On March 30, PCC announced their decision to prolong campus closure for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

This officially changes PCC’s original plan to reopen the campus after spring break. 

Superintendent/President Erika Endrijonas and Academic Senate President Matthew Henes made this decision following the federal direction to maintain social distancing measures until Apr. 30. 

“This was a very difficult decision to make” Endrijonas said in the email announcement. “While I really didn’t want to delay the return to normal operations, it also felt imperative that faculty and students know as soon as possible that remote/online instruction was going to continue for the rest of the semester.” 

The COVID-19 global pandemic makes it difficult for colleges to provide students with necessary programs and services for academic achievement in a remote environment. However, the seriousness of the current public health emergency is causing college campuses all over the world to stay closed, to prioritize  the health and safety of their students, faculty and staff. 

“The Information Technology Services department is helping students get the laptops and other technology they need. We are asking faculty to have leniency in their deadlines and grading to accommodate students as they adapt to this new reality. We know it’s a big challenge, and we’re hoping we can all make it through together,” said PCC spokesperson Alexander Boekelheide. 

Faculty, deans, and administrators are still working to identify courses requiring face-to-face instruction, and to  develop methods to accommodate the needs of all students. 

“It may be that students are assigned an IP (In Progress) grade until the hands-on portion can be completed later in June,” said Endrijonas. 

According to Boekelheide, PCC is working to provide rental laptops and other services for students who do not have adequate access to technology. PCC is also asking faculty to be lenient in their deadlines and grading to accommodate students during this period of remote instruction. 

Although these are recent changes, many PCC students were already prepared to face this news. 

“I was kind of expecting to go remote completely for the rest of the semester, especially with these couple of weeks being the most impacted with high cases of COVID-19 than the weeks before,” said student Alexis Arellano 

PCC is also in regular communication with the California Chancellor’s Office and system partners at the university level to advocate for students in relation to transfer requirements. 

“The [PCC] Admissions & Records office is changing the pass/no pass policies this semester to accommodate students’ wishes in relation to the transition to remote learning,” Boekelheide explained. “However, students need to be aware of the consequences of changing their grade designation, because a change now could do damage later…we cannot guarantee that a pass/no pass grade will be accepted for transfer at some colleges or universities. It’s always best to check with a counselor or the Transfer Center before taking any actions.” 

PCC is currently scheduling summer classes both online and face-to-face in hopes of regular instruction. Adjustments will be made as necessary. So far, plans for fall instruction are taking the same approach.

In the announcement, the possibility of bringing employees back to campus was also mentioned. For the time being, PCC remains closed to all but essential personnel. 

For more up to date information about PCC during the temporary campus closure, check here.  

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