AACC to offer 50% of classes face-to-face


Dan Elson

Communications students Zack Buster and Maggie Brown meet in person during a winter class.

Sydney Klabnik, Contributor

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

Faculty and deans built the spring course schedule to reach that benchmark, according to Melissa Beardmore, AACC’s vice president for learning resources management.

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.

Last fall, AACC offered 30% of its classes on campus or hybrid and 70% 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.

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

Curran continued, “As an all-virtual student [last] semester, I’m excited to get back on campus.”

Abigail Billovits-Hayes, a second-year marketing and advertising student, expressed support for the college’s decision 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 COVID-19 rules.