By Nicole Thurston
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – As students registered for fall 2021 semester classes at the Camden County College Blackwood campus, some found it difficult to find the types of classes that were required for their major that suited their personal preferences. Some students who preferred to take all of their classes online discovered that it was not an option, while those who preferred all in-person classes, also known as traditional classes, faced a similar dilemma.
Second-year student and liberal arts major Sara Chapline described her experience while registering for fall 2021. “My biology lab was only offered on campus. I work at Target and had to completely rearrange my work schedule to be able to make it to the class on Mondays and Wednesdays since I typically worked during the same time, which wasn’t easy to do,” she said.
She explained why she wasn’t comfortable coming to campus amid the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m fully vaccinated but it still makes me uneasy seeing so many students on campus. All it takes is one person who may not be vaccinated, or even someone who is since they can still have it, to come to campus and spread COVID-19, whether they were aware they had it or not,” she stated.
On the other end of the issue, some students preferred to take all in-person classes but some they were interested in were only offered virtually. Freshman and accounting major Nathan Yeater recalled his experience when registering for fall classes and said, “I wanted all my classes in person because I personally learn better that way, but while registering I did notice that some other classes were only offered remotely that I had an interest in taking for extra credits, so I just decided not to take them.”
As to whether he felt uncomfortable coming to campus because of the pandemic, he stated, “There are still a decent amount of people with health conditions I know who don’t really feel totally safe coming to campus yet but have to anyway, so there should be more options for people who want to stay entirely remote.”
According to a 2021 survey from BestColleges.com, two in three students argue online learning is just as satisfactory as in-person learning, if not better.
As to why the college decided to set up classes the way it did, Dean of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Michael Nester gave some insight over email, writing, “For those courses that traditionally run a multitude of sections, it makes sense to offer several in both an online and a face-to-face format. On the other hand, some courses require hands-on interaction in labs, so they are primarily offered in either a hybrid or a face-to-face format. Therefore, size of the program and the traditional enrollment in any given course will help to make the decision about how many course sections to open and how many of them will be face-to-face and/or online.”