Some fall classes at STC will be in-person

South Texas College will be operating on a hybrid of online and in-person curriculum for the fall semester, according to a plan the college released Tuesday.

The plan outlines their efforts to limit the amount of physical interaction among students and faculty, without completely transitioning to online learning.

The college will be offering about 20% of its 4,500 courses partially in-person, while the rest will be available online.

The courses selected for the in-person route require hands-on activities, and will be taught half in a classroom, and half through online instruction. These classes have a set maximum of 20 students for each lecture, with no more than 10 students meeting at once on campus. In-person classes will only meet once a week.

Dr. Anahid Petrosian, the interim vice president for academic affairs, and chief academic officer, said the plan was designed with the safety and health of students in mind.

“ Keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe as our first priority, we have increased our online fall sections to meet the region’s educational needs,” Petrosian, who is also the chief academic officer, said in the release. “By reducing the number of on-campus sections, we have been able to retain some face-to-face instruction to meet the needs of specialized courses, while reducing overall student congestion at our facilities.”

Faculty will be responsible for rotating the seating time of students, who will continue to follow social-distancing precautions while on campus.

Some of the programs that were deemed to require hands-on learning include nursing, sciences, information technology, workforce and public safety, art, drama, music and kinesiology.

“The College conducted an extensive assessment of classroom space and identified a schedule that will reduce foot traffic on campus,” Petrosian wrote. “We are making several accommodations in order to maintain social distancing among our students and staff.”

Campus facilities will also open up with several safeguards in place, including the library, computer labs, and STC’s Centers for Learning Excellence. The library and computer labs will have limited seating, and will require all visitors to wear a face covering.

The CLE, along with on-campus tutoring will only be available by appointment.

Classes for the fall semester begin Aug. 24.

Before then, according to the release, all instructional spaces of campus will undergo deep cleaning, while disinfection will be ongoing throughout the semester.