San Mateo County Community College District Courses Remain Mainly Online for Spring 2021 Term

The three colleges of the San Mateo County Community College District – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – will continue to hold courses in online and distance education modalities, as well as provide most student services remotely, through the end of the Spring 2021 semester. The San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees formally ratified the decision in their meeting on Sept. 23.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt higher education along with every other sector,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Mike Claire. “This decision allows our employees to plan ahead for a successful spring semester, and it lets students know what to expect. Staying online is the best way to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe.”

The Board’s decision was based on the recommendation of the Chancellor and supported by a recommendation from the District Academic Senate. Faculty, staff and students have expressed a need to have as much time as possible to plan for the spring term.

Most employees will also continue to work remotely through May 2021.

In-person instruction will continue for certain essential infrastructure sectors–healthcare, emergency services, and transportation fields, as well as critical STEM labs in key transfer areas, and to meet licensing requirements for career education programs–in order to train first responders and healthcare workers to address urgent community needs and to provide direct pathways to employment. Due to criteria set by the State that include requirements for social distancing, classroom/lab sanitization procedures, and other health precautions, the number of people at SMCCCD campuses will be kept at a minimum.

During summer 2020, Colleges provided a massive professional development program to train instructors in online education. Approximately 600 college faculty participated, as well as dual enrollment faculty, faculty instructors, and other support staff. The training program was supported by more than $1.4 million in Federal CARES Act funding as well as District funds.

The District has launched a number of programs to help students cope with the ongoing crisis. Drive-Up WiFi service is available six days a week to help students attend online classes and complete their schoolwork. In a partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, the District now offers free food distribution on Wednesdays at Skyline College, and Fridays at College of San Mateo. The District is distributing more than $4.2 million in federal CARES Act funding to students to assist with financial challenges. The three Colleges have been distributing loaner Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots and other supplies to students. Healthcare services are available via telemedicine free of charge to students.

Free Drive-Up Wi-Fi Now Available for SMCCCD Students

The San Mateo County Community College District now offers free Wi-Fi access for students at all three campuses. The new “Drive-Up Wi-Fi” service allows students to park in a specially designated parking lot on the campus of their choice, where they can access Wi-Fi to attend online classes or do schoolwork.

The program was made possible by an all-District team of staff and administrators who have been working to design a system that provides convenient student Wi-Fi access while maintaining District health and safety requirements during the pandemic.

Reservations are required. Students can pick the campus most convenient to them, fill out the Eventbrite reservation form, print or download their Eventbrite ticket, and follow the instructions. Restrooms are available. Students have in/out privileges for the Drive-Up Wi-Fi lot between 6am – 8pm.

Drive-Up Wi-Fi Website/Reservations

Student Drive-Up Wi-Fi Hours
Cañada College:
Monday – Friday, 6 am – 8 pm

College of San Mateo:
Monday – Saturday (except Fridays), 6 am – 8 pm

Skyline College:
Monday – Friday (except Wednesdays), 6 am – 8 pm

Student Drive-Up Wi-Fi Rules

  • Review COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if you are sick 
  • Make a reservation on Eventbrite and bring your ticket to campus
  • Check in at the Public Safety Access Point
  • Drive to the Wi-Fi lot and park in any space with a GREEN cone
  • Only members of the same household in each vehicle
  • All vehicle occupants must remain in the vehicle except to use restrooms
  • Read and follow all rules on your Eventbrite ticket
  • Abide by the Student Code of Ethics

For more information, please see the District Drive-Up Wi-Fi website.  

Graduates Will Receive Congratulatory Email Messages, Celebration Materials

Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College will be emailing the Class of 2020 a virtual congratulations package. Having postponed commencement exercises until it is safe for mass gatherings, we will want to congratulate all the District’s graduates. Each graduate will receive:

  • Congratulations video from the college president in full regalia
  • Downloadable/printable lawn sign and social media filters 
  • Grads will be encouraged to post a photo on social media, which we will feed into a commencement photo grid “live feed” on college commencement pages 
  • Reminder that they will be invited to participate in a ceremony in the future, once gatherings are safe 

The District will also run a two-page congratulations ad in the San Mateo Daily Journal, listing the name of each graduate. Congratulations messages will go out soon!

How To Request an Excused Withdrawal

Due to the crisis caused by the pandemic, California community college students are allowed to request an Excused Withdrawal (EW) for up to a year after the end of their courses for Spring 2020. Simply download this Extenuating Circumstances Form and send it to your college’s admissions office.

Cañada Admissions
CSM Admissions
Skyline Admissions

On the form, please indicate the reason “Covid-19.” You do not need a teacher signature or other information.

Federal CARES Act Emergency Funding for Students

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $5.6 million to the San Mateo County Community College District. The District will be using 75% of these funds to provide direct emergency cash grants to our students to assist with expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare.The District will be investing the remaining 25% of the funding in faculty and staff professional development and technology needs related to the transition to remote teaching and learning. See funding breakdown below:

What are the student eligibility requirements for the grant?
Students who have Pell grant funding have already been notified that they will receive a CARES Act grant. The college financial aid offices are currently identifying other students to receive these grants. Those students will be notified as they are identified.

The CARES Act allows funding according to these criteria:

  • Students who are enrolled in 6-12+ units
  • U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
  • Students with valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Male students registered with the Selective Service
  • Students with a high school diploma or GED
  • Students in programs leading to a degree or certificate

How much in emergency funds can students expect?

  • Pell Grant Students
    • 6-11 Units: $800/student
    • 12 + Units: $1,100/student
  • Non Pell Grant Students
    • 6-11 Units: $500/student
    • 12 + Units: $650/student

What can the money be used for?

  • Students can use the CARES grant to pay for food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, transportation, and childcare.

How do students apply?

  • Pell Grant students do not need to apply. Students will receive a notification from the college financial aid offices.
  • Non-Pell Grant students will be emailed a notification from their college if they are eligible to receive CARES Act funds. This email will instruct them to complete an application form that the financial aid offices will use to confirm their eligibility. After financial aid reviews the form, the student’s eligibility status will update under the student’s financial aid status in WebSmart. 

When will the funds be dispersed?

  • Funds are being disbursed via the District’s financial aid partner, BankMobile, beginning May 20. In light of college funding timeline and prioritization of funds, not all students will receive awarding at the same time.
  • 67% of the available student allocation will be disbursed to students in the spring; 33% will be disbursed in the fall semester.

What should I tell students about this?

  • There is no need to identify or communicate with students who may be receiving this funding. The college financial aid offices are identifying and directly notifying students who qualify.

What about students who were left out of the CARES Act?
Unfortunately, the CARES Act left out some of our most vulnerable student groups such as undocumented students. In an effort to address the shortfall in the CARES Act, the District and the San Mateo County Community College Foundation (SMCCCF) have created an Undocumented Student Fund in support of these critical members of our campus communities. The fund makes more than $160,000 available for emergency scholarships to over 500 undocumented students in the District. All undocumented students, regardless of unit load, GPA, or other criteria, will be awarded $322.

To support the Undocumented Student Fund, please give online.

More information will be forthcoming about plans for the professional development and technology funding. Please watch your District communications for updates.

Classes Will be Online for Summer and Fall 2020

Español
中文
Tagalog

Dear Cañada College, CSM, and Skyline College Students:

Fall Semester Will Be Online
The Fall 2020 semester at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College will be online for most student programs.  Our faculty members, administration, and Board of Trustees have agreed this is the best way to keep our students and employees safe through the fall.  

There will be some exceptions for courses/labs in the healthcare and emergency services fields, as well as in STEM, career education, and other select areas. However, even these courses will be in hybrid format with lectures online and only necessary labs being done in-person. Specific courses will be determined in the coming weeks and your instructor will communicate with you about the details.

Register now for fall classes!

Student Services Will Be Online Through December 2020
All student services will also continue online through December 31, 2020. There may be some services that are absolutely necessary to provide in-person, so we will provide details this summer.

Summer Will Be Online
As we have previously announced, Summer classes will be online. This is a great time for you to get ahead for the fall or catch up on courses you may have had to drop or missed out on. Check WebSchedule for all the courses available to you this summer.

Need to Withdraw Or Change Your Grading Options?
If you need to drop a class, you can do that until the day BEFORE the last day of the class. Until May 21, you may also request to change grading option for a course to Pass/No Pass by filling out this Add/Drop form and emailing it to your admissions office:
Cañada Admissions
CSM Admissions
Skyline Admissions

We strongly advise you to talk to your counselor before making those decisions, because this may affect your academic progress and ability to transfer. See these New Student Guidelines for excused withdrawal, pass/no pass, and incomplete grading options. Here’s how to contact your counselor:

Register Even if You Owe A Little Money!
We know times are hard and we don’t want you to have to sacrifice your education. Even if you owe up to $49 in fees to the District, you will still be able to register for summer and fall classes. We are here for you and want you to complete your education, so if you are having difficulty paying for school please contact the Cashier’s Office at your College to find out about payment options:

The Census is Hiring! Apply Online to Be a Census Worker. And Fill Out Your Census!
The Census has been extended for four months, and San Mateo County is hiring field staff workers with pay up to $30/hour. Apply online at www.2020census.gov/jobs. If you have applied and need technical assistance, please call our Support Desk at 1-855-562-2020, and select Option 4.

Did you know you can complete your 2020 Census questionnaire online? Just go to www.my2020census.gov. Learn more at the San Mateo County Census 2020 website.

Do You Need Shelter, Food Assistance, or Basic Services?
Dial 2-1-1 for non-emergency resources or visit the District website for places to go for help.

Get the Latest District Information
District COVID-19 Page
Telephone Hotline: 650-574-6650

Students: Let us know what your student housing needs are!

Dear Cañada, CSM and Skyline Students,

San Mateo County Community College (SMCCCD) has partnered with The Scion Group, a national consulting services firm specializing in college housing, to determine interest and demand for student housing.  This survey is an essential aspect of this process – your feedback matters! 

As part of our analysis, Scion created a survey designed to gain your feedback on housing, including floor plans, rates and amenities.  Please take the survey here.   

This survey is confidential, and responses will be analyzed and reported such that the identity of survey respondents is protected. You must be a current student at College of San Mateo, Cañada College or Skyline College to take the survey and, of course, taking it is voluntary.  

Most individuals complete the survey in less than 15 minutes. Take the survey here.

To show our appreciation for you taking the time to complete the survey, respondents will be entered in a drawing to receive a $250 gift card to the campus bookstore.  Three gift cards will be awarded.

Thank you for completing this short survey and sharing your comments with us, even if you do not anticipate taking advantage of such opportunities. Your feedback matters!

Sincerely,

Mitchell Bailey
Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff
Office of the Chancellor
San Mateo County Community College District

Return Your Technology or Other Borrowed Items!

All borrowed items including Chromebooks, laptops, hotspots, calculators, library books, textbooks, and other borrowed items are now due back to your campus. There are only two days left to return items.

Drop off items at your campus 
Please drop off your items at Cañada, CSM, or Skyline, on one of these dates:

  • Wednesday, May 27: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm 
  • Thursday, May 28: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm 

Drive through or walk-up drop off locations are marked on these campus maps: Cañada CollegeCollege of San MateoSkyline College

Which campus should I drop my items off at? 
Choose the campus drop off site according to these guidelines. 

  • Bookstore rentals must be returned to the campus from which they were rented. Have your G-number ready.
  • Library books or other items may be returned at any campus 
  • Technology items such as laptops, hotspots, or calculators may be returned at any campus

Please check your library account for a list of your current library or technology loans, and contact your campus library as needed with questions.

You will be required to follow these rules when dropping off, in order to protect the health and safety of you and our employees:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Stay 6 feet away from all other people
  • Do NOT come to campus if you are sick. 

You may park off campus and walk over to complete your returns. It is okay to have a friend or a family member drop off on your behalf.

Those who fail to follow these rules will be turned away, and need to coordinate with our team to find alternative ways to make returns

If you are unable to return your Library or technology items on the scheduled days or you are enrolled in summer classes and need to continue using technology on loan, please fill in this form

Summer Is Officially Online

In consultation with the Board of Trustees and District Academic Senate, Chancellor Claire and the college presidents have determined that the Summer 2020 term will be delivered in online/distance education format. The decision is made in light of the strong likelihood local shelter-in-place restrictions will limit or prevent a return to normal campus operations over the summer. There may be very limited exceptions for some programs and those will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Faculty who have questions about the online summer session or need access to campus should contact their dean.

Students were notified of the change in an April 27 email and text announcement, encouraging them to sign up for online summer classes and to consult a counselor with any questions.