Valley College president held a town hall meeting where he and other faculty provided updates to students.
By Sarah Best, News Editor
In a live Youtube meeting on Monday, April 4, Valley President Barry Gribbons answered questions and addressed student concerns.
Gribbons opened by reminding students that priority registration for the summer session began April 4 and any questions or concerns can be directed to Admissions and Records staff or counselors. In addition, summer classes are still set to take place online and no word has been said about plans for the fall.
“I expect that it will be sometime before we go back to regular instruction,” said Gribbons. “Our first priority will always remain with you, our students, and our faculty and staff.”
Beginning at 1 p.m., the meeting featured a brief message from Director of the Academic Resource Center (ARC) Scott Weigand, who reassured students that a “dedicated team of tutors” are readily available to help students. Weigand encouraged students to take advantage of the free help, adding that students who get tutoring have higher success rates in their classes than those who do not. Tutors are available for a variety of subjects including accounting, math, writing help, chemistry, foreign language, and biology. Students in need of tutoring can access it on the ARC home page by clicking “Online Support.”
“I really want to emphasize that Valley students are not alone in terms of getting help with their homework,” commented Weigand.
Also available through ARC’s website are online workshops courtesy of the Writing Center on Tuesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. If a student can not attend the online workshop, recordings of the session will be posted on the website.
Following the message from Weigand, the president went on to answer student questions. When a student asked when they would receive their Chromebook, he said that there is yet to be a set date but that he hopes to have more information by the next town hall meeting. However, Gribbons disclosed that shortly before the meeting began, the district informed him that they are currently looking into switching Chromebook vendors in order to get laptops to students quicker. The application for Chromebooks is currently closed.
Gribbons also noted that the CARES Act funding is different from the emergency grants the school has provided in the past, as it has rigid requirements and derives from the federal government.
“The LACCD is determining exactly who is eligible for the CARES Act funding and the funding comes in two waves,” explained Gribbons. “The first wave we have received and the second half of the CARES Act funding we hope to receive soon.”
The president also explained that dropping a class with an Excused Withdrawal (EW) will not have any bearing on a student’s financial aid, nor will they be charged for the class. Should any issues arise with EWs and financial aid, students are encouraged to contact either the Business Office or a financial aid staff member. All classes that have been dropped within the last month will be accounted for as an EW.
The full town hall can be viewed on the Valley College Youtube channel, and according to Gribbons, the next one, on April 11, will include updates regarding both CARES Act funding details and plans of a virtual commencement for the class of 2020.