College aims to offer 50% of classes on campus in spring


Dominic Salacki

The college is aiming to have 50% of course sections on campus in the spring semester. Shown, students in a communications course wear masks to every class this semester.

Sydney Klabnik, Reporter

AACC will offer up to 50% of its course sections on campus for the spring semester.

Faculty and deans are building the spring course schedule to reach that benchmark, according to Melissa Beardmore, AACC’s vice president for learning resources management. They will continue to adjust the schedule based on student demand, she said.

Beardmore cited student preferences and ongoing safety concerns during the pandemic for the schedule.

“We know that students need in-person, want in-person and prefer in-person classes, so we are trying to balance safety with what’s important and needed for student success,” Beardmore said.

AACC will offer hybrid classes, which meet both online and on campus; online synchronous classes, which are mostly online but meet virtually once or twice a week; and asynchronous classes, which are online only.

AACC President Dawn Lindsay “has set a goal for us to be the premier online institution in Maryland, so she wants us to have an appropriate balance of both in-person and online,” Beardmore explained.

Beardmore recommended that students register for spring courses as soon as possible to ensure they get into the classes they want.

Conor Curran, a first-year secondary Spanish education major, said the college’s goal of offering 50% of course sections is “the correct step to take.”

“As an all-virtual student this semester, I’m excited to get back on campus,” he said.

Abigail Billovits-Hayes, a second-year marketing and advertising major, expressed support for the college’s goal but hopes the focus will remain on offering online classes.

“For some people, it’s their only option, so I feel like we should definitely still focus on online stuff,” Billovits-Hayes said. “But also, providing more in-person classes would be great.”

AACC will continue to require students taking in-person classes to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, which is free on campus.

The college will also continue to require everyone who comes to campus to wear a mask indoors.

As in the fall, social distancing will not be required on campus, though students are encouraged to stay six feet away from others when possible.

Beardmore encouraged students to regularly check their AACC emails and the college’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19 rules.