By Matthew Valle

April 4, 2021

BLACKWOOD – Camden County College students are opening up about how the pandemic has and is still affecting their performance in academics.

On March 14 2020, Camden County College decided to switch all of its courses to online and remote learning because of the coronavirus pandemic. A year later, some students are still finding themselves struggling with the unpredictability of online courses. Kaitlyn Alberto, a second-year Camden County College student, describes her experience over the last year as “challenging” and “overwhelming.”

Image of Camden County College. Photo taken by Matthew Valle.

“Switching from in-person to online was definitely challenging for me because it was ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ If I’m not in class physically, then there’s nothing to remind me that I have to do school work,” says Alberto. She, like many other students, faced the issue of falling behind in classes because of the sudden shift to remote learning. 

Although Alberto says she has gotten used to online classes a year into the pandemic, she still says she is experiencing some challenges. 

“I am feeling OK about online classes right now,” says Alberto, “however it’s getting to be a little overwhelming and I’m falling behind on certain classes but I’m trying my best to keep up between work and school. The class that I am struggling the most is the class that is completely online.”

Image of Student Kaitlyn Alberto. Photo taken by Kaitlyn Alberto.

Students like Alberto have found it difficult to switch to online learning when they have already gotten used to in-person classes. Tyshae ForbesGrant’s case is a bit different, however, as her entire first year in college has been completely online. 

ForbesGrant describes her experience in online classes in an optimistic manner, saying “it has helped me realize that it’s easier to accomplish tests, quizzes, homework, etc. and get better grades. Online learning has taught me time management.” The extent of her optimism only goes so far, as she begins to address her concerns with the formatting of certain courses. 

Image of Tyshae ForbesGrant. Photo taken by Tyshae ForbesGrant.

“I’m not actually learning anything, which is kind of scary. I’m sure the professors are trying their best to engage some students online, but some of them don’t know how to work Canvas, which is a barrier because at that point they don’t want to teach. They just want you to pass and move on.”

When asked about whether they would like to see a return of the pass/fail option that was only given the first semester of the pandemic, both ForbesGrant and Alberto seemed to support the idea. 

ForbesGrant says, in support of pass/fail options, “There’s a lot of professors already doing pass/fail in their own way, might as well bring it back for everyone, it’s only fair.”

“Yes, I do feel like they should still offer pass/fail because students may be working more but not have the option to take a semester off,” says Alberto. “We should be aware of the circumstances since we are still in a pandemic … having grace would relieve a lot of students of their many stresses.”

Some petitions have been made by students at Camden County College to bring back pass/fail options. However, none has seemed to garner enough signatures to receive a response from the college.

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