By Zuleima De La Cruz and Tanya Jansen
As the impacts of COVID-19 increase, students in Southern California are dropping their classes due to various issues, including financial struggles and lack of effective tutoring and resources.
Students are struggling to adapt to virtual classes due to lack of support. Many students rely on different types of resources that schools provide, such as the library, school computers, tutoring, and WiFi.
“I had to drop the class because I couldn’t get help from the math lab,” said Josh Lockman, a student who previously attended Santa Ana Community college said. “I was supposed to graduate at the end of the semester again. This is the second time where this is happening to me where I am going to have to reapply to Cal state.”
Due to financial needs, many students are not able to afford to have these essentials to continue their education.
Gisela Maldonado, a single mom, was a full-time student at Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) who dropped out due to financial circumstances.
“I was not able to afford a laptop where I could continue to do my courses online. While I was in school, I had a babysitter. However, since the pandemic, I’ve been taking care of him and going to work,” said Maldonado.
Some students struggle through these virtual classes as it is difficult for them to learn in an online setting due to not being able to understand lectures without face-to-face interactions.
“I wasn’t too fond of my school resuming our courses online. I’m a hands-on learner and I have to be face-to-face with the professor in a class setting to ask questions and better understand the course work,” said Maldonado.
Other students find online learning difficult due to a lack of self-discipline. When students are in class, they tend to find the interactions useful and appreciate the occasional reminders professors give them about upcoming due dates, the accessibility to raise their hand to ask questions, and small group interactions.
Professor Roberto Hernandez, who teaches Statistics at Mt. San Jacinto College, discusses that it’s hard for faculty, as well as students, to make drastic changes and still find ways that will be beneficial to students’ learning experience, especially those who have labs.
“Directors and faculty are constantly having meetings to find different methods for students to succeed in their education and make their online experience meaningful and interactive, just as it would be in class,” stated Hernandez.
Edgar Blanco, a full-time student at Riverside Community College, looks forward to taking classes on campus because of the interactions he can have during a class period.
“I love going to in-class sessions! I work full-time and coming to class helps me ask questions on the spot without having to wait for an instructor to email me within 48 hours. Online classes are difficult to keep track of and get a hold of the teacher at the time I am stuck,” stated Blanco.
Raymond Nguyen, a student at MSJC, comments that his teachers were not understanding of the situation and everything was going fast-paced. Due dates were not being extended and, instead, more assignments were given.
“I just couldn’t keep up with everything going on at home and school. I just want to be able to join my face-to-face classroom and gain my learning experience with school resources,” stated Nguyen.