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LCC fails to reach in-person instruction goal, but aims to try again next term

Students walking on Lane Community College's campus.
Kyra Buckley/KLCC
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Lane Community College expected to have around 50 percent of their classes in-person, but had to change course because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Now that cases have decreased, the college expects to see a slight increase in in-person classes for the remainder of the Fall 2021 term.

Most classes at Lane Community College are still taking place remotely in response to the pandemic. The college anticipated at least half of their classes would be in-person by now, but that’s not the case.

LCC provost Paul Jarrell said only around 20 percent of instruction is in-person this term. The college had to scale back plans because of a surge in COVID-19 cases. He says balancing the needs of students with public health, and a decline in enrollment has been challenging. The college has seen a 30 percent drop in enrollment in comparison to Fall 2019.

“Obviously that’s a significant loss in revenue, not to mention the fact that, that’s a serious lost opportunity I think for a lot students that are waiting to come back, and I hope that they do come back when they feel that the learning conditions are there to meet their needs,” Jarrell said.

As COVID-19 cases decrease he said some classes may switch to in-person instruction, but it's unlikely the college will reach their goal of 50 percent this term.

"Many of the courses, rather than having to re-evaluate in the middle of the term and put an imposition on students and employees, [the courses that could] decided to move the entire term remotely," he said.

The college is hoping more students will return for Winter term, Jarrell said, when the college will try again to reach 50 percent in-person instruction.

Note: Lane Community College holds the station license for KLCC.

Copyright 2021 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.