Finger Lakes Community College has finalized its fall course schedule to maximize faculty and student interaction in a low-density environment by converting traditional in-person classes into live remote and hybrid classes.
Remote classes, also referred to as synchronous online classes, are held via the web conferencing software Webex, allowing professors and students to interact in real time. Hybrid classes are partly online and partly in person. Classes will be divided into small groups that take turns meeting in person with their instructor. Details are available at flcc.edu/covid.
“We know people come to FLCC for small classes and personal engagement, so we looked for ways to maintain that tradition in this new environment,” said FLCC President Robert Nye.
Forty-six percent of FLCC course sections will be live remote classes, while 28 percent will be hybrid classes. The remaining 26 percent are traditional online classes, in which students work independently on their own schedules. Before the pandemic, about a quarter of all FLCC classes were already online, given its rising popularity with students. In 2019, 42 percent of all FLCC students took at least one online course.
Students will be able to visit the library, computer labs, academic support centers, One Stop Center and other offices — though hours may be more limited and appointments may be necessary. The college will begin accepting walk-in traffic on Monday, Aug. 17.
“Overall, we expect the main campus to feel a bit like a traditional summer: fewer in-person classes going at any given time, fewer employees around and more informal interactions – albeit, with masks, social distancing, and lots of handwashing,” Nye said.
FLCC staff have been putting up signs to remind people to wear masks, stay six feet apart and follow arrows in some areas. New cleaning protocols are in place and classrooms and study areas have been rearranged with less furniture.
“I have been very impressed with how carefully our faculty and staff have thought about the student experience, right down to making sure we have face shields instead of masks for students in American Sign Language classes and voice lessons, where masks would be problematic,” the college president added.
The residence hall adjacent to the main campus, The Suites at Laker Landing, will open with fewer students to make it possible for them to practice social distancing. Move-in will be staggered with assigned dates and times from Aug. 24 to 31.
The fall semester officially begins Aug. 31 and ends Dec. 20. FLCC currently has no plans to move to all-remote after Thanksgiving break, as some schools are doing. However, it could be an option in the event of a resurgent outbreak.
As of mid-July, FLCC applications are up 41 percent over the same period last year.
“Our enrollment is running slightly below last year though our applications are up significantly. We understand that many students have yet to make decisions, and we are here to talk through the options and help them meet any needs, for example, with technology,” said Carol Urbaitis, FLCC’s vice president of enrollment management.
After the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, FLCC loaned more than 100 laptops to students to help them complete coursework online. FLCC’s WiFi access has been extended and will cover a section of parking lot A (near the Marty Dodge Woodsman Field) beginning on July 27. The FLCC main campus and campus centers will also be accessible for students to use College WiFi once the semester starts.
Students interested in enrolling in a degree or certificate program can apply to FLCC through 4 p.m. on Aug. 21. Individuals who want to take classes but are not seeking a degree can register any time before noon on Aug. 28. For more information, contact the One Stop Center at (585) 785-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.