Ranger College planning to use hybrid system for fall semester

Special to the E-T

Special to the E-T

If Ranger College President Dr. William J. Campion had his preference, the debate as to whether college classes would be held in the traditional face-to-face method or virtually would be moot. In normal circumstances, students learn better in a face-to-face setting.

However, 2020 can be described in many ways. But normal isn’t one of them.

While making plans to hold face-to-face classes on each of its three campuses when college classes begin on Aug. 24, Campion and the Ranger College Board of Regents continue to battle the questions – even with less than three weeks left until the start of the Fall semester.

“The big question at the top of everyone’s list is Zoom or face-to-face?” Campion wrote to the members of the Ranger College faculty on Monday while announcing that registration for the upcoming term is under way.

“Now that summer hours are over, we can focus on the items at hand,” he said.

Currently, Ranger College is planning to roll out a hybrid educational platform for the 2020-21 year, using both virtual and face-to-face instructional methods to help protect student health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, almost 4.8 million Americans have contracted the highly contagious flu-like virus with almost 159,000 people having died.

RC Vice President of Instruction Dayna Prochaska said the student’s well-being was paramount, and that it was the main decision for the college to try and add virtual instruction.

“Ranger College is committed to keeping our students and faculty safe and will continually be adjusting plans as needed,” she said. “We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.”

As of Monday, Campion said classes will resume on Aug. 24 with students on the main campus, as well as those attending the Brown County and Erath County campuses, would be utilizing hybrid classes to maximize social distancing among students and faculty. Under the hybrid plan, classes will be divided with half of the class taking classes virtual one day and the other attending face-to-face instruction. The following class date, the two halves of the class would switch their method of receiving instruction.

Campion admitted that the college’s Board of Regents has been contemplating starting the Fall semester with most of the classes being delivered virtually, and that a decision on that could be coming in a matter of days.

“At this stage of the game, some wise counsel has suggested that we Zoom or begin online for lecture courses from the first day of the semester,” he said. “I think it is something we, as a college, have to take into consideration. Above all, we want to do what is best for our students.”

Should the college decide to join a growing list of higher education institutions going virtual due to the pandemic, Campion said some classes would still be held in a face-to-face format, including those for welding, machining, nursing, cosmetology, and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Those classes, he said, require face-to-face instruction to ensure the health and well-being of the public.

Athletically speaking, the Fall semester will be a quiet time at Ranger College. The NJCAA voted to push back the start of most seasons until the Spring semester. The only sport at Ranger that will be held in the fall will be cross country.

The nationally ranked RC men’s and women’s cross country athletes are scheduled to report on Aug. 17, one week prior to the start of classes.

Upcoming dates for Ranger College: (Dates are tentative due to the ongoing pandemic.)

  • Aug. 17-19: Professional Development (Attendance mandatory for all employees)
  • Aug. 24: Fall Classes begin
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day
  • Oct. 17: Day of Champions
  • Oct. 18: PTK Induction at 3 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Nov. 6: Faculty Meeting/PD
  • Nov. 23-27: Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Day
  • Dec. 1- 3: Final Exams for Fall Semester
  • Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.: Fall Graduation
  • Dec. 7: Minimester Begins
  • Dec. 8: Fall Grades Due
  • Dec. 10: Board Christmas Party at 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 17 at 5 p.m.: College closes for Christmas break
  • Jan. 6: College Reopens
  • Jan. 12: Minimester Finals
  • Jan. 13: Minimester Grades Due
  • Jan. 18: MLK Holiday
  • Jan. 19: Spring Semester Classes begin