Santa Monica College reported its first case of coronavirus Thursday. (File photo)

Allie Leeds, SMC Corsair / Daily Press Staff Writer

Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced that classes for the Summer 2021 session will be remote only. According to a press release from Jan. 21, this decision is based on “the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles,” and uncertainty about vaccine availability.

“Santa Monica College will remain remote-only for the Summer 2021 term, with the exception of a limited number of in-person lab/practicum tools to be made available for students training in workforce areas deemed essential by the State of California,” said Dr. Kathryn Jeffery, President of SMC, in the email sent out to students and faculty.

SMC continues to offer a Chromebook lending program to students and staff, as well as Wi-Fi access on Bundy Campus, and a weekly drive-thru pantry. “Please know that Santa Monica College is here for you. We look forward to a brighter future and to welcoming you back on campus, as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Jeffery.

At this time there has been no announcement regarding the Fall semester, but an announcement is expected within a few weeks. “The various committees will continue to meet and the College hopes to have a recommendation to students and colleagues by early February,” said Mike Tuitasi, SMC Vice President of Student Affairs.

“We know how disappointing this is, but nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of the college community,” said Tuitasi. “The planning for summer is time sensitive, so a decision needed to be made as soon as possible.“

Jesse Ramirez is a prospective SMC student. He is not interested in online classes, like the ones offered this summer, and will wait to take classes at SMC until there are either in-person or hybrid classes. “I would have to take [classes] in person…[the] type of learning environment that works best for me requires me to go in-person for accountability purposes. I tried online in the past and, unfortunately, it’s never caught my attention,” said Ramirez.

“People like myself…we’re looking forward to going in-person because it’s how we learn, and we want to succeed. And, unfortunately, the online space isn’t working,” said Ramirez.

Graduation, Spring Professional Development Day, and VIP Welcome Week 2021 have all been announced to take place online in a virtual environment as well.

This story was published as part of a partnership between the SMC Corsair student newspaper and the Santa Monica Daily Press.