2021 | Schools

Montgomery College classes to stay virtual into fall

President says complexity of scheduling, financial aid prompts early decision

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Due to uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to begin planning early, Montgomery College announced on Thursday that its classes will largely remain virtual through the fall semester.

In a message to the school community, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard wrote that it is important to make the difficult decision now.

“Because of the complexity of class scheduling, student registration, and financial aid processing, and assignment of faculty to thousands of class sections, the College must make operational decisions earlier than some other institutions,” Pollard wrote.

Some specialty programs have had limited on-campus classes, and those opportunities will continue.

Staff members will continue to work remotely through the summer and fall semesters, Pollard wrote, unless otherwise notified by their supervisors.

Even if COVID-19 metrics improve or vaccines become more widely available, classes that begin the fall semester virtually will continue in that format for the rest of the semester.

“If conditions improve, a class will not transition from one format to another in the middle of the semester, in order to minimize disruption,” Pollard wrote. “Should the metrics improve substantially, some additional fall classes, beginning in the second half of the fall semester (that is, October 27) may be offered face-to-face. … Worsening of health conditions, however, could move a face-to-face experience to emergency remote status.”

Over the next few months, the college may offer some “small-scale uses” of on-campus facilities. One computer lab on each campus might be available, for example, Pollard wrote, or other areas may be available to reserve or rent.

More information was not available Thursday.