In an interview with the Watchdog, Fmr. Washington Governor and current Bellevue College President Locke disclosed that his administration was considering a partial transition to hybrid online learning depending on the rate of vaccinations and the development of herd immunity in the community.
President Locke explained that “We’re going to try to start increasing the number of hybrid courses in some of the lab and the science courses and things like that. [We’re] just trying to gradually increase the number of on campus classes.” The President also stated that the addition of new hybrid courses would depend upon the percentage of people vaccinated in the state. As of March 10, roughly 19 percent of the state’s population has received a COVID-19 vaccine, making a partial return to campus for students taking a science course a real possibility. If you are a student planning to take a science course or other lab course this summer, there’s a real possibility that you may be able to do some of the activities in-person.
When asked about his administration’s plans to help students taking online and hybrid classes who do not have access to high-speed internet, the President stated that “We’ll be announcing some new grants for students so they can actually have funds to sign up for high-speed internet in their homes. With the grant program, students will be able to go out and purchase high-speed internet directly to their homes.” Many students at the college have, in the words of President Locke, experienced “internet difficulties.” The President expressed concern about the many commercial internet programs which have been discontinued, and he encouraged all students who have had slow or no access to the internet to ‘keep an eye out’ for the subsidy’s eligibility requirements. The college administration plans to announce the specifics of this internet grant in the coming days or weeks.