments/quizzes.
- Academic Support Centers: Faculty learned about online tutoring and academic support available to students across a variety of disciplines and departments.
- Library Resources: How to access the library’s vast online resources.
- Virtual Happy Hours: A time for colleagues to socialize, brainstorm, share questions and answers, demonstrations, and online best practices.
Prompted by the direction from the CDC, State of California, and San Diego County Public Health Services, students and employees were all directed to work remotely and asked not to come to MiraCosta College campus sites. Although campus offices will be closed, MiraCosta College will still deliver services remotely. Student services include, and are not limited to:
- Academic Counseling where students email counselors, can make appointments online, as well as receive remote counseling offerings.
- Admission and Records will provide online services to students around refunds, ordering transcripts, enrollment verification, and more.
- Campus Assessment, Resources, and Education (CARE) provides needed community resources such as refurbished laptops, WiFi hotspots, food, and emergency grants to eligible students.
- Career Center is open for students to make online appointments with career counseling, as well as search for jobs and internships via MiraCosta’s JAIN, the online job and internship network.
- Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) continues to provide support to students and staff to ensure that online courses continue to accommodate student needs.
- Financial Aid staff are available by phone, email, Zoom, and CraniumCafe online chat.
- Health Services is providing online individual and group counseling options, as well as nursing and medical appointments.
- Tutoring is available online and in other modalities, in writing, math and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Although in-person commencement and end-of-year celebrations have been cancelled to uphold social distancing, MiraCosta has found alternative ways to celebrate these exciting events and student accomplishments remotely with students, families, and friends.
A student information page on the miracosta.edu/COVID site has been designed to answer student questions and support them during this online and remote modality transition.
“Making a plan and adjusting studying habits will help students regain a sense of control during this time,'' explains Nick Mortaloni, dean of student affairs at MiraCosta College. Dean Mortaloni added, “It is important for students to feel supported during this transition, and we have been around the clock to get them the resources and support they need to be successful.”
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta Community College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 21,000 credit students per semester in over 70 disciplines enroll in associate degrees, university transfer and workforce readiness certificate programs. The college also serves a wide spectrum of educational needs in the region ranging from programs for adult education, basic skills, and ESL to a California Community College pilot program offering the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in biomanufacturing. MiraCosta College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).