LOS ANGELES — After two years of online learning, students like Kayla Williams, a freshman, are returning to in-person classes at El Camino College.
For Williams, it's her first time back in a classroom as a college student.
What You Need To Know
- El Camino College brings back in-person classes after nearly two years of online learning
- Faculty, students and staff returning to campus are required to submit daily check-ins, be fully vaccinated and wear a mask on-campus
- California community colleges saw a 20% decline this past fall semester compared to fall 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data estimates
“It’s a little nerve-wracking just because I haven’t been on a campus since the middle of my junior year in high school,” Williams said.
While online learning came with perks of taking classes at home, it also led to some unintended habits that Williams wants to change.
“It was a lot easier to be lazy and not want to do your work just because you were at home. You were stuck in your room and it was a lot easier to, just easier to not feel any motivation,” she said.
As she walked in and took a seat in her first class in community college, Bryan Ventura, a computer science major with plans to transfer in the next year, said the challenges of online learning led him to withdraw for the first time out of a STEM class. He said that he also considered taking a break from his education, but pulled through.
“All that content and everything was basically self-taught. It was a challenge, and I was just being really exhausted at that point,” Ventura said.
Like many students, Ventura looked forward to the return of in-person classes but had some initial concerns about COVID-19.
California community colleges saw a 20% decline this past fall semester compared to fall 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data estimates.
Students, faculty and staff are required to wear a mask, be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption to use campus resources, according to the college.
With those protocols in place, professor Jocelyn Shaw, who teaches Williams’ class, shared that she is looking forward to seeing more students in the classroom.
“I have a lot of anxiety and, you know, nerves, anticipation and excitement. I want to see how the students, how they are feeling and just kind of talk about what we’ve learned about ourselves over the past couple years and then set some expectations moving forward,” Shaw said.
Nervous, anxious, and hopeful. These are words Williams and her classmates used to describe how they are feeling about returning to in-person learning. Despite those feelings, Williams said that she is ready for things to go back to normal.
“I hope that we all return full-time just so that we all can get that college experience and I’m hoping to meet new people and kind of branch out a little bit,” she said.
As a freshman, Williams is still planning her major, but as she takes on more classes, she is hoping the pandemic will only be a minor part of her college experience.