During the first week of campus closure, computer science student Richard Sequeira was facing difficulty meeting his deadline for an assignment. He was occupied getting groceries to prep for the period of self-isolation, which already took two days of the entire week of school. Some of his professors were not accommodating with deadlines at this period, and he had to explain to them that students, like professors, need time to prepare for self-isolation and remote instruction.
What Sequeira experienced, however, is merely one of the many struggles that students are experiencing during this transition. There are others who lack access to technology, internet connection, an accommodating learning environment, child care and other personal matters that interfere with their online learning.
Students who lack access to a computer can borrow laptops from PCC. However, those who can not get their hands on those resources are left behind as a result.
“The interesting thing is that not many people have even mentioned anything about any support services for students with disabilities,” said Sequeira in a phone call.
The Disabled Student Program & Services (DSP&S) page on PCC’s website states that PCC offers services, accommodations and appointments by phone and web conferences for students in this program. However, it does not mention any specified resources for students with different needs.
Disappointed by the lack of support from PCC to students with disabilities, Sequiera was prompted to do his own research on how to accommodate students with disabilities during this period.
While doing his research, Sequeira came across an article from the Citrus College Clarion (CCClarion)—Citrus College’s newspaper—about resources for students with disabilities provided by the school.
“[CCClarion] mentioned that there are resources for students with disabilities on their campus, and it seems as though they made an effort to consider all parts of the picture,” said Sequeira. “I don’t know what the college response is here at PCC since the closure was last minute and not really well put together.”
Although PCC has been sending email updates informing students about school operations, there is still a lack of communication regarding what resources are available for students during remote instruction. Students were left wondering as a result.
“I think a lot of us were kept in the dark, and I think a lot of teachers were kept in the dark, so it’s really tough to get straight answers out of anybody,” said accounting student Ryan Shurie in a video call.
Shurie, who is transferring in Fall 2020, is concerned that this situation might negatively affect his transfer process and his GPA.
“My biggest concern is how this is going to affect transfer,” said Shurie. “Like is the world gonna look at this and say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a one off Spring semester of 2020, don’t even worry about that, you know?’ Or, is it gonna be like, ‘Yeah, our grading policy is still the same, like hey, you got a C in this class, you should’ve gotten an A, so now you don’t get into the four year [institution] that you applied to’.”
There is also an added challenge that students and professors face with online lectures, one of which is the lack of ability for immediate access to ask for questions and have more attention from professors with STEM courses.
“You can’t just interrupt your professor in the middle of their lecture in the stream,” said Sequeira. “When I have to ask for help, it has to be very technical, it has to be well thought out and in the format where he will understand so that he will be able to offer me some help.”
Shurie’s professors have tried to accommodate his students by pushing back tests and assignments and offering support, which has helped with his transition with remote instruction.
Shurie remained understanding despite the concerns he has regarding classes and transfer.
“I don’t blame the school for this situation we’re in,” said Shurie. “I think they are doing as good of the job as they can.”
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