How Citrus College served students during COVID
by Laura J. Bollinger, Citrus College governing board member
Creative, collaborative and committed — these are a few words that can be used to describe Citrus College in its efforts to support students in a remote learning environment.
From providing equipment and course materials to offering virtual counseling, drop-in hours and phone assistance, Citrus College has been focused on doing what is needed to keep students on the path to completion.
One of the most successful efforts in the past academic year involved the distribution of Chromebooks or $250 Best Buy vouchers to eligible students with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The items were given to eligible students to help them successfully complete their courses from home.
Throughout the year, Citrus College organized Chromebook distribution events where students drove onto campus to safely retrieve their items. In order to receive the Chromebooks or vouchers, students had to meet several requirements, including being actively enrolled, meeting unit requirements and having applied for financial aid prior to applying for the grant.
By the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, 359 chromebooks and 719 Best Buy vouchers were distributed to Citrus College students.
Other groups on campus held similar events. In September 2020, for example, the Citrus College Mathematics and Business Division hosted a drive-up distribution for statistics textbooks and calculators.
The college also provided online resources to students through the Owl Success Hub. The website gave tips on computer-based learning, studying at home, and maintaining health and wellness. It also made it easier for students to make appointments with academic counselors.
The Citrus College Foundation also played a pivotal role in supporting students this past year.
Even as the pandemic shut down the campus in March 2020, the Foundation continued its ongoing support and increased volume to award emergency grants. It also introduced the PASS (Providing Assistance for Student Success) initiative, which was designed to help students who are challenged to reach their academic goals.
The foundation continued awarding emergency grants during the 2020-2021 academic year as well. The funds were available to students who faced hardships that may have jeopardized their ability to complete their programs of study.
As the representative of Claremont and portions of Pomona and La Verne on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, I am incredibly proud of the staff at Citrus College for finding new and creative ways to support students during these challenging times. No matter what adversity lies in our future, I have confidence that our college will persevere.