Greenfield Community College’s schedule of fall 2021 courses will allow many students to return to campus while also prioritizing the health and safety of the campus community and the town of Greenfield.
GCC’s diverse fall course offerings will include more than 100 class sections in a face-to-face or hybrid format, meeting at least once a week on campus with some possible online instruction as well.
Students in GCC’s renowned health career programs, including the nursing, medical assistant, and paramedic programs, will meet on campus in hands-on courses to best prepare them for essential jobs in the growing healthcare industry. Those in other professional programs, such as business and education, will also have on-campus options. These programs help students develop careers in the business sector and in early education and care, as well as prepare for transfer options leading to teacher licensure in primary and secondary education.
The college will also offer many math, science, and a range of other general education courses in a hybrid format. Students will complete some of their coursework online and will participate in weekly experiential learning opportunities including lab activities and field trips.
GCC’s arts programs—art, music, and theater—will also return to campus. Students interested in other courses in the humanities, including history, English, and human development, will be able to take some courses on campus and some in a hybrid format.
In addition to providing these on-campus and hybrid courses, GCC will offer a dynamic set of fully online courses, including some asynchronous classes that students may access at a time that is convenient for them.
“We understand that our students are eager to come back in person to campus—we provide a caring learning environment where students get to develop deep relationships with the staff and the faculty and they are eager to resume their studies and their lives,” says GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández. “We are equally enthusiastic about getting them back on campus. However, we must do so in a safe manner, and in a way that preserves the health and safety of not only the students and our employees, but also of our entire community.”
The fall course schedule will be available online Friday, March 26. Returning students may register beginning Tuesday, March 30 and new students beginning Tuesday, April 6.
Students, faculty, and staff returning to the campus in the fall can expect careful planning for their health and safety. GCC will follow state guidelines on occupancy rates in classrooms and offices, as well mask requirements. Currently, anyone coming to campus must have prior approval and check in for a health screening. The college will maintain that practice as long as it is required. They will also maintain scrupulous air quality practices and a thorough sanitizing schedule, allowing enough time between classes to clean classrooms.
As with courses, GCC student and enrollment services will partially return to campus and students will have some access to facilities. Throughout this year, the college has maintained an array of online extracurricular activities, with an active student government, guest speakers, and Black History Month and Women’s History Month events and will likely continue in this vein in the fall. As with everything, this will depend on state guidelines. “Right now, there are more questions than answers, and much of it will depend on how the current situation evolves,” notes Anna Berry, dean of students. “Our goal is always safety for our students and our employees, and we want to open it in a way that’s smart and grounded in science.”
Although they are not yet returning to the full in-person operations they enjoyed before the pandemic, GCC’s leaders are excited to see some life return to the campus. “What makes the GCC community special is what each of us brings that enhances the richness of the community, and the pandemic and remote learning have put limitations on what we are able to do and how we are able to engage with each other,” says Salomon-Fernández. “It will be delightful to see students eating in the dining commons, sitting outside enjoying the sun and the beautiful grounds that we have. I’ve missed the noise, vibrancy, and the vitality of our campus.”