ORANGE PARK – College officials at St. Johns River State College have announced the majority of its fall classes will be held in a variety of online formats. The decision comes after much deliberation and concern regarding the steady rise in COVID-19 cases. College leadership felt the need to create a level of certainty for students as conditions with the virus continue to be unpredictable.
SJR State President Joe Pickens said the decision was made with the students and employees’ best interest in mind. “After weighing the benefits and the risks of bringing thousands of students onto campus each day, proceeding with online classes allows us to continue providing a quality education while doing our part to minimize the spread of the virus,” Pickens said. “By committing to online classes now, we avoid the likelihood of disrupting classes and transitioning to online classes mid-semester if cases continue to spike.”
“We also encourage students to not be derailed by the pandemic, and to continue working toward their academic and career goals. We have dedicated faculty and staff who are here to assist students through these challenging times. Now is not the time for postponement,” Pickens continued. “We are also an ideal option for students who are rethinking their university plans and would rather stay close to home at this time.”
Select workforce and teacher education programs that rely heavily on field experiences and hands-on practicums will proceed with on-campus instruction, with proper measures to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty. The remaining classes are being presented with traditional online, hybrid and “live online” options. “Live online,” classes is a new format that allows students to interact in real time with professors and classmates. Hybrid courses combine face-to-face instruction with online instruction. Traditional online classes allow students to be flexible with the timing of your participation.
Student services, including advising, financial aid, admissions and records, the library, tutoring and testing will continue to be available with on-campus appointments, as well as with online appointments. The bookstore and cashier will also be open for in-person necessities. Masks are required for all students, employees and visitors. Safety measures, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning, accessible hand sanitizer, and protective barriers, continue to be enforced on the campuses. Students are asked to complete the online health assessment, located on the student portal, before arriving to campus.
Students needing access to computers and wi-fi will be served this fall. The computer labs will be available to students by appointment, and wi-fi is available in the campus parking lots.
The College will accept applications for the fall semester through Monday, Aug. 17. Classes begin Aug. 24. Students are encouraged to visit the college web site at www.SJRstate.edu for details and to apply and register for classes.